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    TTF Clean-up Collects Over 1000 Pounds of Trash

    How can one cleanup make an impact? Here’s an extra incentive to get out there for Philly Spring Cleanup Day tomorrow.

    Over fifty volunteers including Temple University students and Olney residents teamed up to clean Tacony Creek Park last Saturday ofr two hours. The clean-up was in advance of the annual Healthy Trails 5k.

    Volunteers donning bright orange safety vests cleaned the side of the road and the ground leading down to the creek on Hammond Avenue. Other volunteers cleaned up Tee-ball Field, focusing in an area of the park that has been previously neglected in clean-up efforts.

    Volunteers from Temple University clean at the side of the road during the clean-up on March 30th. | Joseph Labolito

    David Chodor, a freshman political science major at Temple University, participated in the clean up with members of the fencing club.

    “I really wanted to come because obviously, this park is way more polluted than I expected. Aside from just the actual cleaning of the park, it’s nice to build community and meet new people that share the same interests.”

    David Chodor
    A lone volunteer cleans deep into the park. | Joseph Labolito

    Claire McGlinchey, a senior communications studies and environmental studies double major, works for Temple’s Office of Sustainability who co-sponsored the cleanup.

    She said she has done many clean-ups around Temple but the experience of cleaning up on the street versus a wooded area had been eye-opening.

    “People are going to keep throwing out trash,” McGlinchey said. “Trash is going to keep getting blown into places like this. Unless we clean it up, it’s going to be blown into our waterways or washed into the ocean.”

    Students find more trash as they entered deeper into the wooded area of the park. | Joseph Labolito

    Madasyn Andrews, a photography major at Temple, grew increasingly frustrated by the amount of litter she saw and how easily the trash can travel far from where they were originally tossed.

    “Seeing all the water bottles made me feel really embarrassed of myself because some of these are probably mine somehow,” Andrews said.

    Some peculiar finds of the day included cell phones, AOL subscription promotions, a campaign sign for former U.S. President Barack Obama, a suitcase, a lunch box, and storage bins.

    A volunteer carries away a campaign sign uncovered from the dirt. | Joseph Labolito

    Common pieces of trash that were found were plastic bags, water bottles, styrofoam, baseballs, and potato chip bags.

    All trash was weighed at the end of the two-hour event. Black trash bags lined the ground in front of the fence while trash that needed careful disposal such as tires sat in found shopping carts. Over 1000 pounds of trash was cleaned up at the end of the day.

    This isn’t the first clean-up that the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership has organized and will certainly not be the last.

    Estefania Orozco, 27, has been following the group through social media and participated in a clean-up through United We Blue at the park two weeks prior.

    “I’ve been doing more clean-ups on my own on my block and in my own community,” Orozco said. “I want to be more involved in the community and help people realize how bad the pollution and plastic waste is in general.”

    A volunteer grips a dirty plastic bag as they toss it in a trash bag. | Joseph Labolito

    Shannon Smith, an Olney resident, found out about the event through Facebook and her whole family participated. She was pleased with how the clean-up turned out.

    “The kids enjoyed being out here and didn’t even know the creek was back here,” Smith said. “They felt good about being able to clean-up and just see nature which is good because they’re off their video games.”

    Smith hopes to see more clean-ups happen not just in this neighborhood, but in neighborhoods across the city as well.

    “I feel like we’ve lost a sense of pride in keeping up our own communities,” she said. “We should just do a lot more [clean-ups] for sure.”

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    Siani Colon

    About Siani Colon

    Siani is a junior journalism major with a minor in Latin American Studies at Temple University. She is an editorial fellow at Motivos Magazine and also works for student publications like The Temple News and 14th Street Magazine. During her downtime, Siani loves watching documentaries on Netflix.

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