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MAY, 2012

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Dear Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Colleagues:

I am pleased to present the first edition of PPR’s Staff Newsletter, an internal communication intended for you.

 

This newsletter was developed through a shared desire to keep our fellow workers more informed and involved in the broad scope of the Department’s daily responsibilities. I envision this newsletter as a tool that helps build staff awareness and recognition of the key role that we, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, play in the life of this great City.

 

This newsletter, like so much of what our department does, is a collaborative process and I am asking for your assistance in building a publication that addresses our collective needs. Providing useful information and meaningful opportunities is an important organizational goal for which I strongly encourage all of you to support with personal input. The process and protocols for content contribution are all being put in place and I look forward to your participation.

 

Thanks for all that you do for Philadelphia.

 

Michael DiBerardinis

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Philadelphia Named One of the 10 Best Cities for Parks in the World by Frommer's

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Recently Frommer’s travel experts released their rankings of “The World’s 10 Best Cities for Parks,” and Philadelphia is deservedly on the list.

 

The piece calls out our vast Fairmount Park, one of the world’s largest city park systems, made of 63 individual parks over 9,200 acres, which is actually “about 10% of Philadelphia” in terms of geographic area.

 

Frommer’s writes, “The parks are home to more than 200 historic buildings, America’s oldest zoo, six golf courses, cycling trails, performance venues, and an array of landscaped gardens and wooded areas.”

 

Congratulations for this recognition of your hard work!

 

READ THE FULL FROMMER'S REVIEW

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Hunting Park Baseball Field Dedication

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On April 13 Parks & Recreation, Mayor Nutter, Ryan Howard and the Fairmount Park Conservancy dedicated a brand new baseball field in Hunting Park.

The field’s $717,000 restoration is a part of the Hunting Park Revitalization Project, a long-term comprehensive plan led by the Fairmount Park Conservancy to turn the 87-acre park into a safe and well-maintained space that will provide a place for healthy recreation for children and families, bring neighborhoods together and serve as a catalyst for larger neighborhood renewal.

READ THE DEDICATION PRESS RELEASE | WATCH EVENT HIGHLIGHT VIDEO

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Annual Budget Meeting

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On April 17, Parks & Recreation leadership received a raucous welcome in City Council chambers from members of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance during the Department’s annual City Council budget hearing.

As part of both their ongoing advocacy efforts and Love Your Park Week activities, the Philadelphia Parks Alliance will host “Park Lovers Day at the Hall” between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 16. Parks Alliance representatives and engaged citizens will meet with City Council members to promote City parks.

READ THE DEPUTY MAYOR’S TESTIMONY TO CITY COUNCIL

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Introducing TreePhilly

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TreePhilly is a new tree-planting initiative led by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation that directly engages property owners, businesses and neighborhood residents to improve their communities by planting and maintaining trees. TreePhilly continues Parks & Recreation’s ongoing commitment to greening Philadelphia and supports both the City’s Greenworks Philadelphia plan and the regional Plant One Million campaign.

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With support from Wells Fargo Bank, the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation TreePhilly campaign is enabling residents to beautify their homes and blocks, improve their health, reduce their energy costs, and reduce stormwater runoff all at no cost to the homeowner.

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The deadline for the Spring Yard Tree Giveaway has passed, but you can sign up for the Fall giveaway in October or November 2012 now.

REQUEST A FREE YARD TREE

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Ball Field Maintenance

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Starting this past February, all Ball Fields were inspected and evaluated by District Supervisors as part of a new strategy for field repairs and maintenance. Starting March 1st, the Operations Division kicked off an aggressive plan to repair and refurbish 160 ball fields this Spring (approximately half of our ball fields). The comprehensive plan included renovation of infields along with other issues affecting the playing field but it also addressed fencing, bleacher and other maintenance concerns affecting optimal field use. As of April 23rd, our Operations Division has rehabilitated 131 ball fields throughout our system and plans to complete improvements to a total of 160 fields by mid-May.

