In May 2012, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Parks and Recreation, The Trust for Public Land, the School District of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Water Department would partner to create vibrant green play spaces at ten school yards and recreation centers during the second phase of the City's innovative Green 2015 Action Plan. The Conestoga Community Playground is the fourth site slated for green renovations through this partnership.
"This is yet another exciting partnership for the City of Philadelphia and the Nutter Administration's Green2015 efforts. We continue to advance the important work of greening and connecting of our community assets, parks and recreation centers and schoolyards," said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor, Environmental & Community Resources/Parks and Recreation Commissioner. "With this new partnership and the community, Conestoga Community Playground will receive high-impact greening improvements to help enhance recreation and provide new amenities for children and families."
The partnership's planned renovations of the two-acre portion of the Conestoga Community Playground will be designed through a community-driven process managed by The Trust for Public Land and will lead to the creation of a state-of-the-art play space with recreational amenities and "green infrastructure" elements, such as rain gardens, designed to capture stormwater from the site and surrounding streets.
"The Trust for Public Land is honored to join the Phillies at today's festivities with our major partners, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Water Department, to announce the City's next green playground," said Adrian Benepe, The Trust for Public Land's Senior Vice President for City Park Development. "We are excited about the park development work we are doing in Philadelphia, one of the nation's most innovative leaders in ensuring that its communities, like the one located near Conestoga Playground, have access to green space. We hope there will be more opportunities to bring together our partners and prospective funders to build green playgrounds in neighborhoods across the City, as part of our efforts to improve access to parks and make them more environmentally sustainable across the country."
During today's "Phillies Paint the Town Red Week" festivities, students from the Mastery Charter School - Shoemaker Campus, who use Conestoga's softball field for lacrosse, soccer, and flag football, were on hand, along with other members of the community, to learn more about the playground's renovation plans and take part in a ceremonial "first pitch" and "Run the Bases" at Conestoga's baseball field.
"The Trust for Public Land is always going to bat for the community, and the Phillies organization is honored to join them here today as we celebrate the future of this great new playground for children to enjoy all year long and for years to come," said Michael Stiles, the Phillies' Senior Vice President for Administration and Operations.
"The Philadelphia Water Department is committed to working with our partners across the City in an ongoing effort to go from "Grey to Green," shared Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Howard Neukrug. "With friends and supporters like TPL, and PP&R, we will be able to accomplish our goals of a green and sustainable City over the next 25 years."
Following the announcement, children were invited to "Run the Bases" with the Red Phanatic, Ballgirls, and Phillies broadcasters Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.