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WeLoveU Cleans Blackstone and Franklin Square on Earth Day

WeLoveU Cleans Blackstone and Franklin Square on Earth Day

Celebrating Earth Day in a Big Way 

The International WeLoveU Foundation volunteers in New England region visited Blackstone and Franklin Squares for a third time in celebration of Earth Day.

On Sunday, April 28, 2019, more than 100 WeLoveU volunteers partnered up with Rick Thompson from Boston Parks and Recreation Department and Toni Crothall from Blackstone and Franklin Squares Neighborhood Association.

The volunteers began streaming into the squares on Sunday morning with their bright blue shirts. Despite the wind and pending rain, they came fully energized to clean the green spaces in honor of Earth Day. In just three hours, they filled 110 brown bags with leaves and branches.

While sharing kind words with the volunteers, Toni Crothall from the squares association spoke a few words about WeLoveU’s Chairwoman who inspires the group to get out and be active. “I want to say thank you. I do not know how your heart got into the heart of all of these wonderful people. I am personally grateful for how they touched my small community.”

Unity in the Community

Massachusetts State Representative Jon Santiago made a special appearance thanking the volunteers for dedicating their day to cleaning the Blackstone and Franklin Squares.

“Thank you so much for coming over here, for bringing your folks over here for the third year,” said State Representative Santiago. “I hope there will be many more years in the future and I look forward to getting more involved in the years to come. So, I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart, from the bottom of the South End neighborhood, from the friends of Blackstone, and Toni as well. This was very, very much appreciated.”

However, he wasn’t the only one who had some nice words to share with the WeLoveU group for their Earth Day activities! During the cleanup, multiple residents joined the group by raking leaves alongside the volunteers. There were others walking by that couldn’t join but expressed their gratitude to the participants. Many walked up to the WeLoveU information booth set up in Blackstone Square, displaying the works of the organization locally and globally.  

“I appreciate everything you [WeLoveU] are doing. I’m glad I came out here today to help clean up the park and it looks a whole lot better than it did before and I definitely plan to be doing some more of this in the future. Next time something comes up, I’m all about it.” – Andrew, Air Force Serviceman from Pease Air National Guard Base

Until Next Time, Boston! 

By the end of the afternoon, the WeLoveU volunteers felt they had accomplished their goal of encouraging and educating the Boston community to care more for their environment. This Earth Day cleanup marks WeLoveU’s third time working in the South End neighborhood in Boston. Through future projects, WeLoveU only hopes to strengthen its relationship with the public officials and carry out even more meaningful projects.

The Earth Day cleanup is part of a bigger picture—WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD Movement. It’s a global effort to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection in the face of climate change. At the same time, it aligns with the SDGs of Climate Action and Life on Land.

See what Boston Fox 25 News had to say about WeLoveU’s Earth Day cleanup! 

WeLoveU Takes on Three-Day Ridgefield Nature Center Project

WeLoveU Takes on Three-Day Ridgefield Nature Center Project

#EarthDay2019

On Earth Day 2019, the WeLoveU chapters in North New Jersey mustered up volunteers at the Ridgefield Nature Center. The environmental project launching in Ridgefield, New Jersey took Earth Day to another level as the project lasted several days. Earth Week? Almost! The group previously worked with Ridgefield when more than 150 volunteers cleaned along Wolf Creek.

For over a decade, the Ridgefield Nature Center has been closed to the public because of the lack of proper maintenance. It even reached the point of being deemed as the “dead forest.”  Vines grew exponentially, leaving many trees dead. That’s why part of the project involves picking up dead branches in order to make wood chips to lay on the walkways. Hundreds of tree lumber on the ground and vines overtaking the nature center is why it is now called the “dead forest.”

The International WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region took notice of the Ridgefield Nature Center’s condition and asked about making this once-forgotten center the town’s re-connection to nature. What better day to create change than on Earth Day? On April 22, 24 and 25, approximately 120 volunteers took action at the Ridgefield Nature Center.

