PHILADELPHIA – City officials and staff representing a number of different departments joined community partners in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park neighborhood today to kick off this summer’s Beat the Heat program, a first-of-its-kind pilot program to help residents cope with summer heat and prepare their communities for climate change.

“Extreme heat is already harming the most vulnerable members of our community, and we know climate change will only increase the risk to residents in the years to come,” said Mayor Kenney. “I commend the community organizations in Hunting Park working together to educate those they serve about the risks of extreme heat.”

The Beat the Heat program is managed by a cross-departmental team of City agencies with the support of key neighborhood partners, including Esperanza, Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Council, Hunting Park United, Lenfest Center, and North10 Philadelphia. Through the rest of the summer, the Beat the Heat team will use community volunteers to survey residents about how they’re currently dealing with warm weather and work with them to understand how the City and neighborhood partners could support efforts to reduce exposure to extreme heat. This information will help inform ways the City and other partners can support residents in coping with high heat, and explore strategies to reduce temperatures in the long term.

“Excessive heat has been a long-term problem in Hunting Park. Understanding the issue and how neighbors deal with it is one of many steps we are taking to deal with this environmental hazard. We strongly believe that solutions are possible when we unite an entire community” said Gabriella Paez, Education and Community Development Coordinator for Esperanza.

At the official Beat the Heat kickoff, residents at two Hunting Park community locations shared tips for staying cool, completed a survey on how heat is impacting their community, and learned about available resources from the City all while enjoying water ice and smoothies. The pilot will continue through the end of the summer.

The first year of Beat the Heat is supported by the Knight Foundation and the Funders’ Network Partners for Places grant program. To learn more about the pilot, visit or follow #BEATTHEHEATHP.