Submitted by: Daniel M. Brown, Account Executive, Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.

Seasonal allergies could not stop a group of young professionals from doing their part to get city parks and gardens ready for summer. On Saturday, May 7, members of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) teamed up with the Urban Tree Connection. The mission of the Urban Tree Connection is to assist urban, low-income communities to revitalize their neighborhoods by transforming abandoned open spaces into safe and functional places that inspire and promote positive human interaction.

A motivated group of YPN volunteers were directed to the Rose Garden near 53rd and Parrish Streets in West Philadelphia. The garden is used as a place of relaxation for the tenants of the Senior Center located next door. Residents of Parrish Street also see it as a picturesque part of their neighborhood.  The garden had been overrun by weeds, a 2-foot stack of tree limps lay in the center of the garden, and trash was as visible from the sidewalk as the roses were. The transformation made with three hours of work was incredible!  The presence of active volunteers brought residents out to help in the effort. “It was inspiring having kids from the community join us as we cleaned up the garden that was right across the street from their houses. One of my favorite parts of the volunteer events through YPN is the ability to reach out to the community and interact with the people we are helping,” said Chris Hanlon, one of the volunteers and a member of the Volunteer Committee.

A huge thank you goes out to the volunteers who got down and dirty on Saturday and to Sue Witte from the Urban Tree Connection who coordinated the event. If you are interested in learning more about Urban Tree Connection, you can “Like” them on Facebook, keyword : Urban Tree Connection or visit their website at

View photos from the event.