Every morning, 40 volunteers gathered at the Ridgefield Community Center, located right next to the center. At that time WeLoveU volunteers, workers from the DPW and Recycling Coordinator Millie Rojas discussed the plan for the respective day. It was an exciting and productive week for WeLoveU and the Ridgefield Community.  

“The job that they [WeLoveU] do, they work together as a team, and they help one another. You see one carrying a log, before you know it, there’s like five people carrying the same log. The love you see is incredible,” says Millie Rojas, Recycling Coordinator. “If there were more people like the Chairperson [of WeLoveU],  our world would be different today.”

The Nature Center’s Background Story

The Ridgefield Nature Center was previously owned by a water delivery company called the Great Bear. In 1975, ownership of the center changed to the hands of the town borough. After that time, the center was opened to the public once a week on Saturday’s. Eventually, it became a desolate space and restricted property surrounded by a fence to keep trespassers out.

For decades, the 5.4-acre land remained isolated until WeLoveU sought to revitalize it completely.

“It means a lot to me and it’s going to mean a lot to the community,” said Superintendent of Public Works Joe Greco when asked what this project means to him and the community. “Since it has been closed for a couple years, now it’s going to be reopening and accessible.”  

Sustainable Revitalization

WeLoveU volunteers completed phase one of the revitalization project by working diligently for four hours a day for three days. They removed decaying wood and laid down logs and wood chips for the outlined path. Though significant progress has been made, there is much more to do.

“The work that they [WeLoveU] did in three days would probably take me about six months. Phenomenal job,” said Joe Greco.

Projects are underway for WeLoveU to continue revitalizing the Ridgefield Nature Center. However, not without help. The project will call for help from local residents, business owners, students and public servants. Everyone and anyone has an opportunity to help reopen the Ridgefield Nature Center with WeLoveU. 

The main goal of the project is to completely transform the nature center into a county attraction for families, students and locals. WeLoveU hopes it will be a place for promoting the importance of ecosystems, environmental education, appreciation for nature, and inspire others to combat climate change.

Volunteers Spruce up McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte

Volunteers Spruce up McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte

A healthy and clean environment is a requisite for a happy life.

What better way to start your week than by cleaning your neighborhood park? That’s how more than 30 volunteers from the International WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region spent their Sunday on March 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The group of volunteers gathered bright and early at McAlpine Creek Park. The all-inclusive 114-acre county park has a lake, fishing pier, soccer fields, hiking and biking trails, and a dog park. The park’s walkways are lined with tall green trees—easy for anyone to get lost in the great outdoors. 

The McAlpine Creek Park is a common place for families to spend time barbecuing and holding picnics and walking their dogs. Even employees from nearby businesses take walks on their breaks and sports teams fellowship with each other. With so much to offer, the park’s influx of traffic also means frequent maintenance is needed.

Working Together Hand-in-Hand

The WeLoveU volunteers rolled up their sleeves, ready to clean McAlpine Creek Park. For them, cleaning the park is another way to strengthen the camaraderie seen in Charlotte. By showing WeLoveU cares for their neighborhood, they hope more local residents will also participate in future cleanups.

While picking up trash along the Greenway, volunteers met several locals visiting the park in the daytime. A few of them expressed their thanks to the organization for their kind gesture of cleaning McAlpine Creek Park. Little by little, volunteers picked up food wrappers, plastic bottles, to even electrical poles. By the end of the cleanup, the bits and pieces they found along trails resulted in 30 bags of trash!

The WeLoveU volunteers realize that a beautiful community is possible when people come together, cleaning hand-in-hand. In fact, a message the WeLoveU Foundation highlights in the Clean WORLD Movement is that a healthy and clean environment is a requisite for a happy life. WeLoveU believes by working together, wonderful results can be achieved.

