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Saturday Spring Cleaning in Moscow's Parks

Ever dream of giving Lenin a scrubbing? Hundreds of cultural and historical figures await your sponge on spring cleaning day in the parks.

Fancy some fresh air and the chance to do a good deed for the planet? Moscow parks are undergoing their annual spring clean over the next two Saturdays and you are invited to lend a hand. In return volunteers will enjoy music, games and entertainment as they spruce up the city's green areas ready for that long awaited warmer weather.

"Everyone can take part in the clean-up. We will be giving out all the necessary equipment onsite, including bags, gloves, brooms and rakes," said Marina Lyulchuk, Director of Moscow parks, in a written statement to The Moscow Times. "Last year we had more than 50, 000 people come down to the parks for the event. This year we are inviting all interested Moscow residents to come again and help us prepare the parks for summer."

And it need not be a dull affair. With free food, performances from live bands, DJ sets and plenty of games for budding young do-gooders, you never knew cleaning could be so much fun. Here's a roundup of what's on offer in return for your altruism over the next two weekends.

Saturday 16

Saturday spring cleans will be going on in eight of Moscow's parks: Muzeon Arts Park, Sokolniki, Tagansky, Perovsky, Kuzminsky, Sadovniki, North Tushino and Lianozovsky.

In Muzeon Arts Park volunteers will clean sculptures, weed flowerbeds and sweep paths to music by Peter Dmitriev from Radio Jazz and Sasha Gishin of Bruce Ship. To say thank you the park will be running free tours of the sculpture collection and Cafe del Parco will offer complimentary sandwiches and drinks between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Sporty types can head to Tagansky Park and play Frisbee, ping pong or catch a lecture on healthy lifestyles and nutrition.

Perovsky Park has opted for a space-themed Saturday — don't ask why. Entertainment will be provided by actor Dmitry Brusnikin. Stewards dressed as aliens will direct proceedings and hand out sandwiches between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

I. Bubnov-Petrosyan / Mosgorpark

There's nothing that says "spring" more than sore shoulders and blisters from working in the garden.

Saturday 23

Gorky Park will hold free lectures on nutrition and there will be sports, games, dance lessons and floristry master classes. The park has partnered with ELLE magazine so expect beauty bars, design workshops and a sneak peek at spring make-up and styling. Events run from 11:00am until 6:00 p.m.

Krasnaya Presnya Park is holding a quest day in conjunction with "Serious Games" quest club. Actors in costume and special scenery will transport volunteers back in time. Players will be given a map and asked to solve riddles, puzzles and complete special tasks. Other highlights include workshops on carpentry, budget travel and birdhouse painting.

Events run from 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Hermitage Garden will hold a special lecture by guest speaker Nataly Osmann, one of the founders of the acclaimed photography project "Follow me to," as well as dance workshops and a DJ set. Events run from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Bauman Garden will have an art fair offering eco-friendly gifts and products as well as street food. Volunteers will be entertained by a DJ set as they clean. Events run 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Fili is offering a running-themed Saturday in conjunction with non-profit Sostiobeg. There will be an eco-race in which volunteers have to run and clean the park simultaneously — a nice trick that we'll enjoy watching. Events run from 12:00 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Kuzminki has gone gourmand in conjunction with popular vegetarian cafe Jagannath. Volunteers can learn how to cook up tasty and healthy dishes through cooking master classes. Events run from 10:00 am until 2:00 p.m.

Vorontsovsky Park will partner with Bioland, offering lectures on the environment accompanied by a brass band and workshops for children on how to care for plants. Events run 11:00am — 2:00 p.m.

Volunteers at Sokolniki will be split into two teams and asked to perform various cleaning tasks around the park. A quirky new bubble-gum pink flower garden will also be opened. Events run from 9:00 am until 7:00 p.m.

For more information in English about the parks, see www.moscow.info/parks. For more information in Russian about the parks and spring cleaning days, see mosgor-park.ru.

Contact the author at artsreporter@imedia.ru

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