LOVE Your Park Week, Broad Street Run, Sheep Shearing Day & More Spring Fun!

LOVE Your Park Week Volunteer Registration

We have two LYP events coming up in our neighborhood, registration is advised and appreciated but not a required:

Mifflin Square this Sat., May 13, 12 noon – 3
Marconi Plaza next Sat. May 20, 10 a.m. -12,

This Parks & Rec page also has a list of fun outdoor activities for the whole family of all ages and levels of physical exertion! space

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space Calling all Philadelphia park lovers: we’re looking for over 2,000 volunteers to help clean and green Philly’s parks during LOVE Your Park Week 2017 (May 13-21)! Over 100 Park Friends Groups across the city will host volunteer workdays during LYP Week – many on the Kick-Off Service Day on Saturday, May 13 – and we need your help to get our parks ready for the summer season.

Check out the complete list of participating parks, including details on timing, location, and projects, and register to volunteer. Be sure to also check out the dozens of special events happening in parks near you, including the Parks on Tap season opener!

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Meet Me at the Park Contest

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space Your vote could give $20,000 to a Philadelphia Parks & Recreation project! Three of our sites have been nominated to receive funding through the Meet Me at the Park initiative, a collaboration between the National Recreation and Park Association and The Walt Disney Company. The voting period ends April 30, so now’s your chance to help choose which site will receive a $20,000 grant: the Wissahickon Environmental Center, McVeigh Recreation Center, or Philly Pumptrack.

Learn more about the three projects, and vote for your Meet Me at the Park pick.

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Broad Street Run Volunteer Opportunities

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space Even if you’re not running, you can still join in on the fun! Hundreds of volunteers help make the Broad Street Run (BSR) a success each year. Volunteers are needed for May 5 and 6, as well as race day, Sunday, May 7, for roles as greeters, transportation assistants, water station staffers, and more.

Groups can email volunteers@broadstreetrun.com or register using this form; individual volunteers can register on the BSR web site.

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Arbor Day Events

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space Celebrate Arbor Day with TreePhilly! On Saturday, April 28 at Wissinoming Park, arborists from Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the local chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture will be climbing and pruning park trees. Volunteers from TreePhilly sponsor TD Bank will work with Friends of Wissinoming Park to mulch trees and tidy up the park, and local students will learn about tree care and identification.

Last Saturday, April 21, TreePhilly started the arboreal festivities (and celebrated Earth Day!) with a tree planting and art show at Cedar Park, featuring tree-themed art from students at St. Francis De Sales School, and Arbrew Day tree giveaways at bars throughout the city.

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NFL Draft

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space The 2017 NFL Draft Experience is here! From Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29, visit the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a football festival with interactive exhibits, immersive games, virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions, and more.

Check out the full list of NFL Draft events and road closures that might affect your travel.

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Job Opportunities

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  • Aquatics Division Administrative Assistant (seasonal, part-time): Support Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Aquatics division, including scheduling, communications, and other office/ field duties for our 74 pools.
  • Lifeguards (seasonal, part-time): Become an American Red Cross-certified Lifeguard, and help keep your neighborhood pool safe this summer.
  • Property & Concessions Supervisor (seasonal, full-time): Support the day-to-day management of PPR’s property and concessions management program.
  • Site Auditors (seasonal, part-time; deadline extended): Help prepare for a new, department-wide signage program! Responsibilities include auditing, mapping, and documenting more than 400 facilities throughout Philadelphia.

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Sheep Shearing Day at Fox Chase Farm

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space The weather’s warming up, which means it’s sheep shearing season! Visit Fox Chase Farm this Saturday, April 29 from 12-4pm for crafts, games, live music, food, and the main event: sheep shearing. Watch the process – which helps keep the sheep cool in the summer heat – and learn what’s done with the wool. Admission is $3 for adults and children.

Learn more about Sheep Shearing Day.

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Lower Mayfair Playground Summer Camp Registration

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space Lower Mayfair Playground runs its annual summer camp from July 3 to August 11. Our playground is nestled in the heart of Mayfair, and camp is available for children ages 6 to 12. Some of our popular attractions include three or more trips a weeks, outreach programs, guest speakers and events, sports, games, and arts & crafts. The children also receive breakfast and lunch daily, and a camp T-shirt. Before and after care is available. We are very proud of our excellent supervision and safety. Come join us and watch your children make new friends and lots of memories.

For more information, call us at 215-685-1227.