WeLoveU Volunteers Work to Restore George Washington Carver Center

WeLoveU Volunteers Work to Restore George Washington Carver Center

The Heart of the Community

A countless number of families in Norristown, Pennsylvania turn to the George Washington Carver Center for recreation, education, and as a place for the youth to learn good character. The long-standing community center has been serving the community for about 60 years as it draws near to its anniversary this June.

To ensure it remains as a neighborhood staple for many more years to come, over 50 WeLoveU volunteers banded together for a cleanup. This activity differs from previous cleanups as it marks the beginning of a series of volunteer service activities at the community center.

Many Parts Working Together

Since the George Washington Carver Center is dear to the hearts of the residents, WeLoveU volunteers set out to bring it back to life through their efforts. The large group came prepared to tackle the tasks. They came with brooms, shovels, rakes, trash bags, and gallons of paint.

Before starting the multi-step cleanup, the participants split into smaller groups. The first thing on their to-do list was to then remove all signs of trash and litter around the community center. Other groups stepped in to fix a hefty list of things: cleaning and replacing gutters, repainting the front lobby, repairing roof leaks, and replacing ceiling tiles in the bathroom and leading up to the outside pool.

While joyfully working, WeLoveU volunteer’s efforts ran into the late afternoon. In total, they filled 60 bags of trash and leaves, summing up to about 1,700 pounds of trash. WeLoveU happily reported these results to the directors and staff members, who were on site at the time of this cleanup.

India, a director at the George Washington Carver Center said, “People say they want to volunteer, but I [now] see people here who care about this facility and the community!”

Future Projects in Norristown

The WeLoveU volunteers left feeling a sense of accomplishment. However, they’re not done yet, as they plan to return for another big project at the center this summer. This isn’t the group’s first time carrying out a multi-step project in Philadelphia. Last year, WeLoveU volunteers completed a two-stage revitalization project at Tarken Park.

The foundation continues its environmental protection efforts under the Clean WORLD Movement. To date, the movement is carried out in more than 500 regions. To provide a safe and sustainable environment, WeLoveU encourages people across the globe to work together.

WeLoveU’s Sawgrass Nature Center Environmental Cleanup

WeLoveU’s Sawgrass Nature Center Environmental Cleanup

Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital

Located in beautiful Coral Springs, Florida, the nature center dedicates to rescuing and rehabilitating native animals before releasing them back into the wild. However, for animals deemed non-releasable call the Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital their permanent home. 

In addition to helping animals, the center provides a variety of interactive educational programs for adults, children, and visiting groups. 

The WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region mustered up volunteers to give a helping hand to the center by carrying out a cleanup on World Wildlife Day

#WeLoveWildlife

On Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 10 a.m., more than 30 WeLoveU volunteers traveling from Lake Worth, Florida stopped by the Coral Springs nature facility. The morning rays shined heavily on all participants with their vivid blue polos that read ‘WeLoveU.’

Volunteer Coordinator Heather Nelson welcomed the volunteers, explaining more about the center’s mission and their vision. Overall, the center expressed their gratitude for having so many supportive volunteers. That’s because they rely heavily on donations, grants, and volunteers with the upkeep of the facility.

Nelson said, “It really means a lot because without it, there is nothing we can do. Every living creature on the planet matters, whether it be wildlife or human. What you guys are doing is amazing! It is spreading love and community, so keep doing the work that you are doing!” 

Afterward, she led the group of WeLoveU volunteers on a tour of the facility, educating them on the animals they currently care for. Heather also brought out an owl, showing the volunteers who their environmental efforts will help in the long-run. 

Team Work Makes a Clean World 

After their walk-thru tour, the 30 volunteers organized into four teams. They grabbed their gloves, trash bags, hedge clippers, rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows provided by the nature center. Each team moved to their designated work site, ready to start!

A team focusing on the gardens removed prolific weeds. Meanwhile, the rest of the teams cleared out all the overgrown tall grass and weeds in areas the nature center will install an apiary for visitors to check out. An apiary is a collection of beehives where honey bees are kept.

