The W Rockland St Project

What one Philadelphia city block can do to change its future.


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Success @ Philly Spring Cleanup

Kids at the Philly Spring Cleanup

Kids at the Philly Spring Cleanup

On Saturday, April 10th, W Rockland Street joined Mayor Michael Nutter and thousands of volunteers in neighborhoods across Philadelphia for the 3rd Annual Philly Spring Cleanup. This year was a big success. We had much more participation from block residents than last year which felt pretty awesome. Kids and adults of all ages including longtime residents and homeowners to new neighbors and renters worked alongside each other throughout the day with many neighbors helping one another out. I have to say that I was honestly very surprised by the turnout. It really was an amazing day.

Block residents cleaned alleyways and vacant lots, beautified homes and gardens, and removed trash from the sidewalks and streets. Neighbors also used the cleanup as an opportunity for home improvement projects. Basements were cleared out, an old deck was torn down and more. The trash piles were HUGE!

A growing trash collection site

A growing trash collection site during the cleanup

We were also once again joined by volunteers who came all the way from New York City to help out! Last year, a big group of fraternity brothers from Drexel University helped us clean the worst vacant lot on our block (remember this, ugh). This year, block residents worked alongside our wonderful student volunteers from St. John’s University, brought to us by organizers at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. The church is also home to W Rockland Street – located at the bottom of W Rockland Street between Logan and Green Streets. When we saw the students in their matching t-shirts come marching through the school yard with one of the priests from the church we were beyond excited. We could not have accomplished our project to such a degree without the volunteers!

Thanks also to the Philadelphia Department of Streets and sanitation crew for the special trash pick-up and to the Philly Spring Cleanup for once again providing much needed supplies. We were able to give residents recycling bins, brooms (best corn brooms ever by the way), trash bags and work gloves. We also had rakes and shovels for the bigger projects.

Next up for W Rockland Street is the first block meeting of 2010 on April 17. Looking forward to it.

View more photos from the cleanup on Flickr.

Let’s Keep Up the Sweep Up!

The St. John's University volunteers with kids and block residents

St. John's University volunteers with kids and block residents

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