Faced with the dumping of hundreds of tires below Whitaker Avenue and along the Tacony Creek Park Trail in early October, partners Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, United By Blue, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR), Philadelphia Water Department, and TTF shared resources and volunteers to remove the tires as quickly and sustainably as possible during two cleanup days on Wednesdays in early November. Over thirty volunteers from near and far, as well as a group of Penn Charter School students, lent a hand to pick up an incredible 9.8 tons (19,600 pounds) of tires and trash. With the 18 tons that PPR had picked up prior, this totals 55,600 pounds or 27.8 tons of trash and tires removed from Tacony Creek Park through this effort.
Short dumping along the roads along Tacony Creek Park and Frankford Creek has been a problem for many years. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation crews removed 18 tons of tires prior to the cleanup, but we wanted to address the issue as quickly as possible, so that the remaining tires would not attract additional dumping and to demonstrate to neighbors and users that we have a commitment to park maintenance.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (Michelle Dunn and Susan Miller) (Arianna McAnulty and Maria McDonald) provided two truck pickups and delivered the tires to a tire recycler, as well as sharing snacks! United By Blue generously provided gift cards of $75 to volunteers, as well as materials and giveaways. These partners also led the promotional effort through social media and emails.
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation provided a truck and incredible staff support (Thank you, Jason Mifflin) along with the Philadelphia Water Department (Maria Horowitz), who brought along a group of enthusiastic, hard-working students from Penn Charter School on the second Wednesday!
This kind of challenge requires organizations to work together. We are proud to work with these agencies and organizations committed to community engagement and a cleaner world. Please join us in thanking them! We look forward to working with them — and you — to find short-term and long-term solutions to illegal dumping in our critical green spaces.
Interested in being involved? We host regular cleanups. Contact Alex@ttfwatershed.org.