Teaming Up for the Cleaning Up

Join your neighbors for fresh air, sunshine, and an awesome full-body workout! Free! Get a head-start on beach season while beautifying our community’s front door step. 

Mark your calendars: Philly Spring Clean-Up is Saturday April 8th (9am – 2pm). Meet at BuLogics for donuts & equipment, then join your neighbors in raking out & bagging up trash and debris along Ridge Avenue and lower Midvale.

“Last year we had enough people to clean up both sides of Ridge from Dunkin to the Twin Bridges,” block captain Felicite told members at a recent EFF meeting, “I’d love to have double the number of people and cover twice as much ground.”

So would we! Such a fun day with other neighbors — there’s just something about working together on a project that seems to lift everyone’s spirits. If you’ve never been before, see what you’re missing in our 2016 recap (below). Looking forward to Sprucing up the falls this spring already!

(Original post April 17, 2016) Prettiest day ever for this year’s Philly Spring Cleaning — and a fantastic turnout in East Falls and Allegheny West.

EastFallsLocal collage Philly Spring Clean 2016 txt yearPhotos and comments from neighbors hard at work this past weekend — from Inn Yard park all the up Allegheny Ave!

Since 2008, the Philadelphia Streets Department has been promoting “Philly Spring Cleanups” in neighborhoods around the city.

EastFallsLocal collage twin bridges

Block captains or anyone, really, who wants to organize a clean-up can easily register their project online, or via fax/snail mail. The city then provides info where to pick up rakes, push brooms, trash bags, recycling bins… everything a good clean-up crew could need!

What fun, too! If you’ve ever watched “Hoarders” and cheered when the dumpsters arrive, you’ll understand the glee of tackling your neighborhood’s ick head-on. Folks sweeping stoops and storefronts without the owners’ permission, just tearing up the trash no questions asked. Hardcore!!! 

EastFallsLocal Mifflin cleanup collage 2015Last year for Philly Spring Cleaning, about 15 of us “newbies” (including a strong contingent from the Metro Presbyterian Church) joined up with the EFCC’s Mifflin Arboretum team, raking up weeds/sticks and helping plant pachysandra by the bridge.

This year, East Falls Forward took the lead on a separate clean-up project, with a focus on Ridge and Midvale below the train station.

EastFallsLocal collage text ryan office brooms etcAbout 25 men, women, and kids — many again from Metro — met at the BuLogics office on Midvale, and basically attacked our litter situation until Ridge was spic and span from Inn Yard Park to the post office.

EastFallsLocal collage carrying sweepingJim Williamson of Slices Pizza said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. “I’ve been doing this for years and we usually only get a couple people. The college students and Metro Church people really make a big difference.

Dr. Ron Merriel of Blue Skies Chiropractic agreed and joked that the workers were all welcome to his office the next day to work out the kinks from all the sweeping!

New neighbor Brian Beard of the Beard Allstate Insurance Agency was also on hand, splitting his time between sweeping on Ridge and clearing brush at the Mifflin Arboretum.

Guirae Jang, who led the church’s volunteer efforts, said it was his first time doing a cleanup and was really amazed: “It’s really valuable for this neighborhood that East Falls Forward is coordinating efforts that bring people together.”

EastFallsLocal collage cookie store lotTim Shin, Director of Worship Ministries, was encouraged that so many people came out so early, on such a beautiful day, yet, “There’s a lot of other things people could be doing on a Saturday morning.”

Even kids got in on the act, as Finn and Lilia Hawley carried bottled waters to the volunteers as they swept the sidewalks. Ryan Buchert and Felicite Moorman, of BuLogics, kept the crew well supplied with donuts and coffee. They also ran out early to grab cleaning supplies from the Streets Department and Home Depot.

EastFallsLocal collage ridge ave

On the other side of the twin bridges, the RAH cleanup crews worked two locations. We caught up with them at the SEPTA bus turnaround at 35th and Allegheny. Mark Green, 38th Ward Leader, and head of the RAH cleanup effort, said they had a decent turnout.

EastFallsLocal Sean Mark Green collage

A lot of folks came out yesterday and early this morning to clean up in front of their houses along Allegheny. We finished up the 3300 block of Allegheny a little while ago — it looks great. We’ve got a good group out here,” he said.

About 10 people cleaned up tree limbs that had been cut down by the Streets Department’s CLIP program. Some of the crew were offenders performing community service (from Gaudenzia and the Community Corrections Center near 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue).

Another member of the group was a familiar face from Stanton Street, Sean Stevens, running for 194th District State Representative (against Pam DeLissio).

EastFallsLocal cleanups Sean

Sean rode his bike over to Allegheny Avenue to lend a hand for a few hours before pedaling over to Clearfield Street to help Darece Williford’s Community Action Group plant a community garden,  “I’ll be helping create the garden beds. It’s something I do with my wife all the time so I’m an old hand at it.

While we chatted, Rose Cooper (President of RAH Civic Association) stopped by to deliver bottled water and Tastykakes. Roni Green, a Scotts Lane resident and the driving force behind the new LED streetlights on that road, chatted with us about her plans to push Councilman Jones to reopen a section of Sugden’s Row that had fallen into disrepair behind her house.

The undergrowth that had grown up on the old road formed a thicket that would be a “fire hazard” if she ever needed to get out of the back of her house. “That’s another battle I’m gonna have with the city,” she said (with perhaps surprising good cheer).

EastFallsLocal collage RAH againWe finished the day back in East Falls walking up Midvale, where more clean-up crews had been tidying up Mifflin’s rock garden, and also the library. When we drove by earlier that morning the crew looked to be mostly Mifflin kids and a few adults with rakes and gloves.

EastFallsLocal mifflin rock garden collageUnfortunately, we have no pictures of these fine and dedicated folks — sorry! By the time we arrived (shortly after 1), the crew was gone and Bill Epstein and Roger Marsh of EFCC were preparing to drive off. The place looks great, though: one of the prettiest hidden corners of East Falls.

Wanna help keep the Falls beautiful? Your next chance is Saturday May 7 for “Love Your Park” cleanups at Inn Yard and McMichael. More info here.

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