Help Philly get $300M for parks, rec centers & libraries today

A message from our friends at the Philadelphia Parks Alliance —

Tomorrow (5/25/16), Philadelphia City Council is holding important committee votes on budget revenue plans, which could fund more than $300 million in capital funding for parks, recreation centers, and libraries. This would be the largest direct investment in our community infrastructure in the history of our city. To fund this landmark initiative, along with sweeping expansions of Pre-K, the creation of new community schools, and the reduction of pension debt, Mayor Kenney has proposed a $0.03 per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages–to date the only proposal which fully funds all of these initiatives. We need your voice at City Hall NOW to help get the sugar drink tax passed.



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Park Parties Despite the Rain


DSCF2941 (1)Wet weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of park-lovers and beer-drinkers last weekend, as the Friends of Clark Park held their annual Party in the Park.  Despite the occasionally inclement weather, bands played, beers were sipped, and memberships were renewed.  Thanks to all who made this event possible!


Fight for the Sugary Drinks Tax to Rebuild Our Parks & Schools!

PhiladelphiansForAFairFutureEven West Philly Bernie Sanders fans can get behind one of Hillary Clinton’s ideas!

Hillary Clinton has announced she is “very supportive” of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed Sugary Drinks Tax as the best way to rebuild the city’s bedraggled parks & recreation centers, as well as toget pre-K services for all young children.

The Democratic Presidential frontrunner told a packed forum in Philadelphia Wednesday evening: “I’m very supportive of the Mayor’s proposal to tax soda. I mean, we need universal pre-school. And if that’s a way to do it, that’s how we should do it.”

“This is major step forward for all Philadelphians who believe that we must invest in our children and in our neighborhoods, and we appreciate Secretary Clinton’s support for the plan to expand pre-K services throughout the city,” said Kevin Feeley, spokesman for Philadelphians for a Fair Future, the coalition of more than 50 citywide organizations supporting the proposed tax to fund investments in pre-K, community schools, & revitalized recreation centers, parks & libraries. “Her support helps the public understand that there is a critical need for these investments, and the proposed Sugary Drinks Tax is the fairest and most effective way to pay for them.”

The Sugary Drinks Tax is a means to pay for a bond issue that will lead to a $500 million investment to restore parks & education all across Philadelphia. It means jobs. It means families. It means growth. It means boosting real-estate values. It’s huge. We need it now.

solidly backs this creative public policy & urges all park-lovers to let City Council know they demand it. It’s time we ended a lifetime of neglect for Philadelphia’s precious green spaces! We’ve been cheated before; enough is enough.

Philadelphians for a Fair Future represents a growing coalition of organizations from all walks of life in Philadelphia, including: Public Citizens for Children and Youth; the Philadelphia Parks Alliance; the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Education Voters of Pennsylvania; the Service Employees International Union; Center for Popular Democracy; the Alliance of Community Service Providers; the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children; Men United for a Better Philadelphia; Ceiba; Action United; Aspira; the Center for Science in the Public Interest; FOP Lodge 5; Firefighters Local 22; District Councils 33 and 47, AFSCME; Youth United for Change; and multiple community-development corporations and small-business owners from throughout the city.

The coalition’s activities are focused on raising public awareness about the importance of the Mayor’s budget investments and the need to enact the Sugary Drinks Tax as the only fair way to pay for them.

Clark Park Soccer weather update

Because of the rain, today’s soccer sessions are cancelled, but we will still be doing walk-in registration and t-shirt pick up from 10:00 to 12:30 in Rosenberger Hall. Please note that teams for ages 5-7 are completely full; we are only accepting registration for children ages 8 to 11.

Work Day

Drexel freshman volunteers Brandon, Amal, Ali, Tom and Murphy

Drexel freshman volunteers Brandon, Amal, Ali, Tom and Murphy

Drexel volunteer Tyler hammers in a post

Drexel volunteer Tyler hammers in a post

The Flying Dutchman food truck

The Flying Dutchman food truck

Drexel freshman have volunteered several times this winter for park workdays. On March 5, a group  picked up trash and installed a low wood and rope fence along the bed by the HMS school.  Board member Kevin Kearney made the posts from a reclaimed fence.  It is protecting spring flowering bulbs, which are now starting to make their way up through the earth.  Please come visit this lovely site. On weekends, the Flying Dutchman food truck is often parked on Chester Avenue. The owner generously offered the volunteers lunch.

Cindy Roberts remembered – a transformative leader of Friends of Clark Park

Cindy Roberts dishing out her historically-accurate (& tasty) Victorian trifle dessert at Dickens' Birthday Party, 2011.

Cindy Roberts dishing out her historically-accurate (& tasty) Victorian trifle dessert at Dickens’ Birthday Party, 2011.

Cindy Roberts, a West Philadelphia lover and mother who led the Parent-Infant Center, before that Spruce Hill Neighbors Ass’n, & before that Friends of Clark Park, was remembered today at the historic Arch Street Friends Meetinghouse.

250 people turned out to remember Roberts, a talented journalist & savvy businesswoman who committed to West Philadelphia when West Philadelphia wasn’t fashionable. She raised a family here and helped transform her community by her hard-nosed, fierce intelligence & her sense of humor.

Roberts played a transformative role in developing the 2001 Revitalization Master Plan for Clark Park, which laid out a long-term investment plan amounting to $2 million. About 2/5 has been implemented so far – close to $1 million of public investment inspired & unleashed by Cindy. She taught West Philly how to look beyond parochial concerns & petty bickering, & build together a public space where all of us can advance ourselves & our city.

The park you enjoy & frolic on today is Cindy Roberts’ fruit. Remember that when next you set foot on its soil.

Our mission, as FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK, is to learn her lessons & to carry out her mission. In helping to build a park & keep it live, you are building & keeping your community alive.

Ours are the actions that will endure after Cindy’s actions have returned to dust. We who love Clark Park as she did, must make an extra effort to carry on her mission of raising West Philadelphia to what it deserves to become.