Our Friendly Neighborhood Sukkah

sukkahFrom Sep 27 through Oct 4, visitors to Clark Park may notice a green tent-like structure in the southwest corner of the park. The Jewish festival of Sukkot (“booths” in Hebrew) is a harvest festival and takes place for 7 or 8 days (length varies by Jewish sect) each fall, 2 weeks after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. During Sukkot, it is traditional to build a sukkah, a temporary structure that symbolizes the huts lived in by the Jewish people as they wandered in the desert for 40 years after their liberation from Egypt. Kol Tzedek Synagogue, which meets at the Calvary Center at 48th and Baltimore, is happy to have their sukkah in Clark Park for the 2nd consecutive year.

Farmers’ Market Is Open For Popin’

FarmersmarketpopePope Francis has not yet responded to the invitation by FRIENDS OF CLARK PARK to visit the Farmers’ Market this Saturday, but we remain hopeful.

Even if the Pope does not make it, though, the Food Trust Farmers’ Market will still be running from 10 am to 2 pm Saturday as usual. And it will be considerably less crowded than Center City. So come on out, pick up your produce and treats, and enjoy the weather.

Clark Park Youth Soccer: Fall Registration now open!

Registration has started for the Fall season of Clark Park Youth Soccer, Friends of Clark Park’s family-friendly program for children ages 5 to 11. The Fall season will begin on Saturday, October 3rd, and continue until November 21st.  From our soccer program webpage, you can access printable registration forms, or register and pay online — if neither of those options work for you, pick up a registration form from the Friends of Clark Park table at the Saturday Farmers Market, or email your mailing address to clarkparksoccer@yahoo.com.

General membership meeting Monday, 7/20, 7 PM USciences Griffith Hall Lecture Hall A

Come to the Friends of Clark Park general membership meeting this coming Monday, 7/20, at 7 PM in Griffith Hall Lecture Hall A. Griffith is the big USciences building across from the park just north of Woodland.

We’ll talk about trash in the park, summer garden maintenance, and lots more exciting topics. You can join at the meeting if you’re not a member yet.

Coming up soon in Clark Park….

As spring fades into summer, Clark Park invites leisurely hanging out. It’s fun to enjoy the tranquility of the scene and to watch fellow West Philadelphians go about their pleasant (and sometimes colorful) ways.

T-0594-673But there are lively organized activities coming up soon as well.

This Saturday, may 30, the Philadelphia Pétanque Tournament will hold forth in the Central Plaza of the North Park from 10 am to 4 pm. Teams will compete all day long in this unique French bowling game, which involves tossing, not rolling, steel balls toward a puck. It’s easy to play — although hard to play well. And it can be mesmerizing to watch.

T-0413-661On Saturday, Jun 13, the Uhuru People’s Fleamarket will be held in the Middle Park, at 43rd & Chester. Browsers enjoy poking through its aisles looking for items that pique their ciuriosity or things they never knew they needed until that moment. The fleamarket runs from 9 am to 5 pm.

On saturday, Jun 20, the Clark Park Music & Arts Solstice Festival will continue its tradition of more than 40 years in the Bowl. A diverse cross-section of up-and-coming musical acts will show what the Philly music scene is capapble of! A wide variety of fine artists and craftsmen will display their wares.

Welcome to the Beergarden!

Clark_Park_Flyer_Big_TypeHow the beergarden works; if you are a new or renewing member who reups at the party, your first Dock Street beer is free; $3 thereafter. Nonmembers’ beer is $5. So you don’t have to join to enjoy!

Membership levels: Patron = $50 (2 votes/tickets), Household = $25 (2 votes/tickets), Individuals = $20, Student/Senior/Limited Income = $10.

Our Annual Party in the Park

Saturday May 16th, 4 to 8 pm, join your neighbors for an enjoyable time at the corner of 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue. We’ll be there rain or shine, enjoying Dock Street beer and local music (The Four Prophet String Band and The Extraordinaires). There will be games for the kids and great raffle prizes from local businesses for adults. Kung Fu Hoagies, Weckerly’s Ice Cream, Brazbq and Seoulful Korean Fried Chicken will be serving food. The music is free. Renewing ( and new) Friends of Clark Park members get a free beer.

Mayoral Candidates Bare Their Positions on Parks

The Philadelphia Cultural Alliance & Parks Alliance teamed to host a mayoral panel discussion at the Free Library last Monday. It was the best chance for park supporters to hear the candidates’ thoughts on parks.

Phila. Parks Alliance Exec. Dir. Lauren Bornfriend introduces mayoral panel on parks & culture at Central Free Library. Jim Kenney, Tony Williams, Lynne Abraham & Melissa Bailey were on stage then; Nelson Díaz & Doug Oliver arrived shortly thereafter.

Phila. Parks Alliance Exec. Dir. Lauren Bornfriend introduces mayoral panel on parks & culture at Central Free Library. Jim Kenney, Tony Williams, Lynne Abraham & Melissa Bailey were on stage then; Nelson Díaz & Doug Oliver arrived shortly thereafter.

Lynne Abraham pressed her fondness for Independence Mall as the ideal park. She hailed the influx of private-charity money from the Knight Foundation & the William Penn Foundation as the best way to fund park improvements. Current PPR Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis is “a keeper,” in her words, whom she would seek to retain as Mayor.

Melissa Bailey, the Republican candidate, runs her 4-year-old child in Starr Garden’s youth-soccer program. She insisted that education comes first in the City budget but said the PPR budget could be increased.

Nelson Díaz is drawn to the Forbidden Drive, where he ran for many years. He deplored the dilapidation of too many rec centers & vowed he would increase the PPR budget by 10%.

Jim Kenney said his dream park is Franklin Square, which he called “the best children’s park in the USA.” He called Rec workers “heroes” who had inspired him as a youth. He thought advertising & other marketing opportunities could boost revenue for parks.

Doug Oliver
grew up in Germantown & vividly recalls hitting home runs in Vernon Park. He insisted that Philadelphia’s top budget priority is schools but stated that PPR’s physical training was an essential complement to the School District’s academics.

Tony Williams grew up across from Cobbs Creek Park & still lives in that house. His mother, a science teacher, founded an environmental center in that park. He would increase the PPR budget by $1 million. Like Kenney he advocated private-sector funding opportunities such as branding, & tapping famous Philadelphians to give back to their city.

Democracy in action: two more meetings on 4224 Baltimore Ave.

There are more meetings to attend on 4224 Baltimore! Going to meetings is our best means of showing our support for U3’s exciting mixed-use development project in the vacant lot at 43rd and Baltimore.

First is a City Planning Commission hearing, Tuesday, April 28th,1 PM to 4 PM, 1515 Arch Street, room 18-029.

The most important meeting, the meeting to attend if you’re only going to attend one, is with the Zoning Board, the body that will actually decide whether the project can happen. It’s Wednesday, April 29th, 4 PM, 1515 Arch Street, room 18-002.

See you there!

FoCP general meeting 7 PM Monday, 4/20, Griffith Hall Lecture Hall A

Don’t forget to come to the Friends of Clark Park general meeting this coming Monday, 4/20, at 7 PM in Griffith Hall, Lecture Hall A. It’s the big USciences building on the east side of 43rd Street just above Woodland. We’ll talk about upcoming climactic zoning hearings on 4224 Baltimore, and volunteer opportunities for our Party in Clark Park beer garden on May 16th, and so much more.