The Lemon Hill Neighbors Association Organizes Cleanup in East Fairmount Park
All photos by Rachel Wisniewski
Shaun Cerborino, 26, has lived in Fairmount for two years now. In that time, he has walked his dog through Lemon Hill almost every day. Each time he noted the “overwhelming” amount of trash on the walking trails and thought to himself that someone needed to do something about the trash. Cerborino had a chance to put his thoughts into action after getting in contact with the Lemon Hill Neighbors Association (LHNA) via “Next Door,” a free social network app on which users can connect with other users who live in their neighborhood. The LHNA is a group of Fairmount and Brewerytown residents who meet monthly to discuss issues facing the East section of Fairmount Park and to plan volunteer activities. Cerborino became a member of the association about two months ago.
After meeting with Cerborino, LHNA members Paul Fugazzotto, Miranda Budine and Nissa Eisenberg expressed corresponding interest in creating a monthly event. Fugazzotto, Budine and Eisenberg have all been a part of the association for six years. Though they had personally only arranged “major cleanups” of Lemon Hill in the past, the group had received numerous requests for monthly cleanup events lately and were happy to oblige Cerborino’s wish. The culminating event occurred on March 11th from 10AM to 12PM. It was the first in a series of monthly park cleanups that are now slated to occur on the second Saturday of each month.
Despite blistering temperatures and a stiff breeze from the Schuylkill, about fifteen people showed up to aid the LHNA in their cleaning quest. Interestingly, the weather actually aided their efforts, as the lack of vegetation in the park made the rubbish more visible in addition to muting its odor. With hot coffee, hand warmers and trash pickers provided by the LHNA, the team of community members and their children that arrived split up amongst the Lemon Hill walking trails and began filling trash bags.
After picking up everything from cigar wrappers to used needles, beer cans and even a discarded mattress, the group wrapped up the afternoon with over twenty trash bags filled with litter. Cerbornio and the LHNA hope that as the park continues to become cleaner with each monthly event, Philadelphia residents will become more aware of the beautiful atmosphere that Lemon Hill offers. With any luck, an increase in public attention will cause an even larger difference in litter. The next cleanup is scheduled for April 8th as a part of the city-wide 10th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup. The exact meeting place is yet to be determined.