Parks Benefit from ‘Shape Up’ and ‘Big Help’ Efforts

     YOU KNOW it’s Spring when the parks fill with ball players, joggers, bikers, and dog walkers. Before the parks are ready, though, they need a spring cleaning.
     An all-out “Shape Up Parks” day is scheduled for Saturday, April 10, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.. The Department of Recreation and Parks reports that about 60 community groups, from neighborhood associations to schools, churches, athletic teams and college fraternities, will be involved in a massive clean-up effort.
     All interested in getting involved in the cleanup are encouraged to come to any of these parks, ready to work (the Parks Department will supply trash bags and gloves, and haul away trash and debris):

     For more information about the Shape Up Parks event, call 396-7458.


     This one-day clean-up effort will be supplemented by a new ongoing park support program called The Big Help Campaign. The kickoff for this program, which links kids with their neighborhood parks, will be held on Shape Up Day at the Middle Branch Park, 3301 Waterview Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Deidré S. Gold, a spokesperson for the Department of Recreation and Parks, says officials expect about 1200 kids from the city’s recreation centers to be involved in this program.
     Baltimore’s urban park system is among 10 park sites nationwide to be chosen for inclusion in The Big Help Campaign, which is jointly sponsored by “Nickelodeon,” a cable TV family program channel. “Nickelodeon” will be broadcasting live from Middle Branch Park on kickoff day, featuring the Rug Rats and Big Help Game. Kids may have a chance to be on the show.
     During the ongoing Big Help program, kids will be involved in such activities as planting trees, mulching, cleaning the shoreline of the Patapsco River, participating in an environmental essay and art contest, making bird houses, and more.
     Kids can register at Rec Centers or at the Middle Branch event. Call the Big Help Hotline at 396-7012 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on April 10, or 396-0217.<

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This story was published on Apr. 7, 1999.