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Wissahickon Wood Duck and Warbler Festival

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space The first annual Wissahickon Wood Duck and Warbler Festival will be held in the northernmost section of Wissahickon Valley Park on May 13, 7am-7pm. This festival highlights the overlapping natural phenomena of dozens of species of warblers migrating through the park and hundreds of wood ducks along the creek. This is also the time when breeding birds are on territory and the park is full of birdsong.

Check out the Wissahickon Wood Duck and Warbler Festival schedule of events, including bird walks, a wood duck survey, live performances, and more!

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Tech in the Commons Workshops

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space Want to learn how you can use the latest digital engagement tools and techniques to tell your story? In partnership with Generocity.org and Technical.ly Philly, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will offer a free workshop series on creative digital engagement techniques and tools for place-based nonprofits (such as community centers, libraries, and parks). Topics include augmented and virtual reality, data storytelling, live video, and social communication trends.

Check out the full schedule of workshops, which kick off Friday, April 28, as part of Philly Tech Week!

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Tacony Creek Park Events

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space This May, join the Tacony Creek Park Keepers and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed for free nature walks focused on our feathered friends!

  • Monday, May 8 at Fisher Park (7-8:30am) & Saturday, May 20 at Tacony Creek Park (8:30-10:30am): Bird expert Keith Russell of Audubon PA will lead bird walks. It’ll be the peak of spring migration, so expect some good bird spotting: woodpeckers, warblers, hawks, and more!
  • Wednesday, May 10 at Tacony Creek Park (9:30-11:30am): Environmental Educator Judith Gratz will lead a nature walk focused on birds and their feathers.

For all three walks, RSVPs are requested, but walk-ins are welcome! Donuts, coffee, and binoculars will be provided. Learn more about Tacony Creek Park’s schedule of spring events.

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2017 Philadelphia International Unity Cup News

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space On Thursday, April 13 in the Mayor’s Reception Room, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell kicked off the announcement of the Philadelphia International Unity Cup along with the Youth Soccer for Success program. Over 20 countries were in attendance. Mayor Jim Kenney also announced that the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Unity Cup championship game this year at Lincoln Financial Field.

Learn more about the 2017 Unity Cup!

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Philadelphia Senior Games

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space The Philadelphia Senior Games will be held from Saturday, June 3 through Friday, June 9. The Senior Games are an Olympic-style competition for adults ages 50 and over, with events held at different locations around the city. Events include Track & Field, Basketball, Swimming, Horseshoes, Table Tennis, Golf, Billiards, Exercise Bike, Bowling, Darts, Scrabble and Pinochle.

For more information or to register, visit the Philadelphia Senior Games web site or call 215 685-2736.

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Boat Launches

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space Spend sunny spring days on the Schuylkill or Delaware River: our boat launches are now open! We’ve got nine boat launches providing access to our local waterways.

Check out the full list of boat launches, and be sure to review Pennsylvania’s regulations for boating safety.

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Philly Celebrates Jazz Community Series

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space The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) recently launched the Philly Celebrates Jazz Community Series, comprised of free concerts, dance classes, and film screenings at public sites during Jazz Appreciation Month in April. If you haven’t already, catch an event at a Philadelphia Parks & Recreation cultural or recreation center in the last few days:

  • Thursday April 27, 6pm, Shepard Recreation Center: The Rock School for Dance Education’s dance instructors will give a free jazz dance lesson.
  • Thursday April 27, 6pm, Morris Estate Cultural Center: Tap dance company Take It Away Dance, led by dancer Pamela Hetherington, will be providing a tap dance for all ages.
  • Friday April 28, 6pm, Marian Anderson Recreation Center: Artístas y Músicos Latino Americanos’ (AMLA) Latin Jazz Trio incorporates Latin rhythms in the genre of jazz.

Check out the full list of Philly Celebrates Jazz events!

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Fairmount Park Horticulture Center Tours

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space On the second and fourth Saturday of every month from now through October, the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center is offering free tours! Arielle Narva, the Propagation Specialist for FarmPhilly, takes visitors on an educational experience, explaining the facility’s rich history and the ways the center is used today. The tours begin at 11am in the lobby of the Horticulture Center

Check out our video about the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center tours!

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Morris Estate Cultural Center Updates

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space Interested in learning a new musical instrument? Lessons for drum, guitar, and piano are now available by appointment at Morris Estate Cultural Center!

