Rebuild invested over $1.8M into the South Philadelphia site to remediate and renovate the athletic fields.
PHILADELPHIA (November 5, 2022) – Today marks a new beginning for Point Breeze residents as Chew Playground officially reopened to the public. Mayor Jim Kenney, City and state officials, and community members gathered for a celebratory ribbon cutting followed by the South Philly Sharks’ first practice on the field since 2019. The improvements to Chew Playground were made possible by the City’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s historic investment in public spaces.
Rebuild invested $1.8 million into the 2.8-acre site, bringing the iconic fields back to life. Improvements included significant remediation of the athletic fields to ensure healthy and safe playing conditions for the youth athletes that call Chew home.
“Philadelphia is a city that loves sports and it’s our job to deliver safe, high-quality fields where youth and community members can play,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The investments that we are making with Rebuild prioritize sites in high-need neighborhoods, with extremely deserving communities. Thanks to input from the Chew community this playground will reopen better than ever, ready to welcome the next generation of Philadelphia athletes.”
“For more than 50 years Chew Playground has served residents of all ages, “Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (Second District) said. “The new and vibrant playground and field is the start of a new era for Chew Playground. The much-needed improvements made to the facilities will undoubtedly make Chew playground one the best playgrounds in Philadelphia!”
Johnson represents the Second District in Philadelphia City Council, which includes South Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, and Center City. Chew Playground is located in the Second District.
Totaling $1.8 million in investment, the site improvements include:
- 18 inches of soil remediation throughout entire site
- New sodded football field with new field goal posts
- Updated benches and bleachers throughout site
- Re-graded baseball infield with new infield mix
- New fencing improvements throughout site (interior and exterior)
- New trees
“The Point Breeze community has long deserved improvements to this park and it’s finally time to unveil Rebuild’s hard work on this project,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director of Rebuild. “I talk a lot about the importance of partnership and collaboration with community members with Rebuild, and this site is no different. It’s incredible to see Chew Playground come back to life.”
“Youth sports are a fundamental part of the community fabric here in South Philadelphia,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner. “Leagues like the Sharks rely on our public playing fields to run programs that keep young people safe and focused on positive opportunities. The reopening of this beautiful new natural grass field at Chew is a big step toward delivering the additional field space South Philadelphia youth sports organizations so desperately need.”
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.