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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.

WeLoveU Hosts Family Health and Wellness Expo in Delaware

WeLoveU Hosts Family Health and Wellness Expo in Delaware

The International WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region hosts its very first Family Health and Wellness Expo in partnership with Councilwoman-at-Large Rysheema Dixon. 

Living a healthy lifestyle begins at home. With the right education and resources, several health issues affecting Americans today can be managed and in some cases, prevented. However, what happens when information isn’t easily accessible? It can stop individuals from making positive health choices, affecting not only themselves, but their family. 

Acting as a bridge, granting people access to proper health resources, WeLoveU stepped in by hosting a Family Health and Wellness Expo on March 24, 2019, at the H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club. The WeLoveU Foundation worked alongside Councilwoman Dixon, who they met last fall during the Christiana Care Book Drive; she sits on the Health, Aging, and Disabilities Committee in Wilmington. 

The Family Health and Wellness Expo

Early in the morning, WeLoveU volunteers from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York joined forces to transform the Boys and Girls Club gymnasium. They had stations for vendors, a stage for guest speakers and performances, and the children’s play zone.

The Delaware Joint Army and Air Color Guard opened the event by presenting the Presentation of the Colors followed by the National Anthem. After the ceremony, guest speakers came forward, one after another, welcoming guests and highlighting key points about health. Throughout the day, a variety of dance performances entertained the crowd. However, their dances contained an important message to stay active. One performance in particular,Let’s Move!is an anti-obesity national campaign created by Michelle Obama to raise a healthier generation of kids. 

I want to thank the WeLoveU Foundation and Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah for partnering with me to hold this event, and to ensure our families and citizens of Wilmington have access to healthy events such as this. This is our second event together. We actually did a literacy campaign at Wilmington hospital previously, where they donated over 1,600 books to the pediatric department at Wilmington hospital. Thank you for coming out this afternoon. Enjoy all the activities that we have for you today, and enjoy this wonderful afternoon as a family, as we share in addressing health issues.

Rysheema Dixon

Councilwoman-at-Large

Hand-in-Hand Learning Together

Nearly 20 health-related organizations attended the expo, offering spinal screenings, blood pressure checks, cooking demonstrations and more. The Family Health and Wellness Expo was open for several hours. This provided visitors with enough time to thoroughly stop by each station. The vendors gladly answered all their questions, even providing free brochures and contact information.

It’s equally important for kids to lead healthy lives as their families. Children also stopped by each station to learn. When they visited each station, they then moved on to the Children’s Play Zone. At the station, kids had their faces painted, received animal balloons, and played interactive games. 

New Castle County officers and Delaware State Troopers stocked their stations with coloring books, stickers, and drawstring bags for the kids. In addition, the officers and local firefighters gave tours of their cruisers and trucks.

Senator Christopher A. Coons extended his sincere congratulations to the WeLoveU Foundation for enhancing the quality of life for people throughout the world and U.S. Although the Senator was unable to attend, a representative came, delivering a letter signed from the Senator. 

“…Today’s Family Health and Wellness Expo serves as a reflection of all the hard work that the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation has put forth this year and years prior. I am truly grateful for the work that the International WeLoveU Foundation has done in continuing to safe guard our communities through volunteerism, community service and health awareness…”

From the time I got here and I drove up, the volunteers were so welcoming. They helped me get my materials out of the car. It’s just been great to see so many volunteers and people from the community very concerned and engaged in the importance of coming together to have events like this to promote health and wellness in our community—especially here in the city of Wilmington where I was born. I would love to do some type of international or even regional blood drive with your organization.

Nina Anderson

Doctor and Founder of Tova Community

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

 

WeLoveU Delivers 2,000 Books to Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital

WeLoveU Delivers 2,000 Books to Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital

WeLoveU’s Book Drive for the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital hopes to provide the youth with a story they can each treasure and call their own.

In the month of January, WeLoveU was abuzz spreading the news about their month-long book drive for the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. For the children and young adults who come near and far for treatment, they turn to books for courage, strength, and hope. This is especially true after speaking to Amy Glazer, Executive Director of Development, at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center.

“Books are used for distraction during medical procedures, and reading promotes relaxation during stressful times. The Child Life team at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital focuses on maintaining development during a child’s hospital stay. Reading is an important component in this mission,” says Amy Glazer. 

The hospital, outfitted and designed for the care of children aged from infancy to young adulthood, goes through plenty of books for their youthful patients to peruse. Each patient is allowed one book of their own to keep, from the time they check in the hospital until the time they return home. With the numerous families seeking care and treatment for their loved ones, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital could certainly use a helping hand themselves.

All Hands on Deck!

The WeLoveU Foundation put out a call to collect books for the children’s hospital, who provides each of its patients a book they can call their own. The goal at hand: collect 2,000 new children’s books. For the whole month of January, WeLoveU partnered with Barnes & Noble, sharing the book drive with neighbors, friends, families, and city officials.

The month-long drive garnered support from Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse (top left), Radio Hall of Fame DJ Bert Baron (top right), and more than 140 WeLoveU volunteers whose workplaces also participated by donating books. A donation even came through AmazonSmile from India!

With an overwhelmingly positive response and meeting their goal, the WeLoveU Foundation couldn’t wait to see the final result.

World Read Aloud Day

In the midst of the book drive, WeLoveU volunteers celebrated World Read Aloud Day on February 1, 2019. On this day, people around the world read aloud together and share stories advocating for literacy as a human right, which belongs to all people.

WeLoveU volunteers visited and read to children in the Princeton Young Achievers program in Princeton, New Jersey. It’s a unique after-school program at the YMCA that aims to improve students school performance and English language skills.

Lisette, a WeLoveU volunteer who read to the students said, “It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community in this way. I enjoyed reading aloud to the children today. Not only did we share a story, but we were able to share happiness and emotions between one another. Seeing the children smile and have fun in this way made me feel accomplished.”

Delivery!

On Thursday, February 7, 2019, WeLoveU volunteers packed all 2,000 books and drove them over to the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital for the big delivery.

A group of volunteers on-site helped set up the boxes and books for the group photo. Hospital personnel attending the book drive delivery included Vice-chair of Pediatrics Dr. Stephen Percy, Executive Director of Development Amy Glazer, Supervisor of Child Life Ellen Goldring, and Child Life Specialist Erika Bella.

The Vice President of the WeLoveU Foundation East Coast Region, delivered a brief speech on behalf of the organization. For some of the hospital staff, it was their first time hearing about WeLoveU and its mission. While others recognize us from the 2017 Toy Drive for the children’s hospital. 

Final Thoughts

“Having a donation of 2,000 books will provide many children and their families opportunities to escape from the stress of being in a hospital and read a good book together,” said the Executive Director of Development.

When asked about his thoughts were about the WeLoveU Foundation and their book drive, Dr. Stephen Percy (right) responded with a laugh saying, “Let’s do this every week!”

He continues saying, “I think its tremendous. What we do is not only share the books with them, but let them go home with books. I always tell parents the best thing you can do with your kids is read to them. This is a terrific start to have the resources to allow us to do that. Thank you very much for what you do and keep doing it. You’re making a difference in the world every day.”

Thanks everyone who participated, the book drive was a great success. The WeLoveU Foundation looks forward to having more events like this, working together to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that were set in 2015. This event in particular is a step closer to fulfilling Goal #4—Quality Education.

 

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.

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