Two and half hours later, WeLoveU volunteers tied up a total of 45 heavy-duty trash bags. This simple action inspired the Sawgrass Nature Center staff and visitors alike. 

Executive Director, Allan Rose, responded to the group’s efforts by saying, “We would like to book you to come back!”

He extended an invitation to WeLoveU to attend their 3rd annual Orchid Festival in April. About 800-1,000 people attend from all over the country to browse over 20 orchid, plant, and garden vendors. At the festival, volunteers can set up an area to spread awareness about WeLoveU and its initiatives. 

Volunteer Coordinator Heather Nelson said, “For us, it means everything! It is amazing to see people that really care about wildlife and about our environment, who are willing to come out when it is 90 degrees outside and trump through grass, snakes, spiders and bees to help us out.”

UN SDG #15 & #17

WeLoveU’s partnership with the Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife encompasses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals specifically Life on Land and Partnership for the Goals. By collaborating, ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda will be achieved. The nature center’s passion for protecting the animals and WeLoveU’s dedication to preserving the environment brought forth wonderful results. Both parties look forward to working together again. 

In addition, WeLoveU’s Clean World Movement continues to spread awareness around the world the importance of environmental protection in the face o climate change. 

Read more about WeLoveU’s environmental cleanups

 

Fifty WeLoveU Volunteers Tidy up North King Street in Virginia

Fifty WeLoveU Volunteers Tidy up North King Street in Virginia

Cleaner City, Cleaner World!

The start of every year is full of vitality, new opportunities, and most commonly—resolutions. It’s the same case for the International WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region. In 2019, WeLoveU is planning and mapping out fresh and new ways to positively impact the global family. In spite of new ideas, there’s nothing like WeLoveU’s roots of carrying out volunteer service.

More than 50 volunteers from various backgrounds joined together to tidy up the streets of Hampton, Virginia. In this worldwide effort to raise awareness about environmental protection, volunteers targeted a one-mile stretch along North King Street.

The volunteers working joyfully cleaned the area thoroughly and collected more than 200 bags of trash. The debris collected at this year’s cleanup ranged from items like bottles and mattresses to old tires and file cabinets, just to name a few. The total estimated weight of the debris from the cleaning frenzy is more than 7,000 pounds.

One Step at a Time

This cleanup was in partnership with the Hampton Clean City Commission and the Hampton Police Department. A local news station also supported the team by broadcasting WeLoveU’s efforts. By working with local agencies, WeLoveU can have better insight into the needs of the community. As a result, volunteers can work towards the same goal and work in unity.

All the participants hope to inspire neighbors and families locally and globally to make any and every effort to maintain a cleaner city and overall—a cleaner world. A cleanup of this size may be seen as small compared to the vast amount of land there is to clean. However, to WeLoveU volunteer’s, they’re motivated to help even in the slightest way.

Through these efforts, they’re working towards environmental protection in five main areas: clean water, oxygen, region, life, and descendants. These components make up the Clean WORLD Movement that WeLoveU has been working on for many years. This movement also works towards fulfilling the United Nations SDGs, specifically Climate Action, Life Below Water, and Life on Land.

WeLoveU Volunteers Kick-Off 2019 with Albemarle Road Cleanup

WeLoveU Volunteers Kick-Off 2019 with Albemarle Road Cleanup

It’s Go Time!

Tasked to clean their region, more than 30 volunteers in Charlotte, North Carolina set out to conquer their first cleanup of 2019. On January 20, the group of volunteers, who prepared to clean despite the cold weather, met on Albemarle Road.

The busy intersection in East Charlotte showed signs of heavy littering.  The volunteers walked the mile-long stretch on Albemarle Road. Along the way, they picked up debris from glass, plastic bottles, to remains from previous car accidents. In total, they filled up more than 20 bags of trash.

They lightened the neighborhood by removing trash from in between the bushes, the grass, and from the street curbs. The path they walked on Sunday in unity, paved the way for a greener neighborhood.

