PHILADELPHIA – Clark Park is a community hub for West Philadelphia neighbors. It is a vibrant, well-loved public space with diverse users and a committed group of park volunteers.
The rise in unpermitted vending at Clark Park puts a strain on park operations, makes less space for recreational users, creates safety hazards such as double-parked cars blocking crosswalks and trolleys, and has led to significant financial loss for longtime park partners UHURU and The Food Trust, and the vendors that are active participants in these official markets.
As a result, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, and Councilmember Jamie Gauthier are working alongside the UHURU Market, The Food Trust, and The Friends of Clark Park to address unpermitted vending in the park.
The initial outreach and engagement effort will begin on March 11 2023, led by Parks & Rec and the Commerce Department. During this time, the City and its partners will seek to:
- build relationships with unpermitted vendors;
- provide information about the requirements for conducting commercial activity on parkland; and
- share upcoming enforcement dates for unpermitted vendors operating in Clark Park on market days.
This effort will be ongoing and intended to:
- ensure park space is available to permitted vending partners UHURU and The Food Trust on market days;
- provide additional Parks & Rec staff resources at Clark Park on market days;
- build relationships with new members of the Clark Park vending community;
- connect unpermitted vendors with clear pathways to permitted vending opportunities at Clark Park and elsewhere;
- connect entrepreneurs with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Business Services for support with navigating City services; and
- provide advanced notice of any planned enforcement activity at Clark Park.
This effort is intended to welcome new park users while respecting the long term relationship existing permit holders have at the park. A new Clark Park Seasonal Engagement Assistant is being hired to support and sustain this effort.
Questions about Clark Park and its permitted uses? Contact pprstewardship@Phila.gov.
Interested in one-on-one business support? Contact the Office of Business Services
Members of the media? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in becoming a food or produce vendor? Contact email@example.com or check out The Food Trust’s website for more information.
Interested in becoming a permitted vendor? Visit UHURU’s website https://oneafricamarketphilly.org/vendor-info/
About Councilmember Jamie Gauthier
Councilmember Jamie R. Gauthier represents West and Southwest Philadelphia as the 3rd District City Councilmember. Since assuming office in January 2020, Councilmember Jamie Gauthier has fought for her constituents’ right to live with dignity and remain in the neighborhoods they’ve called home for decades. Councilmember Jamie Gauthier’s agenda prioritizes creating and preserving affordable housing, combating gun violence, empowering young people, connecting residents to family-sustaining jobs, advancing small businesses, and investing in community-based assets like our Recreation Centers. Learn more about Councilmember Gauthier and the 3rd District City Council Office at PHLCouncil.com/JamieGauthier or by calling 215-686-0460.
About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
About the Philadelphia Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce is the economic catalyst for the City of Philadelphia helping businesses thrive. Commerce priorities are to provide trusted guidance, drive equitable neighborhood revitalization, attract and retain businesses, connect talent to growth industries, improve access to capital and contracting opportunities, drive policy and strategy to increase the ease of doing business. Staff provides one-on-one customer service, access to citywide resources, financial support, outreach, and education to business owners. Commerce works to ensure that Philadelphia is a globally competitive city to which employers flock, entrepreneurs thrive and innovation abounds. For more information, visit us at phila.gov/commerce and @PHLCommerce on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
About The Food Trust
Founded in 1992, The Food Trust works with neighborhoods, institutions, retailers, farmers and policymakers across the country to ensure delicious, nutritious food for all. Backed by three decades of research and evaluation, our holistic, community-centered approach to nutrition security weaves together three core programming elements — access, affordability and education — as well as a focus on advocating for public policy solutions. At the peak of the growing season, The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program operates a network of 12-plus farmers markets in Philadelphia. All of our markets accept SNAP/EBT and P-EBT, Food Bucks (fruit and vegetable coupons), and WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks. Farmers and vendors accept cash, with many able to accept credit, debit, and pre-orders. For more information, visit thefoodtrustmarkets.org and @TheFoodTrust on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
About the One Africa! One Nation! Uhuru Flea Market
In operation since 2004 in West Philly’s Clark Park, the OAON Marketplace is only one of over 50 economic development institutions of the Uhuru Movement, building Black community commerce and support with developing small businesses. Many frequent Uhuru Flea Market vendors have not only started their businesses by vending at the market, but have also moved on to open their own brick and mortar stores. In addition to the markets, two annual large scale community events, Uhuru Health Festival and Uhuru Book Fair which have also been impacted.