Pomp and Circumstance and Pride: W Rockland Street in PMBC’s Clean Block Contest

PMBC judges and block residents listen to Emaleigh talk about the block's history and recent accomplishments.

By Ainé and Emaleigh | The recycling and trash was picked up early. Then came the voices of everyone on the block, as neighbors worked together on finishing touches to prepare W Rockland Street for judgement day. You see, W Rockland Street is one of thirty blocks across the city in this year’s Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee’s (PMBC) Clean Block Contest and is a contender for the PMBC Neighborhood Transformation Award for Beautification Projects. In the annual contest, blocks are judged on beautification, cleanliness, property improvements and perhaps the most important, the efforts and participation level of the block residents. Let’s say that last part again: The efforts and participation level of block residents. And that, means everything.

On October 4, we awoke to the sounds of chatter and brooms everywhere. Sweep. Sweep. Sweep. Balloons were tied to fences, homemade signs hung up, a tent was pitched and cakes, drinks and lots of food hit the tables (and the grills). As the afternoon came, sirens blared and a police escort ushered in the PMBC trolley and a caravan of city vehicles. The judges had arrived! With 50+ new guests on the scene, W Rockland Street came alive.

Our junior block captain Marianna, home from school early, did not miss a beat grabbing the mic and welcoming the crowd. We gave a presentation overviewing W Rockland Street’s accomplishments this past year. Then the judges walked the block and talked with neighbors about their work and community. The atmosphere was like a birthday party. Celebratory. Lots of conversation and spirit. When the judges departed, we decided to keep the block closed off for the rest of the afternoon, as kids played in the street, neighbors talked in groups and the cook-out continued.

Winners for PMBC’s contest will be announced in November. Good luck to W Rockland Street and congratulations to all of the blocks nominated!

It just so happens, we have some family competition in the mix. Our brother Michael Ardron and the 1800 Block of South Napa Street are also in the running. Michael is the President of The Greater Grays Ferry Estates Homeowners Association (GGFE-HOA). We hope he doesn’t win. Kidding, kidding.

PMBC is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Streets Department. Learn more about it!

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