FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK General Mtg & Election: Join, Vote, Learn About Vital Park Developments

Come to the Friends of Clark Park October general meeting! This is our most important meeting of the year, as we will hold elections. Come, join if you’re not yet a member, speak up about your concerns in the park, and learn what is happening and how you can help. Wednesday, October 15th, 7 PM, Griffith Hall, University of the Sciences, Lecture Hall A, 43rd Street just north of Woodland across from the park.

JOIN the Friends of Clark Park! Come to our public meeting, pay your dues & cast your vote to defend the park.

JOIN the Friends of Clark Park! Come to our public meeting, pay your dues & cast your vote to defend the park.

We will also bring you up to date on the development of the 43rd & Baltimore site, which will determine the fate of Clark Park for the next 60 years – for better or for worse. Every neighbor & park-lover should get involved!

Please go at once to this petition & sign to support the community-based design.

Bark in the Park this Saturday, 2 PM in the Bowl!

BARK IN THE PARK, CLARK PARK’S AMATEUR DOG SHOW is this Saturday, October 11th, 2 PM in the bowl south of Chester!

Bring your dog by to compete! This is our 23rd annual competition, and we have about 25 prize categories. The only ones that require any advance preparation are Best Costume, Best Trick, and Silliest Trick. You could technically also train for Highest Jumper and Best Catcher of Ball, but if you have a dog, please come on by. It’s great fun, and there are prizes!

Rain update: Right now it looks like we will not have Bark in the Park today, due to rain. We are trying to reschedule for tomorrow, Sunday, at 2 PM. I’ll confirm here if it will indeed be tomorrow.

WHAT WOULD The Bad Development at 43rd & Baltimore Look Like?

It’s much easier to obtain advance visuals from developers who care about their building’s looks than from those who plan to build the cheapest, ugliest building permissible.  For this reason, it is hard to show pictures of the bad development at 4224 Baltimore Ave that Friends of Clark Park opposes.
45th St by right

Here is an image that illustrates our case. It is of damage that has already been done to the park perimeter down toward Woodland along 45th Street. The “by-right” building — what we’ll get for the next 60 years if we don’t act swiftly — will look pretty much like these — only on a scale 10 times bigger. We’re not kidding.

Our park is pretty as a picture, & all West Philly likes it that way & wants it to grow that way. So do we. But every picture needs a proper frame. As of now, by-right zoning isn’t right for our community park.

Please help save Clark Park & West Philadelphia! We can do better than this. West Philly is a better neighborhood than this.

Go to this online petition below & sign. It takes 60 seconds. Express yourself. Defend the park. Do it now — time is short. Your community will always be grateful that you spoke out!

Trash Solutions for Clark Park – We Can Do It!

by Ann Dixon
There are so many of us enjoying the park in these glorious summer months that it gets filled with trash very quickly. It takes effort to keep it looking clean. Thomas is a seasonal employee working for the Parks and Recreation Dept. You’ll see him hard at work on weekday mornings, bagging trash and doing other tasks. Both the University City District and the City pick up those trash bags once a week. The UCD also picks up recycling once a week. Despite all this, on busy weekends trash bins are often overflowing.

Jessica Plummer is ready to clean up the park tomorrow morning, Saturday, Oct. 4. Can you pitch in for an hour & help her?

Jessica Plummer is ready to clean up the park tomorrow morning, Saturday, Oct. 4. Can you pitch in for an hour & help her?

Jessica Plummer moved to West Philly at the beginning of August. One morning she was running by the park and noticed broken bottles in the play ground. She didn’t have time to pick them up, but didn’t forget them.

A friend told her about the Friends of Clark Park. A few days after bringing up the issue at an FOCP meeting, Jessica volunteered in the park with Doug Naphas (President of FOCP) and two of her friends. They removed full trashbags from cans and put in clean liners. A couple of weeks later, she was back at it again, working with her friend Ben Crescenzo.

Jessica graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in public health in May and now works for the Food Trust as an executive assistant, helping with event planning and many other tasks. She says, “I love how communal the park is. There are so many babies and families, open space for everyone to enjoy…. Volunteers really connect people to their community.” Her parents instilled the values of volunteering, asking questions and finding solutions to problems.

She is available many weekends to deal with trash and would love some company! The next organized cleanup will be Saturday, October 4th, from 11 am – noon. Meet at 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue.

If you want to help on other dates, e-mail Jessica:

Clark Park Soccer Program: Walk-in Registration

Saturday, September 27th is the start-up day for the Clark Park Youth Soccer program.  There is currently space available in all age groups for walk-in registrations.  Walk-in registration — and t-shirt pickup for already-registered children –  will be from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday at Rosenberger Hall (the building just south of the basketball courts on 43rd Street).  Please see our Soccer page for more information about the program.

Help us save 4224 Baltimore from deleterious development

View-Looking-EastThe Friends of Clark Park are in favor of meaningful, sustainable development and feel as though U3 Ventures successfully incorporated community input into their proposed structure at 4224 Baltimore. Please join us in petitioning Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell to save the location from bad development by signing our petition at View the full text of the petition after the jump. Continue reading

Clark Park Youth Soccer getting ready for Fall 2014 season

197Registration is now open for the Fall season of Clark Park Youth Soccer; we’ll start up on Saturday, September 27th and play until November 22nd. This family-friendly program for children ages 5-11 has been a fixture at Clark Park for 17 years. Information about the program, and registration forms, are available on this site .

We’re also looking for new coaches — if you like working with kids and can be available most Saturdays in the Fall, please email

New benches by the Dickens statue

The Charles Dickens circle, home to a unique statue of the 19th century author posing with one of his characters, Little Nell, has beautiful brand new benches after a major cooperative park improvement project.

The six modern units replaced the crumbling, unsafe, unsecured, backless planks on bricks that sat around the circle for years. Friends of Clark Park coordinated the effort to put them in, but we have many collaborators to thank.

The Philadelphia Chapter of the Charles Dickens Fellowship, the Blakemore Foundation, University City District, and individual donors helped finance the additions. Mr. Dickens’ neighbors across 43rd Street, the City of Philadelphia Public Health Center #3, with assistance from director Patricia Pate, patiently stored the benches while we organized ourselves.

Power Corps PHL, a program that puts people to work improving public parks and rec centers, demolished the old benches, assisted with building the new ones, and provided a comprehensive cleanup throughout the park. We hope you’ll notice weeded gardens, removed trash, and mulched vegetation as a result of their enthusiastic labor. The Department of Parks and Recreation, through the care of stewardship director Barb McCabe, made sure we had the city resources we needed. Finally, the city’s skilled trades department did the actual work of building and physically installing the benches with amazing speed and professionalism.

As you sit, take a moment to enjoy quotes lovingly selected by the Fellowship from Dickens’ writings on the plaques at the backs of the benches. Rest assured that the benches have been tested by the drum circle musicians. Use them as a space for shade or reflection as you head to the many exciting events in Clark Park this summer, like Shakespeare in Clark Park  at 7 PM south of Chester today through Sunday, the Awesome Fest movie nights 9 PM every Thursday except tomorrow, and Bark in the Park this fall.

Look for news about even more places to sit courtesy of Friends of Clark Park soon, when we deploy a fresh shipment of the popular orange chairs seen in the northern plaza since the revitalization.

_01 Benches - 01 _02 Benches - 02 _03 Benches - 03 _04 IMG_0607 _05 IMG_6721 _06 Benches - 71 _07 Benches - 76 _08 Benches - 81 _09 IMG_4274 _10 IMG_4286