Eleanora Hewitt has 70 years of life behind her, a plastic hip and a reconstructed right foot, and none of it stops her from regularly walking up to Druid Hill Park from her house on McCulloh Street to pick up trash.
"I'm remade," said Mrs. Hewitt, enjoying breakfast in the park yesterday morning with hundreds of other volunteers taking part in a citywide attack on park trash.
"I come over here with my rakes and my gloves, my new hip and my new foot and no pains," she said. "You see people come along and drop trash and they're too lazy to bend their back and pick it up."
The volunteers on Parks Day 1991 worked in warm sunshine as litter patrols and bulk trash removal took place in parks and playground in every part of town, including Patterson Park, Coldspring, Wyman Park, Clifton Park, Carroll Park and Gwynns Falls Park.
"We've got groups all over the city, including the Eastside Trash Busters over in Patterson Park," said Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who gave out "The City That Reads" bookmarks to volunteers in Druid Hill Park in the morning. "All summer long we'll have groups working with us."
The event began with a spring breakfast overlooking the reservoir in Druid Hill Park -- a feast of sausage, bagels and scrambled eggs for community leaders and volunteers served up by Baltimore-based Parks Sausage Co. The firm also gave the city lumber to build 50 picnic tables in Druid Hill, paid for the restoration of two classic gazebos there, and turned over a check for $2,500 for future cleanup efforts.
"The city has budget problems and everybody should jump in to help, it's everybody's park," said Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., president of Parks Sausage. "When I moved to Baltimore in the '50s, there was no downtown or Harborplace: It was Druid Hill Park, and the entire community used it. We simply have to take more care of it."
Sitting at one of the sausage king's new picnic tables was Bernette Jones, a 39-year-old West Baltimore resident who said she takes walks in the park about three times a week.
"During the week the trash is not bad; it's after a weekend when it's warm and the young people come out to drink beer and eat chicken and wash their cars and leave trash," she said. "If people would just pick up what they see around them it would be much better."
Over on the east side of town, just north of Highlandtown, members of the McElderry-Decker Community Association were painting over graffiti, mulching trees and picking up garbage in Ellwood Park, a small playground in the 400 block of North Ellwood Avenue.
Keith Noel, president of the civic group, invited any of the playground's neighbors who want to pitch in to keep the place tidy to attend the association's next meeting.
"The city gave us the paint and the mulch, and we supplied the volunteers, about 15 or 20 people," Mr. Noel said. "The [sausage] breakfast was too late for us. We were already out here working."