PHILADELPHIA (September 13, 2022) – Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th district) and City officials today broke ground on a $3.5 million renovation project at Fotteral Square Park in North Philadelphia. The park improvements are made possible by the city’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s historic investment in public spaces.
A staple in Philadelphia’s Fairhill neighborhood, Fotteral Square Park is set to undergo upgrades that will include a new playground, a refresh to the basketball court, ADA accessibility, a soccer mini-pitch and more.
“I’m excited for the critical improvements coming to Fotteral Square Park,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Our parks, rec centers, and libraries are the heartbeat of our city’s neighborhoods, and we established Rebuild to ensure that these vital spaces will be used for generations to come. Philadelphians deserve high-quality public spaces and Rebuild is delivering those spaces.”
“We need safe spaces for our children to play, our families to recreate, and our neighbors to gather peacefully, now more than ever,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke, whose 5th District includes Fotteral Square Park. “A new playground, upgrades to the basketball court, a new soccer field – these are badly needed for the residents and children who live nearby. This is an important day for the people of this community in North Philadelphia.”
This project will revitalize a critical community park that spans the 2400 block of North 11th Street between West Cumberland Street and West York Street.
“Rebuild’s promise to communities acknowledges the history at each of our sites. Community members have been making memories at Fotteral Square Park for 56 years,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “Many thanks to the dedicated neighbors and community members who helped guide this project to today’s groundbreaking.”
Totaling nearly $3.5 million in investment, the Fotteral Square Park revitalization will include:
- Brand new playground
- Upgrades to the existing basketball court
- New soccer mini-pitch
- Improvements to the pathway network
- New pathway light fixtures for pedestrians
- New central gathering space with benches
- Improvement to two park entry points to allow for ADA access
- Removal of unhealthy trees and replacement with new trees
- New single-use bathroom facility
The Fotteral Square Park project is supported in part by a transformational partnership between the City, the Philadelphia Union Foundation, and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer to expand the impact of Rebuild investments. Together, the Union Foundation and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer committed more than one million dollars to build 15 mini-pitches for soccer and two full-size signature fields in locations across Philadelphia, further nurturing Philadelphia’s great appreciation for soccer. Fotteral Square Park will receive one of those mini-pitches.
“We are delighted to break ground on another mini-pitch alongside our partners, the City of Philadelphia and EPYS,” said Paul Howard, Executive Director, Philadelphia Union Foundation. “The Philadelphia Union Foundation’s goal is to provide safe spaces for children to fall in love with soccer and with this new site coming to Fotteral Square, we are a step closer to achieving that dream.”
“It’s our mission to grow the game of soccer, and it’s our privilege to work with the City and the Philadelphia Union to build these mini-pitches,” said Chris Branscome, CEO of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “The children of this community, and those of our future sites, deserve to have well-maintained and safe fields to play on. This field will provide for great fun, fitness and friendships.”
Construction has commenced on the project and is anticipated to complete in Summer 2023.
“Fotteral Square is a hub for youth soccer in this community, and thanks to Rebuild will continue to be a safe, welcoming place for North Philadelphia families to play, learn and grow,” said Commissioner for Parks & Recreation, Kathryn Ott Lovell. “We at Parks and Rec are so excited to return and cut the ribbon on this beloved park.”
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 www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.