CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND ANNOUNCE $750K IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR MIFFLIN SQUARE PARK REDEVELOPMENT
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has received $750,000 from the National Park Service to revitalize Mifflin Square Park. This award is to be matched with $750,000, which have been committed by public and private sources.
The money comes from the NPS Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program and will be used to complete the 3.5 acre park in Southeast Philadelphia, producing vibrant space for community gathering, recreation, and athletics for thousands of neighboring residents. This neighborhood is rapidly changing, and this new park will ensure that all 13,500 residents within a 10 minute walk of Mifflin Square will have an exceptional playground to enjoy.
The local community is passionate about renovating Mifflin Square Park and has been instrumental in advocating for the space. The renovations, anticipated to be completed by early 2022, include adding two new playgrounds (one for ages 2 – 5 and another for ages 5 – 12), safety surfacing, a new sprayground, associated paving, and site furniture to provide meaningful recreation opportunities to the nearby neighborhood.
Funding for this project was made available through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program, a competitive national grant program designed to help urban communities improve access to outdoor recreation. The ORLP is a competitive grant program funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State and Local Assistance Program. The LWCF is funded by a small fraction of revenues generated by offshore oil and gas royalty payments; it is not supported with general taxpayer dollars.
“I am excited that we have been selected to receive this significant funding from the National Park Service. It will help us bring long-awaited upgrades to Mifflin Square Park, introduce more opportunities for high-quality programming, and to engage even more community members.” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner “ I thank Seamaac and The Trust for Public land for collaborating with us to secure the funding for the vital renovations to Mifflin Square Park.”
“This department extends hearty congratulations to the City of Philadelphia and its Mifflin Square Park revitalization partners on receiving the first-ever Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program grant in Pennsylvania,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “As the administering agency, we look forward to working with all parties and ensuring the project’s success.”
“High-quality parks provide communities with critical assets that residents can use to connect to each other, find common ground, and collaborate on shared priorities,” said Owen Franklin, Pennsylvania State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “This is critical public infrastructure, and should be available in all neighborhoods. We’re thrilled for the impact this will make in areas including health, safety, and social cohesion.”
SEAMAAC’s CEO Thoai Nguyen said, “SEAMAAC is thrilled for this ORLP grant funding that will help make the community’s vision for Mifflin Square Park a reality. From the start, SEAMAAC was committed to a Community-led visioning process that would include dozens of neighborhood organizations, and hundreds of residents and stakeholders. SEAMAAC understood the importance of fostering community self-determination and endeavored to build a process that enabled residents to work with city staff and elected officials, to envision how Mifflin Square could be improved in a way that is authentic to community needs and aspirations. Completed in 2018, the Making Room for Everyone concept plan envisions a public space where Philadelphians of all backgrounds are welcomed, something that is essential in a neighborhood that is one of Philadelphia’s most diverse. Today neighbors are working closely with the City and planning partners to complete schematic designs that will bring the community’s vision closer to reality, and this ORLP funding will help ensure that construction can begin on this vision. With adjacent neighborhoods undergoing intense gentrification and displacement pressures, this project’s focus on ensuring that the park reflects the neighborhood’s wishes and gives local residents the power of self-determination on Mifflin Square’s future is more important than ever.”
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.