All of their efforts are in order to beautify the streets of Charlotte while creating a cleaner and safer environment. This volunteer service activity also caught the attention of local residents. Given the high volume of drivers, residents asked the group what they were doing exactly.

Cleaning One Area at a Time

Essentially, the WeLoveU participants were taking the first steps in purifying the world. The WeLoveU Foundation tackles five areas in environmental protection: clean water, oxygen, region, life, and descendants.

Each facet is equally important to maintaining a Clean WORLD. In fact, the Clean WORLD Movement is WeLoveU’s worldwide initiative to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection in the face of climate change.

Volunteers across the board enjoyed participating in this activity. The weather in Charlotte ranging between 40-50 degrees could not deter them from accomplishing what they set out to do. A local TV station also aired the volunteers Sunday afternoon cleanup.

Cleaning up the local streets is no trivial deed. A beautiful community is only possible when we make efforts to clean our neighborhoods hand-in-hand. Whether it’s cleaning streets, parks, or public facilities, WeLoveU encourages family and neighbors alike to participate in environmental cleanups.

WeLoveU Volunteers Adopt Comfort Tyler Park in Syracuse, NY

WeLoveU Volunteers Adopt Comfort Tyler Park in Syracuse, NY

Since adopting Comfort Tyler Park, WeLoveU volunteers collected 62 bags of leaves, 30 bags of weeds, and shoveled five inches of snow.

Syracuse—a city tucked in the corners of New York State—is home to the Erie Canal Museum and its well-known educational institution, Syracuse University. The city frequently implements new programs to better the lives of its residents and the community. One of those programs is the Clean-up ‘Cuse Trash and Litter Program, otherwise known as the “Adopt-a-Block” program.

Earlier this year, Mayor Ben Walsh announced the program to inspire residents to pick up trash year round. This sparked the interest of local WeLoveU volunteers who feel strongly about serving their neighbors through volunteerism. The group adopted Comfort Tyler Park in July that’s nestled by Comstock Avenue and East Colvin Street. Adopting a street or park requires monthly cleanups for two years.

“Make this world better, we’ve got this together!”

Since its adoption, WeLoveU volunteers visited the park to clean and maintain it regardless of the weather conditions. Because of the changes in season, volunteer’s tasks varied as the park required different types of maintenance. For example, in the summertime, volunteers picked up trash, pulled up weeds, and laid down fresh mulch. Meanwhile, in the fall, the group raked up leaves and shoveled snow in late November. Before cleaning, volunteers huddle and cheer together saying, “Make this world better, we’ve got this together!”

Thirty WeLoveU volunteers cleaned Comfort Tyler Park for the first time on July 22, 2018. Teams split up to pick up litter, remove weeds, and lay fresh mulch. A handful of volunteers traveled from Watertown and Rochester, New York.

Volunteers are seen removing trash intertwined in fences and removing dead branches on August 26, 2018. This effort is part of WeLoveU’s Clean WORLD Movement, making a pleasant and bright environment for neighbors.

More than two dozen volunteers were raking leaves and pulling up weeds on the playground in the fall. Volunteers typically spending 2 hours at each cleanupA local TV station covered the volunteer’s efforts.

WeLoveU volunteers braved the cold weather to shovel five inches of snow for the safety of the community. Unexpected snowfall in November covered the sidewalks encompassing Comfort Tyler Park.

During the last cleanup of 2018, volunteers diligently raked up leaves. Mayor Ben Walsh and Maria Maldonado-Lewis, the Director of Constituent Services, stopped by to greet the group. Read more about this cleanup on Localsyr.com.

The Streets in Suffolk County Are Abuzz With WeLoveU Volunteers

The Streets in Suffolk County Are Abuzz With WeLoveU Volunteers

Starting The Week Off Right

The town of Babylon was bustling with volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation Sunday morning on October 28, 2018. Fifty volunteers gathered in Babylon—a town in Suffolk County—that’s located in Long Island, New York. They came together for a street cleanup along Acorn Street from Deer Park Avenue to Straight Path. The total distance averaging about one mile. According to the town’s Chair Councilwoman Jacqueline Gordon, who attended the event, Acorn Street is an economic area.  A number of businesses are located there that generate commerce.

