Philadelphia – Today, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Fairmount Park Conservancy Executive Director Rick Madger, and other city officials and partners joined community members in a groundbreaking ceremony for $1.5 Million in renovations to the Wissinoming Playground and Park. The forthcoming renovation project is the result of a partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Philadelphia Water, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society(PHS). PHS created a renovation plan that is reflective of the community’s desires, while addressing the major stormwater issues in the park. The renovated park will have a new playground, sprayground, improved path circulation, new site furnishings, landscape plantings, a renovated picnic grove, security cameras and two rain gardens.
“I am pleased that such substantial renovations are taking place at the historic Wissinoming Park. These type of transformative renovations need to happen at many more of our parks and recreation facilities,” said Mayor Kenney. “The Rebuild initiative will also allow renovations of this scale across the city”
The Friends of Wissinoming Park and other community members were excited to see the renovation to their neighborhood park begin. It’s been four years since the design process was initiated for the park renovations.
“Fairmount Park Conservancy has been working with the community around this park for some years now through our Park Stewardship Program, so it’s wonderful to see their plans come to fruition,” said Rick Magder, executive director of Fairmount Park Conservancy. “We are grateful for the commitment and ingenuity of volunteer groups like Friends of Wissinoming Park, who help us advance our goal of maintaining and revitalizing public parks throughout the city for all to enjoy.”
Mayor Jim Kenney also took the National Wildlife Federation’s “Mayors’ Monarch Pledge,” committing to take actions designed to save pollinators, with an emphasis on the monarch butterfly – an iconic species whose population has declined 90% in the last 20 years.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see that the city of brotherly love has no shortage of love for wildlife. The leadership of Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney, has allowed for the city of Philadelphia to be named the 300th city to take NWF’s Mayors Monarch pledge,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “By working with leaders like Mayor Kenney and his colleagues, we will ensure that monarch butterflies and other pollinator species are protected and every American child has a chance to experience these majestic butterflies in their backyards and communities.”
Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia have partnered to create a work of art on the Wissinoming Recreation Center that uplifts the community and inspires goodwill. The work of art is in response to the vandalism of Jewish headstones Mt. Carmel Cemetery, located directly across the street from Wissinoming Park.