Organizing a community clean-up is easier than you think. iStock

If a block or park in your neighborhood needs a little TLC, you don’t have to go it alone. The city’s Community Partnership Program lends tools — likes rakes, shovels and gloves — and provides trash bags (just fill out a request form at Julie Hancher from environmental blog Green Philly tells us how to take those tools and set up a successful fall clean-up.

Spread the word

“There are so many resources but they aren’t well known, so people don’t organize [clean-ups] themselves,” says Hancher. But it’s easier and less stressful than it sounds, she promises. After setting a date, use social media to let your circle knows where to show up.“Create a Facebook invite and invite your friends,” says Hancher. “If you want to get the word out to your neighbors, contact your local community development corporation or neighborhood committee. And there’s the old-school way of posting flyers in coffee shops.”

Bring snacks


Everyone loves free food (or beer!). Convince a local restaurant to provide a free or discounted edible incentive for neighbors who may be on the fence about attending — the restaurant benefits when its surroundings are improved, too.

“Pairing it with a happy hour, breakfast, or lunch is a big appeal,” says Hancher. “I’m a big believer in local business owners.”

Take names

Bring a sign-in sheet and ask people who show up to share their email with you. This way when it’s time to set up the next one, you have a group of people to contact. And then, Hancher says, “Philadelphia will get cleaner and more beautiful by the day.”

No time to set up your own event? Here are two other ways to get involved:

NKCDC Fall Clean up

Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to noon

The very active New Kensington Community Development Corporation is hosting its biggest clean-up event of the season. And, following Julie Hancher’s tips, there are after-parties at Liberty Choice, for pizza and ice cream, or Philadelphia Brewing, for beer and barbecue.

PlanPhilly: Neighborhood Civics 101

Oct. 21, 7 p.m.

Ladder 15, 1528 Sansom St.


Interested in getting involved in your neighborhood association? Already involved but looking to take a more active role? PlanPhilly invited leaders from the South of South Neighborhood Association, the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association, the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association and other community organizations to tell us how to get started. The ticket price includes snacks.

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