It’s especially important to keep those areas clean and presentable as it attracts residents and out-of-town visitors into the area. Determined to spread love through volunteerism, WeLoveU planned this community service to provide a better environment for all.  Councilwoman Gordon says that this was only the beginning of our ongoing relationship between the Town of Babylon and the WeLoveU Foundation as she kicked-off the event. She then shared a few more words thanking all the volunteers for sacrificing their Sunday morning to attend this cleanup and help the town. She continued by saying, “My hat goes off to you, I salute you.”

Working as One

The cleanup started at 9 a.m. and the group raked leaves up and down the street, collecting garbage until about 11 a.m. Working together brought great results. To clean efficiently, the work was divided into three parts. The volunteers filled roughly 170 bags of trash, leaving the street spotless. While cleaning, people came to the WeLoveU tent to know more about the foundation. The volunteers played a brief introduction video about the organization that depicts its history, diversity, and number of volunteer activities worldwide.

 After watching, she extended her words to WeLoveU’s Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah saying, “I was completely amazed of the numbers of people you’ve been able to mobilize, and the number of people you have involved in the WeLoveU movement has exponentially impacted millions of people.”

In addition to Councilwoman Gordon, Chief Robert Macaluso from the Deer Park Fire Department, and Ambassador Genine Rigney from Deer Park’s Beautification Department also joined the event. The fire chief expressed his gratitude as he believes such an event helps everybody. He added words of encouragement saying, “I think you guys are doing a great job.”

WeLoveU Volunteers Tackle Philadelphia’s Litter on Summerdale Avenue

WeLoveU Volunteers Tackle Philadelphia’s Litter on Summerdale Avenue

Philly’s Efforts for a Cleaner City

Philadelphia—the city of brotherly love—launched a Zero Waste campaign to study the litter patterns and conditions of the city’s streets, vacant lots, transit stations, and other areas to name a few.

The city published an interactive litter index map online to illustrate neighborhood litter ratings throughout the city. In particular, the Oxford Circle section scored a litter index of four; the survey rating scale measures from one (cleanest) to four (most littered). In order to resolve this, a large cleanup effort is required or the use of heavy machinery to remove debris.

Tackling Litter Together

To help the city fulfill their goal of zero litter, 60 WeLoveU volunteers joined forces to clean the Oxford Circle neighborhood on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Specifically, they planned to clean a two-mile stretch along Summerdale Avenue.

This isn’t the first time volunteers have cleaned Philadelphia either. Recently, volunteers carried out a cleanup and revitalized the Tarken Park & Recreation Center and planted wildflowers for cleaner air. These activities were also carried out alongside Pennsylvania State Representative Jared Solomon who supports WeLoveU’s initiatives.

On Sunday morning, volunteers came ready with their brooms, shovels, and trash bags to tackle the task. Their goal was to restore the neighborhood streets by removing all the litter and trash. By doing so, the residents can enjoy a clean and safe area.

During today’s efforts, the WeLoveU volunteers filled 50 trash bags with litter, metal, glass, and other debris from the streets and sidewalks.

Community Support & WeLoveU’s Resolution

Dozens of neighbors came out of their homes to show their appreciation and thank the volunteers. Seeing the teams of WeLoveU volunteers in their signature blue shirts, commuters stopped their cars as they drove by to thank them for their hard work and care.

The WeLoveU Foundation will continue its efforts in Philadelphia to provide a safer and more sustainable environment. By working together with community leaders, WeLoveU hopes to encourage all people of the global village to make united efforts to achieve and maintain a clean environment.

The revitalization efforts are part of a global campaign called the Clean World Movement. WeLoveU launched this initiative and is seen in more than 500 regions worldwide. Click here to learn more about the Clean World Movement.

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