Monday, 1/26, is the date for a very important Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee meeting where they will discuss the development project at 4224 Baltimore Ave. That meeting, which is open to anyone, is 7 PM at the Spruce Hill center (257 S. 45th Street). See you there!

We’ll now have the Friends of Clark Park general membership meeting Monday, 2/23, in Rosenberger Hall at USciences, the little building in the park on the west side of 43rd Street a bit above Woodland, 7 PM.

General meeting next Monday, 1/26, 7 PM at USciences Griffith Hall (rescheduled to 2/23, see above)

Don’t forget to come to the Friends of Clark Park general membership meeting next Monday, 1/26 (now Monday, 2/23), at 7 PM! It’s in Griffith Hall (now Rosenberger Hall), the big University of the Sciences building on the east side of 43rd Street just above Woodland.

We’ll discuss the imminent Clark Park bike share station, congratulate ourselves on all the mulching we’ve done recently, talk about long-term plans for statuary in the park, and so much more!

Protestors Will Stage a Die-In in Clark Park This Saturday

A West Philly Families Solidarity March will proceed from Calvary to Clark Park tomorrow, Saturday, Jan 3.

Due to rain, they are moving the first part of the program indoors! Entrance on 48th St. They will have speakers, songs and noise-in in the church.

After noise-in, they will MARCH TO CLARK PARK to stay, play and connect.

They hope this will allow more families to participate if it is raining, and support in building community indoors. They also hope to raise their voices and be visible outside as they march to Clark Park, rain or shine, for those up for it.

The action in the park should last no longer than 45 minutes.

Holy Night – but Not Silent in Clark Park…

carols 14-1Clark Park lovers joined tonight in one of the oldest park traditions: Christmas caroling by the shed, on top of which a glittering Christmas tree is mounted. As dusk fell, it shone over three score merry carolers of all ages.

Skill was unimportant; just singing together as a community mattered.

A row of bagged candles lit the walk from Chester Ave. to the shed. Everyone got a candle and a songbook when they arrived.

Carolers ran through a hitlist that ran from the Middle Ages to 1950. Most are well known by ear to all who show up.
carols 14-2
To wrap it up, nine brave voices worked their way through Handel’s Alleluia Chorus. Scores were provided but otherwise the volunteers were on their own. The chorus was strong this year.

Then everybody broke for hot cider and catching up. It’s a great, quick, fun way to meet your neighbors.

–Tony West

Sunday Morning Mulching Flash Mob!

attacking the mulch mountainThe Chinese Community Church did a great job spreading the mountain of specialized mulch under the trees besides the Farmers’ Market this morning! This high-grade material will help protect the soil that FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK has just treated with an aeration process, to reduce compacting by severe overuse alongside the Farmers’ Market.

There’s more mulching to be done Sunday morning, though – beside the totlot. It would be wonderful if a few people could volunteer for a couple of hours’ work to help restore and protect this other popular spot. Meet at 9am at the shed, or head over to the totlot.

And don’t forget the annual Christmas caroling at sunset!

Come a-Caroling in Clark Park This Sunday!

herald angelsHark the Herald Angels Sing … in CLARK PARK at the annual Tree Lighting & Carol Sing on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 5 pm at the Community Christmas Tree near 45th & Regent St., atop the shed.

This wonderful, longstanding event draws 75 people each year as a hushed winter night falls. We sing traditional favorites (lyrics provided). At the end, a few venturous souls try to sing the Alleluia Chorus; it’s both charming & funny.

Hot-cider refreshments come thanks to the Friends of Clark Park.

Feed the trees! Help spread mulch this Sunday, 12/14, 9 AM to 1 PM

How to volunteer this Sunday

Meet by the shed in the park where Regent Street meets 45th Street south of Chester at 9 AM this Sunday, 12/14, to spread some mulch. You can come late. We’ll probably be working until about 2 PM. After 9, just come directly to the mulch pile at 43rd and Baltimore.

Contact Doug, or 814-880-0875, with questions.


The occasion for this mulch spreading is very exciting.

We just got the big tree roots by the farmer’s market aerated! This means that tree-care professionals, Hal Rosner and Shechtman Tree Care, used an air spade to inject air into the ground around the roots. The technique alleviates soil compaction, admits air, water, and nutrients from compost, and stimulates biological activity. Cross Baltimore Tree Tenders, and the various arborists, landscape architects, and other experts who volunteer for the park, identified this work as a priority.

After an aeration is the perfect time to lay down mulch. We are putting down heaps of compost, provided by our hard-working and reliable contacts at the city, and an engineered wood fiber mulch that excels at absorbing impact.

We needed this work because the ground on the west side of the sidewalk along 43rd Street from Baltimore to Chester deals with a lot of foot traffic, due to the popularity of the park and the farmer’s market. While we’re thrilled with the park’s success, we need to do things like air spading to address the wear and tear on the soil.

Friends of Clark Park spent about $1,950, plus a catalyzing grant of $750 from Cross Baltimore Tree Tenders, on the aeration. We dedicated about another $1,600 to buy the special wood fiber mulch. This is a major and carefully considered effort for the Friends, and is exactly the type of stewardship we were organized to undertake!

Some ground will be roped off

While the nutrients from the city-donated compost seep into the aerated roots, we want to protect them from being walked on. We are roping off some of the ground on the opposite side of the sidewalk from the farmer’s market, for most of the winter.

This will not interfere with the farmer’s market. In fact, we had the Foot Trust in mind when we scheduled this project, since through the winter there are fewer vendors, so everyone can fit on the east side of the 43rd Street sidewalk.

You can find the stalwart Food Trust Clark Park farmer’s market every Saturday through the winter, same place as always, 10 AM to 2 PM. And you can look forward to rejuvenated, healthy soil come spring, and strong trees with happy roots for many generations to come!

We might get a bike share station!

We might get a BIKE SHARE STATION by Clark Park. The city is launching a bike share program in 2015. has background.

Comment on the Friends of Clark Park Facebook page, or e-mail Doug, with feedback about locations for the station. We are told, “Good bike share sites have good solar access (6+ hours per day), are highly visible, have a hard surface, and can accommodate stations which are around 60′ long and 6′ wide.”

Holiday Shopping for Clark Park Swag

612-04-5383If you’re planning gifts for family members, friends or neighbors, the FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK Membership Table at the Saturday Farmers’ Market is ready to help make people happy — and help the park at the same time!

Our popular t-shirts come in 9 different sizes and 3 different designs. They’re a nice buy at $12 standard ($10 junior). We also have women’s fitted scoopneck tees and tanktops at $18

If you know a young person who is not yet big enough for a t-shirt — then our onesies, which come in 6mo, 12mo, 18mo and 24mo sizes, are gifts that will be used. At $13.

Winter weather is upon us and Clark Park is a 4-season park. Outdoor lovers will appreciate our toasty zippered hoodies with full back design at $2 (medium and large sizes available). Our snug knit caps fit all heads and come in 3 vibrant colors.

knit capsKnow any little dogs (up to 16 pounds)? They too get cold on winter walks and will enjoy a Clark Park doggie tee.

Clark Park natural canvas totebags at $12 are great for market shoppers — and make a great way to “wrap” other presents! If you’re looking for stocking-stuffers and chachkes, our Little Nell mugs ($5) are great for hot cocoa; frisbees are only $2 and keychains $1.

And a precious gift — to yourself as well as to others — is a Friends of Clark Park membership. Give the park itself this holiday season! It will be enjoyed year-round. Families $25/yr, Individuals $20, Students & Seniors $10.

Our park volunteers will be staffing the table tomorrow from 10 am to 2 pm, and every Saturday for the first 3 Saturdays of December. See you in the park!