PHILADELPHIA – Today, at an event in Port Richmond at Frank Glavin Memorial Playground (also known as A&W Playground), Mayor Jim Kenney was joined by Councilman Bobby Henon and City officials to celebrate the kickoff of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s (PPR) summer programming.
During the event, Mayor Kenney announced that the playground would be one of the first projects to receive investment from Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild), the City’s initiative to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in parks, recreation centers, and libraries across Philadelphia. The announcement comes a week after City Council passed legislation approving the 64 sites to receive investment through the first round of Rebuild.
“Our Parks and Recreation Department offers amazing programs even though we’re limited by the conditions of our facilities.” said Mayor Kenney. “Soon, summers in Philly will become even more exciting and fun because our parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, and libraries will be renewed through Rebuild.”
Also during the event, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell announced the opening day for City pools, Tuesday, June 19, and talked about some of the lesser-known activities offered at parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and other City facilities during the summer months like hundreds of summer jobs for youth and teens through the Philadelphia Youth Network; more than 500 Playstreets and more than 1,000 summer meals sites; FarmPhilly and local farmers markets; the Philly Cup Skateboard Series for skateboarders of all abilities; dozens of free movie nights at parks across the city; cooling centers (pools and spray-grounds as well as indoor air conditioning) for those really hot days that can be dangerous for children and the elderly; and even Wheel Fun Rentals offering bike and surrey ‘Night Rides’ after sunset on Kelly Drive and in FDR Park.
“Now that school is out and summer is here, it’s time to think about all the ways Philadelphia Parks & Recreation can help you and your family have fun, adventure-filled summer-in-the-city,” said Commissioner Ott Lovell. ”
In addition to the programs offered by PPR this summer, Rebuild will start the process of investing in a limited number of sites using the $8 million in funding that has already been approved for Rebuild in the City’s FY2018 capital budget. Most projects will begin after the majority of Rebuild’s funding becomes available through bond proceeds that will be repaid by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. The bonds won’t be issued until after the tax has been upheld by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.
“Playgrounds like Glavin are the reason I supported Rebuild,” said Councilman Henon, “Here we have a facility that is the center of a community, that offers great opportunities to teach our Children the importance of play and leading active lifestyles and is desperate need of improvement. We are ready for Rebuild here at Glavin.”
The other Rebuild sites expected to start this year will be announced in the coming weeks.