Protecting the Wissahickon: City shuts down Lincoln Drive for clean up

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A traffic jam in Northwest Philadelphia on Saturday was for good reason; The city closed a two-mile stretch of Lincoln Drive for a cleanup.

Friends of Wissahickon volunteers have partnered with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to pick up trash along the normally busy road to keep the litter out of the water.

“We want to live here and we want to inspire others to live here too,” said Brittany Andrews, who volunteered with about 60 other people.

“This road is awful to drive, so it’s nice that they closed it today so we can get on that and clean up a bit,” she said.

The city closed Lincoln Drive from Wissahickon to Ridge Avenues for eight hours for the cleanup, backing traffic in Germantown, East Falls and Manayunk but also giving volunteers a rare opportunity.

“It kind of feels like a dream. You don’t realize how beautiful Lincoln Drive is until it’s closed and you can walk down it and enjoy all the nature that surrounds it,” said Shawn Green.

Volunteers felt the cleanup was important because Lincoln Drive runs alongside Wissahickon Creek. Organizers say keeping litter out of the water is important.

“Wissahickon Valley Park is a watershed and its primary purpose is to protect the drinking water of residents in Northwest Philadelphia,” said Green, adding that his group was able to collect 127 garbage bags.

“You can tell there are a lot of car accidents. There are car parts, hubcaps, all kinds of stuff,” said Katherine Pistorius.

Although the work was unsightly, the volunteers said it was also rewarding.

“It’s nice to see how much less garbage there is, especially plastic bags because of the city ban.”

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