May 09, 2023
People who enjoy spending time at Philadelphia's parks, community gardens and other green spaces have an opportunity to give back later this spring.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy are hosting cleanups at 94 parks and green spaces during Love Your Park Week, held Saturday, May 13 through Sunday, May 21. Volunteers are needed to pull weeds, pick up trash, remove graffiti and plant flowers ahead of summer. Tools, gloves and other equipment will be provided.
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"This is one of the ways to not only make your own life better but to also contribute to the quality of life in your neighborhood and to show elected officials how much parks mean to you," Maura McCarthy, CEO of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, told KYW.
Though the cleanups are free to join, organizers request that volunteers sign up so that there are enough tools and gloves to go around. Volunteers are encouraged to come out on their own, or with their families or other groups.
Ready to #LoveYourPark? Registration is now open for Love Your Park Week! Join @myphillypark and @PhilaParkandRec to clean and green your neighborhood park from May 13-21. 💚 Register here: https://t.co/hPBv4a3Dp1 pic.twitter.com/bTrYrmH7sF— Fairmount Park Conservancy (@myphillypark) April 13, 2023
Volunteering offers physical and mental health benefits, particularly for older adults, according to Mayo Clinic. Volunteer activities keep people moving for extended periods of time, providing exercise and keeping the brain active. Research shows volunteering helps to reduce stress, which lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, depression and anxiety.
Volunteering also reduces feelings of loneliness, helping people build friendships and communities, and sparks the release of endorphins, which create a sense of well-being, VeryWell Mind reported.
The map below shows the green spaces where clean-ups are being held. Volunteers can register for the clean-ups on the Fairmount Park Conservancy's website.
Some of the groups offering volunteer opportunities also will have music, food, games and other activities for people of all ages in hopes of encouraging residents to visit and meet up with members of their communities.
On Saturday, May 13, volunteers at Fairview Park in Roxborough can enjoy coffee and donuts during a morning of mulching, planting and weeding native plant beds. At Tip Top Playground in Fishtown, volunteers can eat refreshments and play games while clearing out the facility and learning about upcoming renovation plans.
The Fernhill Park cleanup also will pair light refreshments with weeding and flower planting.
And at Philly Pumptrack, located along the edge of Fairmount Park, volunteers will prepare the park's rain garden, collect trash and repair its fence so that bike riding can begin later in the day.
For more information about Love Your Park Week, visit the Fairmount Park Conservancy's website.
All day | Free registration
94 parks in Philadelphia