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The greener the better

It was with deep gratitude that I read the article by Mark Zimmaro requesting volunteers to clean up our South Philly parks and green spaces during the Veterans Day weekend (“Time to clean up your park,” Nov. 8). I was especially happy to see on the long South Philly park list my local Columbus Square (1200 Wharton St.).

Columbus Square has been a center for recreation as long as I can remember. And for all that time, the park has, of course, needed care and repair. To me it looks better than ever.

Today Columbus Square has special fenced areas for sports, recreation equipment and a really precious grass dog park. There are trees all around the perimeter. Of course all these sections require constant maintenance. Autumn is a really necessary time for this activity due to fallen leaves and litter from summer events.

Zimmaro’s report pays special tribute to the volunteer Park Friends Network under the auspices of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. This volunteer group has spent 30 years preparing parks for winter. Am glad they predicted dry and mostly mild weather for the whole Love Your Park weekend – just right for gardening.

I always give special thanks to our dear founder William Penn who planned to make his “City of Brotherly Love” a “greene countrie towne.” He even included in his street grid 5 large open squares that still exist. He knew how these green open spaces would improve the value of surrounding real estate.

Following that tradition, we have multiple parks and trails, including along our two rivers; gardens all over Independence National Historical Park; and our vast Fairmount Park with trails, creeks and more. It feels sometimes as if Philadelphia is inside a park.

So thanks to all these volunteers for continuing the vision of William and Hannah Penn. The greener our town is, the better for all of us.

Gloria C. Endres

Stop shooting each other

Gun violence is something that will go away by our elected officials. On March 14, President Biden announced actions of an executive order to reduce gun violence by maximizing the benefits of the Safer Communities Act. The acts outlined were: keeping guns out of dangerous hands, ensuring the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act mental health funding, helping those dealing with the grief and trauma resulting from gun violence, accelerating law enforcement efforts to identify and apprehend the shooters menacing our communities, encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to issue a public report analyzing how gun manufacturers market firearms to minors, making schools safer and expanding community violence interventions.

A lot of people are frustrated with our political system and scared of what will happen any moment in a neighborhood because of crime and gun violence happening frequently. People also still have the mindset in today’s generation of not trusting the police. The police have to have better community outreach for all people and locations they are protecting.

But as concerned constituents, you really have to look at the politicians and what they are doing to really curb the violence. What’s really honestly going through our elected officials’ mindset and are they coming up with new legislation that will get illegal weapons off the streets.

All this gun violence is pure hatred, and it has a bigger role mentally in a person. It’s all a matter of the mind and the situation. It is not self-defense at all. It is simply the desire to kill. It is happening so regularly, it seems there will never really be a way to stop gun violence.

People need to stop shooting each other and think twice because there would be no one to save them from the consequences.

Alim Howell

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