Into the great outdoors

Community volunteers planted trees and native plants, mulched and removed trash from the new trail. KEVIN COOK / FOR THE TIMES

Mayor Michael Nutter voyaged up to the Far Northeast on Saturday afternoon as he chose the new Poquessing Creek Trail in Parkwood to kick off the city’s fourth annual Love Your Park Week, described as “a celebration of Philadelphia’s diverse parks featuring eight days of service projects, fun events, educational programs, family activities and more.”

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, Councilmen Ed Neilson and Dennis O’Brien and other dignitaries joined the noontime party, which followed a three-hour service project during which community volunteers planted trees and native plants, mulched and removed trash from the new trail, which runs behind Junod Playground in Poquessing Creek Park. Members of the Friends of Poquessing Watershed and Friends of Pennypack Park, as well as the Parkwood Civic Association, joined the effort.

The Poquessing Creek Trail has become something of a hangout for the Nutter folks. When the 1.5-mile, 12-foot-wide hiking, bicycling and equestrian trail opened last December, Nutter was there for the ribbon-cutting. Michael DeBerardinis, the deputy mayor for environmental and community resources, joined his boss at both events.

The trail connects the city-owned Poquessing Creek Park with Benjamin Rush State Park. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, along with the city, shared the $1 million construction cost. A land trade involving the city and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation also made the project possible.

Additional cleanup events were scheduled Saturday at Pleasant Hill Park in East Torresdale, Wissinoming Park, Wilmont and Hedge Street parks in Frankford and Burholme Park. About 75 events were scheduled for the remainder of Love Your Park Week at locations throughout the city’s park system. For a full calendar of events, visit ••

Park love: Aaron Hoffman participated in the fourth annual Love Your Park Week beginning with a service day on Saturday, May 9, at Poquessing Creek Trail in the Far Northeast. KEVIN COOK / FOR THE TIMES