Parks for People—Philadelphia

William Dick Elementary School, PhildelphiaPhoto credit: Jenna Stamm

Since 2012, Parks for People–Philadelphia has been creating green play spaces in the neighborhoods that need them most. In partnership with public agencies, local communities, and other nonprofits we are transforming asphalt schoolyards and underutilized recreation centers into vibrant parks and playgrounds for the whole community to enjoy.

Our city-wide partnership has recently expanded to impact more neighborhoods throughout the city. Already, hundreds of students and residents have been engaged in placemaking processes to design neighborhood spaces that meet their community’s unique needs, while incorporating green features like trees and rain gardens that absorb stormwater. These special places will provide opportunities for play, exercise, community gathering and environmental education for nearly 30,000 children and their families who live within a 10-minute walk.

To date, five sites have been completed: William Dick Elementary School, Hank Gathers Recreation Center, William Cramp Elementary School, John H. Taggart Elementary School, and Conestoga Community Playground. Read the design journal to see how we worked with students to design and build their new green schoolyard.

And more green schoolyards and recreation centers are on the way in the year ahead. In partnership with the Philadelphia School District, the City of Philadelphia and other partners, our goal is to transform at least 20 more schoolyards over the next 5 years. Every child in Philadelphia deserves a green schoolyard or other nearby place to play, and we are honored to serve the lead role in making this a reality across the city.

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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.