Starting this past February, all Ball Fields were inspected and evaluated by District Supervisors as part of a new strategy for field repairs and maintenance. Starting March 1st, the Operations Division kicked off an aggressive plan to repair and refurbish 160 ball fields this Spring (approximately half of our ball fields). The comprehensive plan included renovation of infields along with other issues affecting the playing field but it also addressed fencing, bleacher and other maintenance concerns affecting optimal field use. As of April 23rd, our Operations Division has rehabilitated 131 ball fields throughout our system and plans to complete improvements to a total of 160 fields by mid-May.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible.

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District 4 Recycling Pilot Program

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On April 21 Parks & Recreation, together with the Streets Department, launched a pilot program that expands recycling to outdoor spaces throughout nine parks and recreation center properties in Northwest Philadelphia.

 

All of the parks and recreation center facilities participating in the pilot program will be registered with Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, a program that allows them to earn points that can be redeemed through Recycle bank for discounts or full-value gift cards at hundreds of participating local and national merchants.

 

We aim to roll-out the pilot program to other parks and recreation center properties in the next several years.

READ ABOUT PHILADELPHIA RECYCLING REWARDS

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Ice Rink Renovations

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The Snider Hockey Foundation and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation have partnered to restore three city-owned public ice skating rinks including the Laura Sims Skate House, Scanlon Ice Rink in the Kensington, and the Simons Rink in West Oak Lane. The rinks have been completely reconstructed and fully enclosed, making them operational year-round. Renovations at each rink include new classrooms and expanded public space, allowing rinks to operate six days a week. Snider Hockey Foundation provides free “learn to skate” programs, public skating opportunities, ice hockey instruction, and league play, including all equipment, as well as supplemental academic services at no charge to children.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RENOVATIONS

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Schuylkill River Wall Collapse

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In late October, 2011, a 100-foot section of the Schuylkill River wall just south of the East Park Canoe House on Kelly Drive collapsed into the river.

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For safety, the public dock at the East Park Canoe House was closed and the entire 800’ length of the inspected river wall was fenced off to prohibit access. Plans were made to move the dock to a location south of Saint Joseph’s Boathouse and in the spirit of cooperation, St. Joe’s agreed to allow the first few High School Regattas to launch from their dock while the new public dock was being relocated.

VIEW THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION ABOUT THE COLLAPSE

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How to Work with Volunteers

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Want to implement a day of service at your facility? DOWNLOAD OUR WORKING WITH VOLUNTEERS GUIDE to learn about:

  • Recruiting

  • Pre-event planning

  • Task assignment

  • And more!

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A Note from the Editor

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Welcome to the May, 2012 inaugural issue of the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Newsletter.

 

The goal of this Newsletter is to increase information sharing among all Department staff. We want people across the various units and work groups within our Department to know what their co-workers are doing, what activities are taking place, what success we have experienced and what challenges we face. This newsletter is one of those challenges with which we need help from all of you.

 

A few weeks back, we met with a sampling of staff to share ideas and get feedback about a newsletter. We asked for the staff’s input on how often we should publish the newsletter, the types of information we should include, how we should gather the information, and how we should deliver the newsletter. We received lots of input and while we are working to address and incorporate the suggestions, we still want to start the ball rolling with you as well.

 

As you can see from this newsletter’s layout, it is our intention to publish and distribute our newsletter through e-mail. I know this will be difficult at first for a number of staff due to our limited technology abilities in field offices but we are making progress on that front. For the first few newsletters, we will be providing limited hard copies as well as emailing the newsletter.

 

For staff who would like to receive internal news at a personal email address, SEND US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS and we will add you to the mailing list..

 

You can PROVIDE US WITH ANONYMOUS COMMENTS/ FEEDBACK about the newsletter.

 

To start off, the next two newsletters will be published every 6 weeks which will allow us to smooth out the kinks in the new system of collecting and editing information. So, the next newsletter will be a June-July edition.

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