  • Instructor Antonio Gatling offers drum, guitar, and piano lessons for $10/half hour (to schedule, call 267-253-1163)
  • Master Instructor Mary Ann Schauder will offer piano lessons for $20/half hour on Mondays, starting June 26 (to schedule, call 215-208-1490; also offers Tuesday lessons at Carmella Playground)

Additionally, during the month of November, Morris Estate started their first Skills & Drills program for Philadelphia youth. The program ran from November to March. The Skills & Drills program aims to help the local youth to develop the skills necessary to compete in the world of basketball.

Learn more about the Skills & Drills program – including how the teams performed in their first games!

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Party in the Playground

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space Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse will host its tenth annual adults-only Party in the Playground on Thursday May 18, 2016 from 5:30-8pm at Smith’s historic 16,000 square foot Playhouse and 6½ acre Playground in East Fairmount Park. Party in the Playground is an important and fun way to raise funds to support Smith’s work, which includes welcoming over 181,000 visitors annually from families in the city, and providing educational and advocacy programs that use the power of play to help children, families, and communities thrive.

Party in the Playground tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available.

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Play Ball with the Junior Baseball Federation

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space The Junior Baseball Federation (the “JBF”) is marking its 70th year of providing opportunities and support for kids to participate in baseball and softball activities conducted by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. The JBF develops the resources to provide this program support primarily through the sale of ticket vouchers that, this year, are redeemable for one of five designated regular season Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park. By either purchasing vouchers for personal use or donating vouchers for use by camp programs, you will provide city kids with the excitement of attending a Major League Baseball game as well as making our kids feel like “big-leaguers” at their own local ballfields.

Learn more about this year’s Junior Baseball Federation Benefit games and how you can help support the program.

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Philly Salamanders

By Tony Croasdale, Environmental Education Planner, Wissahickon Environmental Center

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space What is the most numerous terrestrial vertebrate in Philadelphia? Perhaps it’s humans, gray squirrels, or even rats. The answer for our natural lands is very likely eastern red-backed salamanders. It has been estimated that in certain areas there can be 1,000 red-backed salamanders per acre! That could mean that our park system could host several million of these salamanders!

Discover the wild world of Philly salamanders.

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Ballfield Prep

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space Ballfield prep is in full swing! Delayed a bit by our wintry weather, Operations staff are now hard at work getting Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s 379 ballfields ready for summer use. In these photos, Joseph Bryan (Grounds Maintenance Worker Crew Chief), Daniel Smith (Grounds Maintenance Worker 2), Joseph Hager Jr (Grounds and Facilities Maintenance Worker 1), Brian Merrigan (Grounds Maintenance Worker 2) and Anthony Mucerino (Grounds and Facilities Maintenance Worker 1) are prepping ballfields at Trumbette Playground and Torresdale Playground.

Learn more about the ballfield prep process.

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Bartram’s Mile Ribbon Cutting

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space On Saturday, April 22, we celebrated Earth Day with the grand opening of Bartram’s Mile, the new trail and greenway connecting Southwest Philadelphia residents to the Schuylkill riverfront. Speakers at the event included Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Mayor Jim Kenney, Senator Anthony Williams, and others involved with making this new community space a reality. After the speaking event and ribbon cutting, the community enjoyed bike riding, dancing, and other fun activities to make the debut of this trail a memorable day for all.

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FDR Fest

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space The first-ever FDR Fest took place on Saturday, April 15! FDR Park visitors enjoyed an afternoon of bikes, boats, and bunnies – the Easter Bunny, that is. The event served as the seasonal opening for Wheel Fun Rentals as well as an Easter celebration, with an egg hunt and petting zoo. Live music and local food trucks rounded out the festivities.

See all of the ways you can explore FDR Park with Wheel Fun Rentals: surreys, tandem bikes, pedal boats, and beyond!

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Staff Profile: Robert Harris

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space Robert Harris has been a Grounds Facilities Maintenance Worker I at Ramp Playground for about five years. We spent an afternoon learning about his work for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, from repairing playpads, to picking fresh vegetables, to keeping Ramp’s fields sunflower seed-free.

Learn more about Rob and why he loves his role at Ramp!

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A2O Spring Session Check-In

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space Young artists are sharing their superpowers with the Arts & Artists Outdoors (A2O) program, a partnership between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Mural Arts Philadelphia! Artists work with 10- to 14-year-olds in after school sessions that combine arts education and environmental experiences. As a capstone project, artists and students collaborate on a site-specific art piece.

Learn more about our recent visit to an A2O session at Francisville Playground.

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