PHILADELPHIA (November 17, 2021) – Today, Mayor Kenney and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) joined City officials and community members to celebrate the opening of the renovated East Poplar Playground and the completion of $1.46 million in site updates led by the Rebuild initiative, the City’s historic investment in public spaces.

Rebuild’s promise to communities is to acknowledge the unique history of each site, meaningfully engage the community, and invest intentionally to create spaces that deliver what neighbors and visitors need. In the process of planning and completing these updates, Rebuild worked hand-in-hand with the surrounding East Poplar community. Neighbors, residents and members of the recreation advisory committee participated in public meetings, completed surveys, and offered critical feedback during the design process.

“Today’s ribbon cutting at East Poplar Playground ushers in a new era of play here in North Philadelphia,” said Mayor James Kenney. “These improvements will sustain a community landmark where future generations of Philadelphians can come together, learn, and grow in a space that reflects their vision and community.”

“We’re proud to be here today supporting the opening of a new playground for the East Poplar community,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District). “Every neighborhood and every child needs a safe place to play, and this playground – a product of the administration’s Rebuild initiative supported by City Council – provides that safe space and play zone for the children of East Poplar. This is a very good day.’

“East Poplar Playground is an excellent reflection of Rebuild’s promise,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “These improvements reflect the vision of local neighbors and visitors to deliver on our promise to invest intentionally to create meaningful public spaces.”

Totaling $1.46M in investment the project updates include:

  • New playground

  • New play equipment and safety surface

  • New sprayground

  • New ADA accessible seating areas

  • New asphalt track looping through the playground

  • New plants and trees

  • New hydration fountain

  • Updated walking paths throughout the playground

  • New fencing

“The residents of East Poplar long deserved these improvements to their place of play,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. “To witness the beautiful upgrades here is to see the reflection of the vibrant East Poplar community who call it home.”

REBUILD is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and management of 500 recreation buildings, 166 miles of trail, and 250 playgrounds. PPR offers safe, enjoyable recreation, environmental and cultural programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. In 2017, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, set about implementing the park system’s first strategic plan: Our Path to 2020 and Beyond. As a result, PPR is undertaking a period of historic change, setting the department on a course to become a modern, equitable and exceptional parks and recreation system. Visit us at, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.