The streets in South Kensington were fairly busy this weekend. Residents were saying goodbye to trash and blight and hello to clean streets.
Thanks to help from the South Kensington Community Partners and the Olde Kensington Neighborhood Association, brooms, trash bags, gloves, shovels and other cleaning items were given away to residents to aide them in cleaning the streets for this years’ Philly Cleanup.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. volunteers cleaned up vacant lots filled with garbage, they swept the streets and cleaned out local community gardens.
President of Olde Kensington Neighborhood Association, Ann Moss said that this is her sixth year volunteering.
“The neighborhood needs cleaning. And there’s an opportunity for the community to unite and work on a common goal,” said Moss.
During her few years volunteering for the Philly Cleanup, Moss said that the trash was very bad and would build up all over the blocks. However, now that they’ve come back each year, she feels things have changed.
“I think people respect the fact that we come out and invest in the community. So they respect that and they don’t do it [liter] that much anymore,” explained Moss.
Last year the Philly Cleanup had 348 official project sites and this year there were 534 sites.
Volunteers are notified by word-of-mouth and flyers letting them know about the cleanup and how they can register and choose a location.
“At 12 o’clock I usually start knocking on doors,” said Moss.
Nicolasa Doheny, another volunteer said, “I’ve been doing community work in the area for over 10 years. I like to do work in the neighborhood and be apart of the solution.”
The Philly Cleanup also got other residents involved that weren’t even volunteering. Nick Krreal, owner of a lot on American Street decided to clean up his lot because it was a nice day and his neighbors were out cleaning too.
“I think it’s great. Anything we can do to keep the trash off the streets is great.”
Once some of the volunteers were finished with one lot or section of land, they would move right on to the next block to see what else they could clean up.
“I think it’s great to come out into the neighborhood and keep everything clean. We’re tired of walking around and seeing trash all the time. It’s bad. That’s why we decided to come out,” said Shazanna Goff, a South Kensington resident.
Joe Brenman volunteered with the Olde Kensington Neighborhood Association and came out to support his neighborhood block.
“We try and do this every year, to try and make the neighborhood a little nicer,” said Brenman. “My motivation to come out and volunteer is to see everyone coming together, making the neighborhood clean.”
After sweeping and picking up debris, volunteers bagged up their collected trash and placed them around the streets, awaiting trash delivery to come around and finalize their hard work.
Volunteers cleaned along W. Thompson Street as well as places like the Tillmon Community Garden, Hancock Recreation Center, the 1500 block of Mascher Street and more.
In 2012, the Philly Cleanup collected more than one million pounds of trash and volunteers were hopeful that they’ve outdone themselves again this year.