Christina Browning never wanted to see the expanse of graffiti she sees at her favorite city park.
Rather than complain about it, the 16-year-old sophomore at Williamsport Area High School has stepped up and done something.
Every Friday afternoon after school, she goes to the park with her cleaning supplies that she bought with her own savings and tries to wipe away ugly scribbling in pen and ink and marks that deface playground equipment at Young's Woods Park on Railway Street.
Christina Browning, 16, of Williamsport, spends every Friday in the spring and summer cleaning graffiti off surfaces on playground equipment and the basketball court in Young’s Woods Park, using her own money to purchase cleaning supplies and volunteering her time. With Earth Day today, city officials recently recognized the girl for her community contribution.
"If it doesn't get done, this park is going to get trashed," she said.
When asked why she took it upon herself to clean up the park, Browning said, "I grew up around here. I used to come here with my family to play volleyball."
Browning said her parents, Mystie Dronick and Michael Petruskevich, give her inspiration when they help contribute to her cleaning supplies fund, she said.
When Kim Whittington, a member of the city recreation commission, found out about Browning's efforts, in time for Earth Day, she thought Browning should be recognized.
Browning seemed overwhelmed when the Sun-Gazette visited the park and she showed the reporter the amount of graffiti on the playground equipment.
Browning has received a certificate of appreciation from Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and the city Recreation Department and its director Justin Simpson.
"I'd like to thank you for helping the city," Campana said. "It's encouraging for you to personally perform these positive duties and take pride in your neighborhood."
Her attention to cleaning the park also resulted in a visit by the Streets and Parks Department to be aware of the graffiti, Simpson said.