The Trust for Public Land, The Phillies, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Team Up to “Paint the Town Red” and announce City’s Next “Green” Playground

March 27, 2013

The Trust for Public Land and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation announced today that Conestoga Community Playground will be the next public space in the city to be “greened” through the City and The Trust for Public Land’s Green2015 partnership. The announcement was made during the Phillies’ annual Paint the Town Red Week festivities held at the playground site, which is located in the Carroll Park neighborhood of West Philadelphia. 

Representatives on hand for the announcement included Deputy Mayor and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis, Adrian Benepe, The Trust for Public Land’s Senior Vice President of City Park Development, and Michael Stiles, Senior Vice President, Administration and Operations, Philadelphia Phillies.

In May 2012, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Parks and Recreation, The Trust for Public Land, the School District of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Water Department would partner to create vibrant green play spaces at ten school yards and recreation centers during the second phase of the City’s innovative Green 2015 Action Plan. The Conestoga Community Playground is the fourth site slated for green renovations through this partnership. 

“This is yet another exciting partnership for the City of Philadelphia and the Nutter Administration’s Green2015 efforts. We continue to advance the important work of greening and connecting of our community assets, parks and recreation centers and schoolyards,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor, Environmental & Community Resources/Parks and Recreation Commissioner. “With this new partnership and the community, Conestoga Community Playground will receive high-impact greening improvements to help enhance recreation and provide new amenities for children and families.” 

The partnership’s planned renovations of the two-acre portion of the Conestoga Community Playground will be designed through a community-driven process managed by The Trust for Public Land and will lead to the creation of a state-of-the-art play space with recreational amenities and “green infrastructure” elements, such as rain gardens, designed to capture stormwater from the site and surrounding streets. 

“The Trust for Public Land is honored to join the Phillies at today’s festivities with our major partners, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Water Department, to announce the City’s next green playground,” said Adrian Benepe, The Trust for Public Land’s Senior Vice President for City Park Development. “We are excited about the park development work we are doing in Philadelphia, one of the nation’s most innovative leaders in ensuring that its communities, like the one located near Conestoga Playground, have access to green space. We hope there will be more opportunities to bring together our partners and prospective funders to build green playgrounds in neighborhoods across the City, as part of our efforts to improve access to parks and make them more environmentally sustainable across the country.”     

During today’s “Phillies Paint the Town Red Week” festivities, students from the Mastery Charter School – Shoemaker Campus, who use Conestoga’s softball field for lacrosse, soccer, and flag football, were on hand, along with other members of the community, to learn more about the playground’s renovation plans and take part in a ceremonial "first pitch" and “Run the Bases” at Conestoga's baseball field.  

“The Trust for Public Land is always going to bat for the community, and the Phillies organization is honored to join them here today as we celebrate the future of this great new playground for children to enjoy all year long and for years to come,” said Michael Stiles, the Phillies’ Senior Vice President for Administration and Operations.

"The Philadelphia Water Department is committed to working with our partners across the City in an ongoing effort to go from "Grey to Green," shared Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Howard Neukrug.  “With friends and supporters like TPL, and PP&R, we will be able to accomplish our goals of a green and sustainable City over the next 25 years." 

Following the announcement, children were invited to “Run the Bases” with the Red Phanatic, Ballgirls, and Phillies broadcasters Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.

About The Trust for Public Land

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  Learn more at tpl.org (http://www.tpl.org/). 

About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is the City department that is most engaged in the lives of residents and visitors alike on a daily basis. Through its programs, policies and physical amenities, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation promotes the well-being of the City, its citizens and visitors, by offering beautiful natural landscapes and parks, historically significant resources, high quality recreation centers and athletic programs, along with enriching cultural and environmental programs. 

About the Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883.  The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park in the South Philadelphia section of the city.  For more information, visit  www.phillies.com.

CONTACT:

Simone Mangili, The Trust for Public Land, 267-519-5306, simone.magili@tpl.org

Deb Rinaldi, Philadelphia Phillies, 215-218-5391, drinaldi@phillies.com

Patrick Morgan, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, 267-438-7154, patrick.morgan@phila.gov