Sign In

FAQ

About Fairmount Park

I'm planning on visiting Fairmount Park. How can I get a map?

Please call the Fairmount Park Conservancy at 215-988-9334. For general questions about the Park call 215-683-0200 or surf through this site.

When is the Horticulture Center open and what's its phone number?

The Horticulture Center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Center grounds are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach the Horticulture Center by calling 215-685-0048.

How can I get a permit to reserve a date and time to take wedding photos in one of your parks?

Call our Special Events Office at 215-685-0060 or download a permit application.

I'm planning a family reunion and want to reserve a picnic location in one of your parks. How do I do that?

Call the Special Events Office at 215-685-0060 for a permit; stop by our office in the CASE Building, 4301 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday; or download one of our picnic permit applications. Please note that picnic permits for the next calendar year are not available until the Tuesday after the Monday Presidential holiday in February.

What should I do if someone is using the picnic site which I paid for?

Call the Fairmount Park Rangers at 215-685-0144.

Where can I find more info about the attractions in Fairmount Park?

Colonial Homes: Throughout the year, tours of the 18th century houses in Fairmount Park are given by the Park House Guides of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Individual and group tours may be arranged, in advance, by calling Park House Guides Office at 215-684-7926. Learn about self-guided tours on the Charms of Fairmount Park website.

Boathouses and Outdoor Sculptures: Philadelphians in the 18th & 19th centuries found beauty, sculling, fishing, swimming, and ice skating along the Schuylkill River. Follow in their footsteps by taking a walking tour of Boathouse Row. You'll also see some of the city's outstanding collection of public sculpture. For more info call the Park House Guides Office at 215-684-7926.

Fairmount Water Works: Together with its gardens, the picturesque and sophisticated Water Works was a "must see" for all Americans and visitors abroad. The five acres set aside for the Water Works in 1812 was the genesis for Fairmount Park as we know it today. For info on Interpretive Center Tours, call 215-685-0723.

Park Trolley Tours: Colorful anecdotes, humorous stories and historical information are combined into a fast moving two-hour narrative that will both entertain and educate. The trolley visits selected Fairmount Park historic houses throughout the year based upon hours of operation, the season, and special events in the park. Trolleys tours run year round. For hours and information call 215-923-8522.

Centennial Model: Take a look at the1876 Centennial Exhibition Model and more on a Centennial Tour at the Please Touch Museum, located in Memorial Hall.

Friends Groups

What is a Friends group?

Friends groups are community-led organizations established primarily to support and advocate for a specific park area in the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation system. They serve as a liaison to the city to provide feedback on neighborhood park issues and priorities.

What exactly does a Friends group do?

Typical Friends group activities include park cleanup and beautification, fundraising for park enhancements, organizing recreational and educational programming for community residents, securing appropriate permits for such events, advocating for park improvements, and publicizing important issues that affect the park and the neighborhood. 

Why have a park Friends group?

Friends groups work in close partnership with PP&R and are the “community voice” for parks in an advisory role with the Department. If they are successful, Friends groups represent broad community interests that benefit all residents and visitors, not just the interests of a few. They regularly engage with community and external partners in order to heighten interest in the park and bring about positive changes for their neighborhoods.

How can I become involved with my park's Friends group?

Use the provided list of Friends groups with websites to contact the park group nearest you and learn more about its upcoming events, including volunteer workdays and fun activities. 

If you do not see a park near you, please visit the Love Your Park website and explore the options listed in the "Volunteer" tab. You can also email loveyourpark@gmail.com with any general volunteer inquiries.

To learn more about beginning and sustaining Park Friends groups, download the Philadelphia Park Friends Group Toolkit (PDF).

Fun Facts

Where was Rocky filmed?

South Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Miscellaneous

Can you use metal detectors in the Park?

No

Street Trees

How do I take care of my tree?

Adequate site preparation and maintenance (free of weeds), mulched and watered (5-8 gallons each week for the first two years), stakes (to prevent damage from automobile doors and the like) and pruning (best left to Tree Tenders or professionals).

Visit TreePhilly's Tree Care page for more information.

Who is responsible for the trees on my street?

Parks & Recreation is responsible for all street trees in the City of Philadelphia and hires private contractors to care for these trees.

Learn more about Philadelphia trees.

What kinds of trees may I plant along my curb?

Parks & Recreation has put together a list of approved trees which will thrive in an urban setting, have a good track record, and won't interfere with overhead wires. If you plant a large species under electric wires it may need severe "pruning" by the utility company. Before planting, you'll need to get a permit from the Street Tree Management Division who must approve the species and the site.

How will a newly planted tree affect my sewer, water lines, sidewalk and/or building's foundation?

If you choose the correct tree, site and planting conditions, your tree shouldn't interfere with you sewer, waterline, etc. Most tree roots grow in the soil's top 12 inches and spread well beyond the tree's canopy in search of water and nutrients. They don't "attack" underground mains, unless these are already damaged, providing entrances for developing roots. An adequate and generous tree pit, or long narrow continuous "tree lawn" will provide the best conditions for establishing and maintaining a "well behaved" street tree with the environment needed to survive in the city.

Learn more about tree care.

Where can I get help once I agree to plant a new street tree?

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will plant a tree for free after the site has been inspected and the correct species determined. Contact the Street Tree Management Division at 215-685-4363 or visit the TreePhilly Street Trees page for more info.

Should I fertilize my newly planted trees?

This is not necessary as a properly prepared tree pit or lawn will provide all the nutrients your trees will need.

Can I plant flowers or other things in the pit?

Planting annuals or other plants in the tree pit is not recommended. Other plants will compete with the tree for water and nutrients.

Who's responsible for pruning a mature tree or removing a dead one?

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation can prune and/or remove your street tree. An Arborist will inspect your site and recommend proper service. Pruning and removals are performed on a first come, first served basis using available funds.

Make a tree maintenance request.