For the hundreds of Liberty Property Trust employees and vendors who descended upon Hunting Park with paintbrushes, tools, trash bags and hoes, the Bill Rouse Day of Caring is not about financial gain or public recognition.
“It’s not only important for the company to give back,” said John Gatusso, regional director at Liberty Property Trust, “but for each of the people that comprise this company to see how they can give back through their specific communities.”
For the past nine years, the Philadelphia-based real-estate company has celebrated the legacy of Rouse–who founded the company in 1972 and died in 2003–by choosing a needy location in the the Philadelphia region and assisting in its restoration and revitalization. The annual event is traditionally held on the Friday before Rouse’s birthday on June 19; this year, it took place June 15.
With Hunting Park the recipient this year, neighborhood special-interest groups like Hunting Park United and the Fairmount Park Conservancy collaborated with the 200-plus employees in their efforts.
“The [Fairmount Park] Conservancy has been working with the community out in Hunting Park for a number of years now,” member Meg Holscher said. “So we’re thrilled to be out here today with over 200 Liberty Property Trust volunteers and corporate staff and over 15 of their vendors.”
Throughout its long, storied history, Liberty Property Trust has been responsible for establishing the skyline of the city, having designed and built such landmarks as Liberty Place in 1988 and the Comcast Center in 2008.
“Because we’re in the real-estate business, we we have people that work with us to volunteer equipment,” CEO Bill Hankowsky said. “So, the idea is to walk away at the end of the day with a place that’s better than where it was [that] morning.”