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    • Penn's Landing rendering, park looking east | Hargreaves Associates & redsquare

Knight Foundation gives $4M for citywide conversation about park over I-95

A newly funded citywide public engagement campaign will be designed to give all Philadelphians a chance to shape plans for a new waterfront park over I-95 at Penn's Landing, project officials said…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Mostly behind the scenes, the work of Rebuild begins

For more than two years, since the $500 million project to improve libraries, parks, playgrounds, and recreation centers was announced, anticipation for Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild initiative has been building. Rebuild…

    • Quamir Jones does a cannonball into the pool at Dendy Playground, at 10th and Oxford streets in North Philadelphia.
Eyes on the Street

A photographer reflects on a summer oasis: Dendy Playground

Dendy feels like magic. That’s the thought that ran through my mind the first time I went to my neighborhood rec center for a swim one June evening. Golden light washed…

    • City Councilman Mark Squilla, at Monday's Rebuild announcement. | Malcolm Burnley

Now that court has ruled, a resurgent Rebuild selects Harrowgate playground for rehab

In the background of a Monday press conference at Heitzman Playground in Harrowgate, where city officials announced another site for Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild initiative, a slogan painted on the old…

    • kids play at lanier

Grays Ferry's long-closed Lanier Playground reopens, with new hope and new purpose

Located in the heart of Grays Ferry, Lanier Playground had been closed since 2005, but memories of when it brimmed with activity stayed alive in longtime neighborhood residents. You’d hear stories…

    • A May 2017 kickoff event for PennAssist, which consists of a younger group of 44 participants.

These pre-employment programs could be a model for Rebuild's jobs goals

At 36 years old, Herbert Robinson wasn't just looking for a job. He wanted a career. Earlier this year, his resume looked pretty patchy. He had some manufacturing experience — making…

    • The basketball court at Hunting Park Rec Center.
Eyes on the Street

What if it rained? How a rec center changed one life, and could change more

Every time it rains, the Hunting Park Recreation Center has to shut down activities because of a hole in the roof.  The “Rec” is a safe place where many children in…

    • Rendering of a closed Parkway block for The Oval+ 2018 | PORT Urbanism
Eyes on the Street

In Common: The Oval stretches car-free play onto the Parkway this summer

Our series about Philly's changing public spaces continues with a trip on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Ashley Hahn checks in on The Oval, a summertime experience geared at making the Parkway…

    • The refurbished pool at Pleasant Playground in Mount Airy.

It must finally be summer: City pools open starting Tuesday

Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council have yet to pass a budget for 2019. There’s more than $27 million missing from the city’s primary bank account, and the firm hired to…

    • East Parkside neighbors gather in one of Parkside Edge's new
Eyes on the Street

In Common: Centennial Commons carves out space for East Parkside neighbors to connect

Next up in our series about Philly's changing public spaces, Ashley Hahn heads to Parkside Edge to see how this project aims to find new ways of connecting neighbors to West…

    • Young men gather for an afternoon basketball game at Vare Recreation Center.  | Emma Lee/WHYY

Rebuild legislation passes City Council, this time quietly

On a day when those on the fourth floor of City Hall were deafened by the noise of protesters, a key piece of legislation tied to the mayor’s signature capital…

    • Julien Carrasquillo (right) is a 28-year-old leader trainee at Rivera Rec Center in Fairhill.

Attracting a younger generation of recreation leaders for the city

Each year, it takes an army of seasonal employees at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to make the summer a little more hospitable. By the time public schools close in June, the…

    • Anglers cast their lines for catfish at Pier 60 off Columbus Boulevard

At waterfront development site, a popular DIY rec space hangs in the balance

As rush-hour traffic grinds to a halt along Columbus Boulevard one afternoon in May, a slow flow of bicycles moves in a perpendicular direction, intermittently cutting across the road toward the…

    • Lardner's Point Park in Northeast Philadelphia, where the city tried timed locks and composting toilets -- unsuccessfully.

Where's the restroom? In city parks, there may be nowhere to go

Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown has no bathroom, so when a local preschool class met there for a playdate recently, the parents pulled out little travel toilets for the children. Kensington…

    • Emily Coleman leads a ceramics class at Olney Rec Center.

City Council and Mayor Kenney play nice as rec center 'rebuild' advances

Mayor Jim Kenney’s plan to revamp public facilities throughout the city took another step forward this week, with key legislation passing favorably out of a City Council committee on Monday. The…

    • LOVE in reverse / Neal Santos for PlanPhilly
Eyes on the Street

In Common: Finding a new LOVE

First up in a series about Philly's changing public spaces, Ashley Hahn heads to LOVE Park looking for love and finds plenty. Hear what Philadelphians using the park think about Center…

    • Brothers at Wister Playground | Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Philly gains ground in national park ranking

Philadelphia’s park system has bumped up two places, to 30th, in a national ranking of the 100 largest U.S. cities, reflecting good distribution of facilities around the city, strong volunteerism, and…

    • Young men gather for an afternoon basketball game at Vare Recreation Center.  | Emma Lee/WHYY

Mayor Kenney announces first rec 'rebuild' as clash over union diversity heats up

Dilapidated Vare Recreation Center in Grays Ferry will be the first city facility improved through Mayor Jim Kenney’s stalled soda tax-financed upgrade for parks, rec centers and libraries. Announced at a…

    • Mayor Jim Kenney poses with volunteers at Fisher Park. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

3 cool things to do in Philadelphia parks this weekend

David Bower explains William Penn’s initial vision of Philadelphia as a city with parks sprinkled throughout its neighborhoods. “Penn gave instructions to his people to lay out a map,” says Bower,…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Philly mayor threatens council over lagging rec center rebuild

In a fiery letter sent on Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told City Council that he is willing to scale back his signature rec center, playground, and library improvement effort in…

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