Comcast Cares Day Targets Druid Hill Park
Stacy M. Brown | 5/2/2014, 6 a.m.
BALTIMORE Druid Hill Park just got a makeover.
On Saturday, April 26, the Comcast Cable Company sponsored a massive landscaping, weeding, mulching and tree replacement job as part of the 13th annual “Comcast Cares Day.”
More than 300 volunteers pruned, weeded, mulched and replaced trees, cleaned up trash and put together hand-made hula-hoops for city children in a large-scale refurbishing that’s scheduled to began at 8 a.m.
“People are always amazed at what we’re able to accomplish,” said Donna Rattley Washington, Comcast’s regional vice president of government and community affairs. “But, each year, we look around and find where there’s a need. Druid Hill Park is a real historic landmark and we will come in, build a fence, do some landscaping, build a hula-hoop and it’ll be a great experience,” she said.
Since 2001, Comcast Cares Day has left its mark as the country’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort. That year, during the inaugural Comcast Cares Day in the Baltimore area, more than 350 volunteers and officials were joined by then-Mayor Martin O’Malley in working to clean up and enhance Winston Middle School.
The following year, in 2002, over 400 Comcast and their employees tackled the cleanup of three locations, the Clarence Perkins Homes Community Center in Baltimore, Dundalk Middle School in Dundalk and the Georgetown East Elementary School in Annapolis.
Volunteers spent the day removing debris, painting, bagging garbage and performing landscape work while also making minor repairs to the schools’ equipment and facilities.
And, one year ago, volunteers from the cable company helped to beautify the grounds of the Towanda Recreation Center in Park Heights when, in partnership with the Parks & People Foundation, they planted shrubs, removed vines, painted benches and performed maintenance on the facility’s basketball courts.
Rattley Washington said more than 500,000 volunteers have contributed over 3 million volunteer hours since the program’s inception and the Comcast Foundation has awarded more than $14 million in grants to partner organizations to match the efforts of Comcast Cares Day volunteers, many of whom are employees of the cable company.
“The employees get to see the hard work they put in, which they do on their day off. We usually take videos and pictures and show it to them and they really appreciate it,” Rattley Washington said.
The Druid Hill Park cleanup was planned in conjunction with Baltimore Green Works, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support environmental efforts that better the quality of life in Baltimore.
Other participants included Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings and officials from the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks.