The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, is working on various parks across the city, including those in South Philadelphia, to revitalize the parks and encourage members of the community to be active in their neighborhood parks.
One park in particular, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park located on the corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, is being refurbished.
Although the FDR Park, is not considered a neighborhood park, the staff at Parks and Recreation hopes more people in the community will be active in the park.
The park’s history dates back to 1914. It was designed by the Olmstead Brothers, a legendary landscape architectural firm formed by brothers—known for their notable work in parks including Central Park in New York City. It provides an array of activities including, golf, tennis, rugby, skateboarding, baseball and softball.
The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation staff is currently working on a project with the Phillies, to refurbish one of the fields at FDR so the Philadelphia Urban Youth Academy can utilize it. The Urban Youth Academy is aimed at providing opportunities for kids in the city to play baseball.
The FDR Park will work with the Marian Anderson Recreation Center located at 740 South 17th St. to provide a well-rounded and balanced education of the sport.
“The field component will be at FDR Park and the indoor component will be at Marian Anderson recreation center,” said Ed Fagon, director of development division of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.
Fagon believes parks like the FDR Park is an important element in any community.
“It gives a place for people to socialize and gather and go for a walk, it’s an opportunity for socialization,” he said. “With a well-maintained park, people can have more pride in their neighborhood.”
Along with their plans for construction, the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is planning to host “Love Your Park Week” May 12-19, to encourage community members to be more involved with their parks all over the city. One event in particular is a Jerry Blavat concert on May 17 at the FDR Park. In addition to concerts, the organization plans to host movie nights at local parks to continue their efforts of raising awareness.
Barbara McCabe, director of office of volunteers and stewardship, believes with more awareness of these parks, people will appreciate what parks can offer a neighborhood.
“I think it’s integral to a vibrant healthy neighborhood, to have clean active well used parks,” she said.