For roughly 20 years, Friends of Gold Star Park has worked to create a welcoming green space that connects people to nature. The Friends group is one of more than 140 groups across the city. Park Friends groups are community-led organizations. They partner with Parks & Rec and Fairmount Park Conservancy (FPC) to improve neighborhood parks.

On April 20, 2024, Friends of Gold Star Park celebrated Earth Day. Liz Dailey, a longtime volunteer, said roughly 50 people turned out for the event. The Delaware Estuary donated seeds and peat pots. Children decorated pots and planted seeds. The event also featured a scavenger hunt, a music concert by Kids At Play, and a plant and compost giveaway.

The group also hosts other activities including:

  • Craft’n’Flea markets that help raise funds for activities.
  • Music concerts held in May, June, July, and September.
  • A water and splash play day.
  • An obstacle course for kids.
  • A winter festival with inflatable holiday characters and hot chocolate.
  • Geography workshops for kids.
  • Storytime.
  • Clean ups.

Liz and Jim Byrne help maintain the park grounds by spreading compost, planting grass seed, and picking up trash.

Thanks to the Friends Group, Liz said there is a strong sense of community.

About five years ago, The Philadelphia Design Collaborative created a design for upgrades to the park. Renovations to the park were completed in 2021.

The restoration of the park cost $845,000. The Friends group and Councilman Mark Squilla’s office funded the project.

Some of the upgrades included:

  • New play equipment.
  • Safety surfacing.
  • Decorative borders.

Learn more about a Friends group near you by participating in a service project during Love Your Park Week, May 11-19, 2024.