July 6: Park prescriptions | First Rebuild contract | Navy Yard history

The Rebuild team awarded the initiative’s first contract to local minority-owned firm Talson Solutions LLC, the Inquirer’s Julia Terruso reports. The construction auditing, consulting, and project management firm will be tasked with connecting minority, female, and disabled business owners with professional support services to prepare them for construction contract opportunities.

CHOP, Parks & Recreation, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and the National Forest Service have teamed up to launch NaturePHL, a park-prescription program for children, writes the Inquirer’s Samantha Melamed. The pilot program, which aims to connect kids to the city’s park system and combat ‘nature-deficit disorder,’ will also feature a new website that “maps Philadelphia parks and lists such features as playgrounds, bathrooms, swimming pools, and wheelchair accessibility.”

Did you that the Philadelphia Navy Yard repeatedly faced “imminent closure only to be saved at the last second by stalwart local politicians or a timely military conflict?” Jim Saksa, contributing to the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, goes over the city’s naval facility’s history in breezy detail, highlighting its starts in Southwark (and how the neighborhood got its name) to it's role in the Manhattan Project. 

30th Street Station District hosts its open house on Station Plaza concept designs July 12, Curbed Philadelphia’s Melissa Romero writes. The public will be able to explore three design alternatives for the “grand civic place surrounding all four sides of 30th Street Station” and provide input and feedback to the Amtrak-led project team to narrow down to a single, preferred concept.

The original 1907 design of Art Museum’s famous acropolis-style steps would have “defied Rocky’s exuberant spirit and the scene’s visual openness,” according to Ken Finkel for the PhillyHistory Blog. The proposed zigzagged steps would have emphasized the grand verticality of Fairmount, but ignore the parkway’s axis. The steps’ redesign, Finkel explains, “tailored to a modern-day attention span,” made Rocky’s triumphant run “a pinnacle that is accessible to people,” solidifying the underdog’s story in Philadelphia history.

About the author

Diana Lu, Community Engagement Editor

Diana runs PlanPhilly’s community outreach and engagement online and in real life. She has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho and email her at

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