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Detroit Mower Gang Hosts Annual Competitions To Clean Up Parks And Playgrounds In Their Community



  • Many of the parks and recreational facilities in Detroit are abandoned, overgrown, and filled with litter.
  • For this reason, members of the community started Detroit Mower Gang that volunteers to clean up these parks in their neighborhood.
  • This year, the group hosted a competition between their members to see who could clean up most of the parks.

Detroit is home to hundreds of parks and recreational facilities. However, the financial capacity of the local government is limited that resources could not maintain all these parks, leaving many of these facilities abandoned, overgrown, and filled with litter.

This is where the Detroit Mower Gang comes in. This group of people spearheads activities that call in individuals with mowers and weed whackers to clean up their parks, all to keep safe spaces for their children to play outdoors.

This all started in 2009, after taking his newly-purchased lawn tractor to clean up one of the local parks in the community. Tom Nardone established the group after understanding that there is a need for such.

“When the city was getting close to filing for bankruptcy there were more than 300 parks in Detroit and the city said it could only care for like 72,” he told Detroit News.

Tom Nardone started a Facebook group to recruit members from their community that shares similar interests. Now, more than a decade later, Detroit Mower Gang holds Motown Mowdown, a cleaning competition between members.

The members compete for the championship belt in this annual event. The competition lasts for 12 long hours and the objective is simple: the players would have to clean up abandoned parks and playgrounds in their community.

The competition will be judged based on who gets to do most of the mowing and trimming of the grass, picking up garbage that litters the parks, repairing the playground equipment, and anything that makes parks safer for families in the community to visit.

There are 25 volunteers this year. The competition cleaned up Hammerberg Playfield in Detroit and 10 other parks and playgrounds in the community. This competition takes a lot of work, but they say that the reward for doing this is more than worth it.

“The reaction from people when they see what we’ve done is always so special,” said member Hannah VanEckoute. “Sometimes the grass is so tall kids can’t even get into it and then the smile on their faces as we leave is such a great accomplishment.”

This is a group with a purpose. It takes special people to understand the need and deliver on their promise to preserve parks and recreational facilities, especially when it is done for others’ benefit. Thank you, Detroit Mower Gang!

Source: Inspire More