With shovels in hand, about 20 Hampden residents gathered March 23 for a "work party" to landscape Elm Avenue Park at 34th Street.
"We're hoping to wrap up a large portion of the renovation with this work party," said organizer Jay Lazar.
The small park has been neglected in recent years and became a haven for drug dealers and loitering teens, who urinanated in the park, The Sun reported in 2008.
The landscaping, funded with a $4,000 grant from the Wyman Park-based Parks and People Foundation, was the second phase of the park improvement project, which started late last year when Baltimore artist Charles Lawrence painted a mural on the rear wall of a house overlooking the park at Elm and Powers Street. The mural was funded with a $10,000 grant from PNC Bank, Lazar said.
The mural was unveled officiaklly in December, 2011, with a rubbon-cutting ceremony.
The wall is roughly 55 feet wide and 25 feet tall, Lazar said.
Children as young as 7-year-old Izze Powell helped dig holes for trees, while adults like Ashley Boycher loaded mulch.
Those too young to help did what Logan Slaski, 5, and Raiden Spagnolo, 3, did. They played in the park — which is what it's there for, after all.