2023 Spring Cleanup Events Across Philly Watersheds

This is a guest blog, reposted from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). View the original post here.

Thank you, Philly Water for highlighting cleanup opportunities across the city, including our ongoing work in Tacony Creek Park.

Did you know that PWD makes our community engagement, program, improvement, and planning work in Tacony Creek Park possible? PWD funding has enabled us to support the TCP Keepers, a website and materials, lots of health, art, and other programs in addition to  regular cleanups and plantings. In addition, this support has leveraged public and private dollars for an even bigger impact on the park and its adjacent neighborhoods.

Help keep debris and litter out of our creeks and rivers.

Public Affairs | Thursday, April 13, 2023

Spring has officially sprung — that means it’s time to step outside, bask in warm weather, and volunteer with local cleanups!

Your small part plays a massive role in the health of our environment.

Popping up across the region this spring, these events help to keep litter out of sewer systems and waterways where debris, such as plastic bags and tires, can harm infrastructure and wildlife.

Check out several upcoming opportunities, including gatherings with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and our Waterways Restoration Unit, which support these efforts with extra staff and equipment to remove debris.

(And, don’t forget to sign up for our event updates for alerts about future watershed cleanups!)

Philadelphia Canoe Club Cleanup

When: Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Schuylkill River 600 Righters Ferry Rd Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Details: Participants can join PWD and Philadelphia Canoe Club to clean litter from the wooded banks of the Schuylkill River just across the banks from Manayunk and East Falls. This could include the removal of debris ranging from tires and abandoned household furniture to microplastics and snack packaging. Volunteers will meet at the water tower at Righters Ferry Rd. and Pencoyd Trail.

Details for Philadelphia Canoe Club Cleanup!

16th Annual 2023 Philly Spring Cleanup Cleanup

When: Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Locations across the city. Interested participants can register a neighborhood or park projector register as a volunteer for an existing project at phillyspringcleanup.com.

Details: Launched in 2008, this is the largest city-wide, single-day clean-up event in Philadelphia. Since its kickoff 16 years ago, a total of 200,000 volunteers have removed more than 11.4 million pounds of trash and 950,000 pounds of tires from city streets at nearly 6,750 project sites.

Register for the Philly Spring Cleanup

Multiple Weekly Cleanups at Tacony Creek Park

Bennett Compost Cleanup in Tacony Creek Park

When: Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where:  5650 Rising Sun Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19120

Details: All tools and supplies will be provided. No registration required.

Learn More

Aside from volunteer efforts, we also rely on green stormwater infrastructure to keep our waterways clean. The Tacony/Tookany Watershed in particular has some exciting green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) planned for the park.

Tacony Creek Stream GSI & Stream Restoration Project

Weekly Tacony Creek Care Day

When: Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. + one Saturday each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where:  E Olney Ave & E Clarkson Ave, Philadelphia 19120

Details: This cleanup includes removing tires. All tools and supplies will be provided, including work gloves, snacks, and water. Restrooms are not available. Please bring a reusable water bottle if you have one.

Register now!

Love Your Park Events

Established to ‘clean, green, and celebrate our public green spaces,’ Love Your Park, a coalition comprised of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and Park Friends Network, is hosting a lineup of cleanups this spring. Sites include Cobbs Creek Park, Tacony Creek Park, and the Rail Park.

Find one near you

Friends of Wissahickon Cleanups

The 2,000+ acre Wissahickon Valley welcomes volunteers to offer a little tender loving care to its creek and woodlands.

Friends of the Wissahickon regularly host various cleanup events throughout the spring and summer months.

Check them all out

Schuylkill Scrub

Every year, the Schuylkill Scrub is a watershed-wide clean-up initiative that ​takes place from March 1 through May 31.

The Schuylkill Action Network coordinates the effort but gives credit to the many partners who help reach the common goal: cleaning as many miles of road, stream, and parkland in the Schuylkill watershed as possible.

​Free supplies (trash bags, gloves, and vests) are provided through PWD, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, courtesy of PennDOT and PA DEP.

Learn more or register a cleanup

Darby-Cobbs Cleanups

The Darby Creek Valley Association will be hosting cleanups along the Darby-Cobbs Creek throughout April.

Several events are scheduled for Saturday, April 15, April 22, and April 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. These cleanups are popping up across the watershed, from Clifton Heights to John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.

See all locations and register!

Want to plan a community cleanup?

If you’re looking to host a cleanup in your neighborhood, you can initiate an event through the City’s Community Partnership Program (CPP). which loans equipment/supplies and coordinates bagged trash pick-up after a cleanup event.

Learn more →

Already have a cleanup planned?

Send your spring community cleanup events to waterinfo@phila.gov, and we’ll consider adding them to our running list!

We hope to see you at one of these events!

Community cleanups are a great way you can help keep our communities and waterways clean – and they’re fun! But if you can’t make it to any of these, don’t worry, there will be more.

To be notified of future volunteer opportunities, sign up for Water Department event updates!

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