Berlin involves tourists in park-cleaning scheme

3rd of September 2019
Berlin involves tourists in park-cleaning scheme

Berlin is offering holidaymakers a free tour - in exchange for litter-picking in one of the city's parks.

Cigarette butts, corks and broken glass are a permanent feature of parks in the districts of Pankow and Mitte. But as part of a new "Clean City" campaign, administrators will be offering tourists a free guided tour in exchange for picking up rubbish for an hour.

Organisers want to raise awareness of the fact that public littering is a shared responsibility. "It's all about attracting attention and appealing for such garbage to be avoided," says Pankow district councillor Rona Tietje. "Tourists come here because they like the city - not to disturb local residents or get on their nerves. So they can now give something back in the shape of a small, green footprint."

She says another reason for staging the campaign is to ease tensions between tourists and locals, which often arise due to issues such as noise and litter.

The city's Pankow and Mitte districts are cooperating with international city tour provider Sandemans New Europe to set up the scheme. Mauerpark is popular due to its central location and its history, being part of the former "death strip" that divided the East from the West.

A free guided tour before the cleaning session provides tourists with background information on the history of the Berlin Wall plus insights into life in the former German Democratic Republic. Participants are then equipped with brightly-coloured vests, gloves and garbage bags for the clean-up.

Around 70 people took part in the first event, held in Mauerpark on August 26. Two similar events will take place on September 9 and 23 at the Ernst-Thälmann-Park.



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