Parks for People—Philadelphia

William Dick Elementary School, PhildelphiaPhoto credit: Jenna Stamm

For the 80 percent of Americans who live in cities and metropolitan areas, urban parks and green spaces offer the closest outdoor recreation opportunity and touch of nature. Green2015—an independent study commissioned by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation—found that one in eight Philadelphia residents does not have easy access to a public park or green space within a ten-minute walk from home.

To help address the need for green space in Philadelphia's underserved neighborhoods, we established our Parks for People–Philadelphia program to work in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department, other public partners, and local communities and organizations. Together, we are creating outdoor green play spaces in the schoolyards and recreation centers that need them most.

Launched in 2012, our first transformed sites were the William Dick Elementary School and Hank Gathers Recreation Center in North Philadelphia. Read the design journal to see how we worked with students to design and build a new green schoolyard.

We continue to convert blacktop to green space at schools and city recreation centers throughout Philadelphia (see "Projects like this") to re-design and renovate these neighborhood green spaces.

As we work toward completing these sites in 2016, we also recently renewed our commitment to the Philadelphia community with the exciting announcement of our program expansion. Notably, we will be working with the School District of Philadelphia to green 20 more schoolyards over the next 5 years.


Explore our work

Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.