Philly Spring Cleanup

Cleaner Streets = Cleaner Rivers and Creeks

With more than 900 projects scattered across the city, this Saturday’s Philly Spring Cleanup was the largest ever—and that’s a pretty big deal considering this volunteer-driven event has already been praised as “America’s biggest single-day urban cleanup” for years now.

First held in 2007, Philly Spring Cleanup has grown into a movement that brings neighbors together by harnessing a passion for litter-free communities. From a watershed protection perspective, we love seeing that passion transformed into action because so much of the litter and trash collected from streets, parks and empty lots on Saturday would eventually wash into Philly’s rivers and creeks.

While the 2016 results haven’t been tallied yet, last year’s cleanup (featuring 718 projects) netted 836,100 pounds of trash, 104,260 pounds of tires and 107,580 pounds of recyclables—all stuff that could very well have ended up in our water.

Meet Your Watershed Spirit Animal for Philly Spring Cleanup 2016

Volunteers place new storm drain markers featuring American Shad a sewer inlets along York Street in Fishtown. Credit: Inspire Energy.
Volunteers place new storm drain markers featuring American Shad a sewer inlets along York Street in Fishtown. Credit: Inspire Energy.

Do you know your watershed’s spirit animal? Do you know your watershed, period?

This year’s April 9 Philly Spring Cleanup is your chance to answer both of those questions while doing some good for your community.

As we’ve noted before, we at Philadelphia Water are big fans of
neighborhood and park cleanups. In addition to making our city more beautiful, these events can really help to keep wildlife-harming litter out of our sewers, rivers and creeks.

This year, we’re encouraging communities and civic organizations to add a fun activity to Philly Spring Cleanup—marking storm drains with our new kits, which feature decals with aquatic critters specific to the watershed where you live.

We’ll be making kits available for pickup at the Fairmount Water Works on March 31 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for any group that wants them. Just email Philadelphia Water’s Chris Anderson or Michelle Hoover of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary to reserve supplies. These new kits replace the old “Yo! Fish” markers currently seen near many of the city’s 75,000 storm drains.

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