Scranton City Pride spring cleanup program resumes, once again citywide

May 21—SCRANTON — After a pandemic pause, a community cleanup/planting program will resume citywide for a week in June.

Nonprofit organizations Scranton Tomorrow and NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania will join forces with the city to relaunch a Scranton Tomorrow program called City Pride from June 5 to 12, leaders of the three entities announced Thursday from Scranton Tomorrow's headquarters at 307 Linden St.

Scranton Tomorrow leads the city's downtown economic development efforts, while NeighborWorks provides programs and services for responsible home ownership, affordable housing, financial guidance and neighborhood revitalization.

Scranton Tomorrow began City Pride in the mid-1990s as an annual week of spring cleanups and plantings throughout the city.

Over the years, City Pride grew into a Scranton Tomorrow signature project, annually drawing more than 1,000 volunteers pitching in on over 30 projects in parks, neighborhoods and business districts, said Scranton Tomorrow President and CEO Leslie Collins.

In recent years, Scranton Tomorrow reduced the scope of City Pride to the downtown, and the program paused last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. Now, City Pride will once again go citywide, as a joint venture with NeighborWorks.

"We are very excited to announce the reboot of City Pride, as we form a new Scranton City Pride project," Collins said.

The revamp coincides with NeighborWorks celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, said NeighborWorks President and CEO Jesse Ergott.

"One of the things we try to do is to connect our neighbors who want to help with neighbors and places who need them," Ergott said. "We make connections with neighbors and that's what City Pride is about."

The weeklong event allows anyone to take part, individually or in groups, through neighborhood or civic associations, or school, business or other community organizations, Ergott said.

Projects include raking, sweeping, removing litter, weeding, planting, pruning and painting.

"There's a way for everybody to participate," Ergott said.

The program also will dovetail with the easing of pandemic restrictions and give people an outlet for community service, Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti said.

"People want to help. We have to give them a platform to help," Cognetti said. "As we go into summer and come out of COVID, let's activate that energy, that community spirit."

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