A small group with ties to Friends of Vernon Park, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and the city's Department of Parks and Recreation spent a few hours sprucing up a central Germantown green space on Wednesday.

Part of ongoing efforts to keep Vernon Park moving forward, the group focused on removing weeds and invasive plants from the rain garden, and fixing up tree barriers.

Rain gardens help store and purify rainwater where it falls and allows it to soak into the ground, helping ease demand on the city's sewer systems.

The Vernon Park rain garden uses mostly native plants such as the Iron Weed plant and various flowers.

Invasive plants in the garden — the Siberian Elm (estimated in the thousands), Smart Weed and Mulberry Tree saplings — were removed.

Pipes underneath the garden had started to clog with silt so a pipe-jetting contractor had been hired to flush them out.