Bright and early this morning, well not actually so bright, it was really overcast and chilly, I packed up my shovel, a few hand tools and a pair of gardening gloves, and headed to the bottom of my street. I met up with several lovely ladies who help take care of the half block size patch of green known as Inn Yard park. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people across the City of Philadelphia were also outside, in a citywide spring cleaning of neighborhood parks. As with most cities these days, finances are tight. The LOVE your park day (a nod to the iconic "Love" sculpture by Robert Indiana, which sits in the park across the street from City Hall) was initiated to help recruit neighbors from across the city to take care of their parks, not just on this day, but all year long and not just so the Parks & Recreation budget stretches a little further, but also so people can meet their neighbors and have neighborhoods they can take pride in. (photo of Robert Indiana's sculpture in Philadelphia by Bob Krist)
I go past Inn Yard park all the time. I know that the basketball court is a popular place any day that the temperature is over 50 degrees and the spring blooming trees never fail to make me stop and admire them. Being part of the neighborhood, and hoping to someday take my own kids down to play on the playground equipment, I figured I had better heed the mayor's call and start doing my part to maintain this valuable resource. We pulled weeds, mulched beds, spruced up the flowers that were planted by other volunteers last spring and fall, talked, laughed and got a little exercise. I am on the email list and plan to stay involved. To boot I found flower beds that could some shade plants, it looks like I will have a place to put the spare flower seedlings that I always seem to have!