A tight-knit, friendly neighborhood like Pennsport doesn’t get that way by accident. The devotion of community leaders and active participation of neighbors helps to keep Pennsport a good place to live and work. Whether you’re new to the area or you’ve lived there for years, you can do your part to make your neighborhood a better place. Here are five ways you can get involved in Pennsport and the surrounding communities.
Volunteer with a Youth Sports Organization
Between Rizzo Rink, EOM Athletic Association, and Philly Girls in Motion, there are tons of opportunities to use your athletic skills to benefit local kids. If you play lacrosse (like Jenna Allen, pictured above), you teach fitness classes or you were on the baseball team in college, there’s a spot for you to donate your time to a worthy organization. Contact these organizations for more information on how to get involved.
Attend a Civic Association Meeting
Learn about the issues facing your community and voice your concerns to neighborhood leaders. This is government and civic engagement at its most basic level. Find out about fun events happening in your area or gripe about how your trash hasn’t been picked up this week. Ask questions about the new development on your block. If you have a problem, these folks will work with you to try to solve it. Pennsport, Whitman, and Dickinson Square West all have separate civic groups.
Work in a Community Garden
Eating locally grown produce is a step toward a more sustainable lifestyle and helps to strengthen community ties. Moore Street Community Garden is just one of several community gardens in South Philadelphia. Prospective gardeners should inquire about available plots, though it may take awhile for a spot to open up. In the meantime, you can purchase fresh local produce at the Dickinson Square Park Farmer’s Market on Sundays, beginning on June 1.
Participate in a Neighborhood Cleanup
Friends of Dickinson Square Park will be hosting a cleanup at the park from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 10 as part of Love Your Park Week. Jefferson Square Park will be participating as well.
Ted Savage, President of Dickinson Square West Civic Association, hopes to hold neighborhood cleanups periodically throughout the summer months. For forthcoming details about these cleanups, visit the association’s website.
Support Local Businesses
Local businesses are the lifeblood of a healthy community. Contribute to the local economy by choosing to buy food and other necessities from mom and pop shops and going out to neighborhood bars and restaurants. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your neighbors. Need a shirt printed? Awesome Dudes at 6th and Reed streets has you covered. Looking for artisan doughnuts? Federal Donuts at Second and Manton streets is the place to go. Want to grab a quick beer? Whether it’s 2nd Street Brew House, The Industry, Moonshine or one of the many others, there are plenty of local spots to choose from.
– Text and images by Nina Lispi and Eddie Durkin