Friends of Clark Park are having a General Membership meeting Monday, January 30th, at 7 pm in Griffith Lecture Hall A at the University of the Sciences. All members are invited, and so is any park lover with questions, concerns, or ideas about Clark Park. We’re planning a facilitated conversation about how the park can contribute more to the health of park users and neighbors. The discussion will go beyond general environmental health sources such as tree cover and air quality, focusing more acutely on opportunities for evaluating the physical attributes of the park and healthy programming for all ages.
Clark Park is a treasure to have embedded in a neighborhood and the accessibility of the park by walking and multiple modes of transportation is exceptional. But does the park adequately support the overall health of those that use or pass by the park regularly? Does the park make contributions to community health such as providing a space for physical activity and social interaction for all ages? Do the preceding questions lead us to ideas for improvements to the park-built environment and programming? Please join us and share your thoughts and ideas!
Please come and help Clark Park this MLK Day, and then celebrate Dr. King’s legacy with a community gathering. We’ll be mulching and cleaning up the park from 10 am – 1 pm, using the mulch from recycled local Christmas trees (have a tree to recycle? make sure you bring it to the park January 7th – see post below). An starting at 3 pm, please join us for a community gathering in the spirit of MLK. We’ll be affirming a collective adherence to continuing Dr. King’s work in our community today with song and spoken word. We hope to see you there!
UC Green will be treecycling this Saturday, January 7th, from 10 – 4 in Clark Park. Trees will be recycled into wood chip mulch to be used in Clark Park, and the challenge is on to provide all the mulch needed for the upcoming Martin Luther King Day of Service. While you’re waiting for the chipper to fire up, enjoy our free roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate, or shop for some goods at the Clark Park Farmer’s market. A $10 – $20 donation per tree will go towards supporting UC Green programs. For questions or more information, visit the UC Green Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1814743668794094/
Join us to clean up leaves this Saturday, December 2nd, at 10:00 am – we’ll meet by the decorated shed in B park, along 45th Street. Help keep the park tidy, meet other park-lovers, and have fun. See you there!
After giving thanks and getting deals, it’s time to give back! #GivingTuesday is the day to make a difference in your community. And what better way to do that than to make a gift to the Friends of Clark Park? Clark Park reaches the heart and soul of our community, connects us and empowers us to act locally – and the Friends support the park with maintenance, improvements and advocacy. This Tuesday, consider joining and making a financial donation to the Friends of Clark Park. Your contribution will go toward new benches, tree care, garden improvements, and tireless advocacy for West Philadelphia’s most engagingly active green space.
And remember, #GivingTuesday is about more than just one day. Come work with us over the next year. Volunteer with us as we steward the park and stay connected. Spend this week doing one good deed for the park each day you are there, like bringing a bag with you to pick up trash you see. Or join us to clean up leaves this Saturday, December 2nd, at 10:00 am – we’ll meet by the shed.
Don’t forget to post your #unselfie. Add Clark Park to your giving story this Tuesday and beyond and tell everyone how you are giving back to your park.
Yesterday, I spent three hours as a volunteer bagging trash in B Park. I did this because we are between SMA’s (Seasonal Maintenance Associates), the summer season (funded by PP&R) having ended in October (with an extension to November 12) and the winter season (funded by UCD) having not begun yet. So for two weeks the trash cans have gone untended, and as many people have noticed, they are overflowing. I took the bags in the shed out and moved trash to the curb, putting in new bags, for a dozen or so of the cans around the Tot Lot and the bowl, until I ran out of bags and energy. While doing this I had some thoughts about trash in the park.
First, please remember that everything you leave in a trash can in Clark Park has to be moved to the curb by hand. There are no machines that come in and empty the cans (though the SMA uses a wheelbarrow). In an ideal world we would like park users to take their trash with them, though we know that is unlikely. But there are things you can do to help the situation. If you are throwing away a water bottle, empty it first. The trees need the water more than the trash truck does, and liquids are heavy.
Second, household trash has no place in park trash cans. This applies equally to automotive trash, such as old tires, and to construction debris. The SMA has enough work to do dealing with trash generated in the park, without having to deal with stuff brought in from elsewhere.
Third, if you have a party or a picnic in the park, please bring your own trash bags. Ideally you should take that trash out of the park when you leave, but if you fill them and leave them beside the trash cans it is easy for the SMA to deal with it. But if you put 30 dirty plates and cups into a trash bag, it is filled up and can’t be used by others. So please add trash bags to your shopping list for parties in the park.
Thank you for your continued support of the Friends of Clark Park!
Come join us this Saturday, November 12th, starting at 9:30 am. We will be planting, raking and mulching – and enjoying snacks and the company of fellow park-lovers. Volunteers are welcome to take time out for our annual Veteran’s Day Commemoration at the Gettysburg Stone at 11. See you then!
You may have noticed the interesting tree trunk laying on the ground by the tot lot. This sentinel of the park, likely dating to its inception, has an intriguing story. The arborist crew removing the trunk of the London Plane ran into an obstacle they have never encountered before. The tree had grown around and engulfed a stone! We had the hungry tree instead of the hungry caterpillar at the playground. The stone feed the tree for a time but may have lead to its demise in the end.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR) acted swiftly over the past two weeks to remove two hazard trees hanging over the playgrounds of Clark Park. One tree had been identified for removal and marked earlier this summer at the tot lot but while the arbor crew was on-site, a second hazard tree was identified in the older children’s play area for imminent removal. The Department moved quickly and efficiently to adjust their work plan to remove both trees entirely, including the stumps. They added in another nearby stump for removal that frees a spot for the Friends to work on tree replacements. (two pics attached of the successive work, one shows the extra stump in the foreground just as the canopy was starting to be removed, second one demonstrates the show the work put on for those in the park these past two weeks).
A key facet of the project was PPR adding ground protection mats to the scope of work purchase. These mats will be able to be used in future projects around the city to protect soil and paved areas from damage of heavy equipment such as that needed to take down the large trees.
Join us in thanking the department for removing these hazards and saluting them for continuing to innovate on best management practices in our parks!
Update: The tree removal is well under way, and will continue on November 18th. We have been told that one playground should be open later tomorrow.
The removal of the large London Plane tree on the west side of the playground has finally been confirmed for November 17th, and work may continue on the 18th if necessary. This will require a brief closure of the playground for safety’s sake. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we want to make sure that Clark Park is a safe and beautiful place to play for years to come!
FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK elected its annual Officers & Directors on Oct. 25 at its public Membership Meeting at Griffith Hall on USciences campus.
Elected to new office or continuing from last year’s election, 18 Officers & Directors will guide West Philadelphia’s premier regional park until October 2017. We rounded up 14 of them after the meeting & here they are, R-L:
Kevin Kearney, Tony West, Fran Byers & Chip Natarajan, Directors; Frank Chance, Secretary; Barbara Nolan, Vice President; Mary Anne Lucey, Milan Marvelous & Darryl Stovall, Directors; Lisa McDonald Hanes, President; & Don Webster, Ari Kessler, Jean Marie Kouassi, Samir Thaker & Kevin Roche, Directors.
P.S.: Those who missed the photo-op are still very much part of the park team!