PP&R

Philadelphia Water Loves Our Parks

Some of the Green City, Clean Waters improvements at Dickinson Square Park. Credit: Philadelphia Water
Some of the Green City, Clean Waters improvements at Dickinson Square Park. Credit: Philadelphia Water

With the fall Love Your Park day of service upon us, we’ve been thinking about how much we love our parks and what the folks over at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation do every day to care for those spaces, making sure they are clean and safe.

Of course, with Fairmount Park’s historic role (in part) as a natural preserve designed to protect the city’s source water, you could say we’ve been a fan of Philly’s parks right from the beginning.

Today, Parks and Recreation is a vital partner in our Green City, Clean Waters program.

Greening Smith: What We're Doing with Eagles' Connor Barwin

Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagels speaks at the 2nd annual MTWB Foundation concert.
Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles speaks at the 2nd annual MTWB Foundation concert.

Philadelphia Water selected West Passyunk’s Smith Playground for Green City, Clean Waters improvements way back in 2012. While we were busy doing community outreach and design for the popular 7.5-acre recreation area, located at 25th Street and Snyder Avenue, we also happened to develop a great relationship with Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles and his Make the World Better Foundation (MTWB).

That led to our working together to rebuild the Ralph Brooks Park in nearby Point Breeze, which is currently under construction. When finished, the park will have new basketball courts, new play equipment, sidewalk improvements, tree plantings and a rain garden to manage stormwater runoff from the site.

It’s been such a hit, MTWB decided to bring the synergy that made Ralph Brooks Park a success to Smith, where we were already laying the ground for green stormwater improvements. Barwin held his second MTWB fundraising concert at Union Transfer in June, and generous giving resulted in $300,000 for Smith improvements. Tickets for the sold-out show made up over $150,000 of that, and Barwin matched the sales for the rest.

From MTWB:

Revitalization of South Philadelphia’s Smith Playground will provide major improvements to the 7.5-acre park including the Recreation Center building and adjacent play spaces, new football and baseball fields and the installation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure by the Philadelphia Water Department. Key partners on the project include Urban Roots, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Philly Rising.

So, what will our work bring to the Smith renovations? We’re contributing an estimated $500,000 to install four green stormwater tools at the site.
They include:

• A  basin beneath the soccer field at the southwest side of the park

• A basin beneath the sidewalk on the west side of the park

• A rain garden between the sidewalk and the basketball courts

• A rain garden on a paved area at the corner of 25th and Snyder

Besides enhancing the beauty of the site, these improvements will capture the equivalent of 2 SEPTA buses of water almost every time it rains—water that would otherwise be rushing into local sewers and waterways. The stormwater tools will mostly handle runoff coming from 25th Street, with a total of 1.66 acres of hard, impervious surface draining into the basins and rain gardens, where it will slowly filter into the earth and water table. That means less local flooding during rain events and healthier local waterways.

"I want to thank Union Transfer, the musicians and sponsors for another year of unwavering support," Barwin said after the concert. "Not only did we aim to put on an entertaining show for fans, but all proceeds will go towards transforming South Philly’s Smith Playground into a safe and enjoyable place for the community. I am humbled to live in a city that is filled with so many people who want to make their neighborhood, and the world, a better place to live, to grow and to learn."

We’re proud to be working with Barwin, MTWB, Urban Roots, Parks and Recreation and all the other partners, and we’re blown away at the generosity of everyone who contributed to make this public space better for all the West Passyunk residents who use the space and live near Smith.

Our green infrastructure construction at Smith is set to begin during summer 2016 and will take 4-6 months to complete, so stay tuned for more updates!

Big Green Block: Phase II Complete!


Philadelphia zip code 19125, known for the community’s dedication to sustainability, will celebrate the latest improvements to  the Big Green Block on Saturday, July 20th with an official ribbon cutting event. The Big Green Block is a large collaborative project between the New Kensington CDC, the Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Mural Arts Program.The first phase of theproject turned the Kensington School of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) into a ‘green’ hub, becoming the first high school in the country to earn LEED platinum certification. Along with the school, Shissler Recreation Center has ball fields, a basketball court, tree trenches and rain gardens, all managing stormwater runoff and pollution. Additionally, phase two of the project has enhanced the site with a new spray park, dog park and more!



On July 20th From 11 a.m. to noon, the New Kensington CDC will honor and celebrate the collaboration with public tours of the site. If you are interested in learning about how you can manage stormwater at your own home, arrive early for a rain barrel workshop, hosted by the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP), at 9 a.m. Meet for all at the Shissler Recreation Center, 1800 Blair Street. Note, the rain date for this event is July 21st.



For any questions or concerns, please contact Diana at NKCDC, 215-427-0350 x104 or djih@nkcdc.org.

"The Oval" to Open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer, the familiar oval parking lot in front of the Art Museum will become Philadelphia’s ““new shape of fun.”  Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PP&R) is recreating Eakins Oval with the help of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the William Penn Foundation and the City of Philadelphia. “The Oval” is going to be home to community programing and activities for all ages throughout the rest of the summer. Mural Arts will paint over the entire lot and PP&R will construct Philadelphia’s very own boardwalk – complete with a sand beach. The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center will provide tours and hands on education about Philadelphia's water. 

The pop-up park will open July 17th through August 18th, Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Each day will have specific free programming (see below), but you can expect interactive games, education and environmental programs, live entertainment, movies and food trucks on a daily basis. To learn more about this new initiative, visit Phila.gov or call 215-683-3600. You can also find The Oval on Facebook and on Twitter @TheOvalPHL!

Programming Includes:

Tuesdays- Wellness

Wednesdays- Arts & Culture

Thursdays- Environment

Fridays- Food & Flicks

Saturdays- Live Music Series

Sundays- Family Fun Day

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