Since 2008, the City and our partners have committed to creating approximately 100 new acres of public green space. The many exciting park projects underway include Penn Park, a 24- acre parcel owned by the University of Pennsylvania on the Schuylkill River banks that will manage stormwater and provide recreation amenities in West Philadelphia. The City also established the first two new neighborhood parks in over a decade, Hawthorne Park at 12th and Catherine Streets and Julian Abele Park at 22nd and Carpenter Streets. The City has selected another 105 acres of park sites, and is working to secure funding for those projects.
In December 2010, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR), in partnership with PennPraxis, released Green2015: An Action Plan for the First 500 Acres. To create the plan, PPR considered input from many sources including residents, stakeholders, government officials, and nonprofit and civic leaders. Green2015 establishes park site selection criteria to consider including seven primary indicators and twenty secondary indicators. Important considerations include ease of access, population density served, ownership, current use, acreage, stormwater management, and connection to long-term City goals. Sites that meet the most criteria will best fulfill the goals of Green2015 and provide the most benefit to Philadelphians.
As a first step toward implementing Green2015, PPR and the Philadelphia Water Department are working with the School District of Philadelphia as they draft their facilities master plan to include greening school yards, which will create public green space and help manage neighborhood stormwater. A national nonprofit, the Trust for Public Lands, is creating its first Philadelphia office to aid the three local organizations in raising external funds for the projects.