Park for People—Philadelphia

William Dick Elementary School, Phildelphia
Photo credit: 
Jenna Stamm

For the 80 percent of Americans who live in cities and metropolitan areas, urban parks and green space offer the closest outdoor recreation 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. That's more than 200,000 people. The study also showed that parks are not equitably distributed: some neighborhoods have less access to green space than others.

In Mayor Michael Nutter's January 2008 inaugural address, he pledged to transform 500 acres of land into neighborhood parks by 2015. The Trust for Public Land will be a key partner in implementing this ambitious plan.

To address the need for green space in Philadelphia's underserved neighborhoods, we launched Parks for People-Philadelphia. In partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department, other public partners, and local communities and organizations, we are creating outdoor green play spaces in schoolyards and recreation centers.

On Thursday May 10, 2012, The Trust for Public Land, the city, and school district officials launched Green 2015 at the William Dick Elementary Schoolyard in North Philadelphia. This exciting new play space based on students' input and vision opened in June 2014.

The plan is to convert blacktop to greenspace at nine other schools or city recreation centers by 2015. We are currently working with communities near Hank Gathers Recreation Center, Jose Manuel Collazo Park, Conestoga Playground, 37th & Mt. Vernon Playground, and Lanier Park to renovate and re-design these neighborhood parks.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.