Voted Best in Philly 2017

We wanted to share the great news that Clark Park was voted Best of Philly for 2017. We knew our electic and loveable park was amazing, but it is great to be recognized for all that we have to offer. Thank you for everyone who has made this such a great place to spend time.

Join Us for Party in the Park 2017

Please join the Friends of Clark Park in celebrating our beloved park, members and community at the fifth annual Friends of Clark Park Party in the Park on Saturday, May 20th from 4-8pm as part of Philadelphia’s citywide Love Your Park week. All are welcome to this free event in the park! Rain or shine, with food, music, games and camaraderie, we’ll toast West Philly’s civic commons together. This family friendly, casual event is a perfect chance to enjoy a spring evening in the park, grabbing delicious food truck eats, sips from Dock Street Brewery while greeting neighbors and looking forward to all that the park will bring in 2017.

Why are we doing this? The purpose of Party in the Park is for the whole community to celebrate West Philly’s sacred green heart. That’s why it’s free! To hold this community event, we needed supporters. Sponsors making this event possible for the community and keeping the Friends advocating for and stewarding the park in 2017 include the Fairmount Park Conservancy, University City District, University of the Sciences, U3 Ventures, University City Review and Urban & Bye Realtors. In addition to the sponsors, it is the members of the Friends of Clark Park that keep advocacy for and stewardship of the park relevant and funded year after year. Clark Park has many fans, but always needs more friends. Join us at the party as a member to show your love for the park.

For more details please see: FLYER

Membership Meeting Recap

A big thank you to everyone who turned out for our latest Members Meeting this Monday to discuss the new PP&R dog policy.

A quick recap of the policy is below:

In January PP&R organized a city-wide workshop for park friends’ groups; PP&R has developed a comprehensive set of regulations applying to all parks.  Some of these are laws, some regulations, some simply practices or guidelines.   Many of the problems have developed in other parks; these are not issues that have come up specifically about Clark Park.


Philadelphia City Law is that all dogs must be on 6-foot leashes, but not something the police department will enforce; neither is PP&R staffed to enforce this law.   The best response to this situation is to have no problems; dog owners form a community that can police itself.   We expect dog owners to know what is working in the park and what is not.


In 2004-2006 we had two interest groups come forward: one to build a dog run and another to create a dog-free zone around the tot lot.  We (narrowly) voted down both proposals.  PP&R has dog runs in some parks, and PP&R will endorse such if there is strong community support, but PP&R will not maintain the facility, staff it, or provide funding. PP&R could also establish a dog-free zone in the park and will provide signage to do so.


PP&R also reminds all dog owners that there is also a law requiring licenses ($16 for neutered/spayed dogs and $40 for “natural” dogs), which also require appropriate vaccinations (rabies, etc.).  Registration can also help if a dog gets lost.


Designated organization for low-level problems is Philly Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) at or 267-385-3800.   Advantage is they are open 7 days a week (unlike PP&R) for finding lost dogs, conflicts between owners or animals.


Higher-level problems can be handled by the police department through 911.  These would include attacks upon a person or property (including dogs) including personal injury or death.

It was a great discussion covering a wide variety of opinions and experiences. While some noted that there have occasionally been incidents where dog owners interfeared with the Youth Soccer League or out of control of their animals in the bowl, most speakers seemed to feel that things are working fairly well and most people (owners & non-owners alike) are being responsible.

Great suggestions were made for ways that we can improve the community that will merit further discussion and research. These ranged from a new Facebook group for dog owners, to adding additional signage focused on “good dog behavior” and establishing limits to dogs by the tot lot, to proposing a dog run. It was also noted as a reminder that  for dog owners who want to use a dog run that there is a private dog run nearby at 48th and Chester. (Another owner noted that currently there is no waiting list to join, it costs $65/year, and the group will meet next Monday April 29 at Calvary Church.)

Frank Chance added that the FoCP Planning Committee would put signage on its agenda and will announce its next meeting via Facebook and the web site.   We will also consider adding more doggie bag distribution points.

On a final note, if there are ways that FoCP can help the dog owners become more organized, including appointing one or more to the Board, we are happy to look into it.

Members Meeting April 17: New PP&R Dog Policy


Our next  Members Meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 17 from 7 PM in Griffith Hall of USciences.

The primary agenda item is discussion of the new dog policy established by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.  Highlights include the following:

A volunteer neighborhood group can petition to start a dog run in a park. There are currently seven. The group must establish that there is strong community support, & also that it is willing & able to maintain the run independently of PP&R.

A park group can also petition to establish a dog-free zone. This comes with signage & all.

A citywide animal-control team has been contracted by the city to respond to & deal with low-grade dog offenses & issues. There is a number people can call. The police will respond to actual attacks by dogs on humans.

Outside a dog run, the leash law is in effect. The leash must be 6′ or shorter.

There is a nice list of other commonsense dog dos & don’ts.

PP&R understands the culture of de facto off-leash dog areas like the Bowl & it will leave well enough alone. As long as “unpermitted” dog use takes place in an orderly way, without arousing problems in the community, PP&R has no intention of interfering.

Please let me know if there are other agenda items for the meeting.

Frank L. Chance, Secretary
Friends of Clark Park
PO Box 31908, Philadelphia PA 19104

Clark Park Youth Soccer Starting 3/25

We will have walk-in registration on Saturday, March 25th for children ages 8 and up — there are just a few spaces left on our 8-9 teams, but plenty of room for more on the 10-11 teams. Teams for children ages 5 to 7 are completely full. Walk-in registration will take place at Rosenberger Hall, 10:00 am to 12:15 pm. Rosenberger Hall is the University of the Sciences building on the 43rd St. side of the park, south of the basketball court.  Please email with any questions.

The coaches, parents, and children playing soccer will be grateful to dog walkers for clearing the bowl by 10:00 on Saturday — and especially for ensuring that your dogs haven’t left behind any special “treats”.  Thank you!

Youth Soccer Registration – Don’t Miss Out!

We may be bracing for a blizzard, but we’re less than two weeks away from the start of the spring season of Clark Park Youth Soccer. Registrations are coming in quickly — we still have plenty of room for children ages 8 to 11, but teams for ages 5 to 7 are filling up fast.  Don’t miss out!  Register online, or download a registration form to mail in from our Youth Soccer page.

If finances are a problem, please contact — because of generous donations to our “soccership” fund, we can help!

Youth Soccer: Registration for Spring Season

Registration is now open for the Spring season of Clark Park Youth Soccer, Friends of Clark Park’s popular family-friendly program for children ages 5 to 11. The season will begin on Saturday, March 25th and continue every Saturday until May 20th. Clark Park Youth Soccer is a low-cost, volunteer-run program that introduces children to the game of soccer in a non-competitive environment that encourages participation of children of all abilities.

Full information about the program and links to registration forms are available on our Youth Soccer page, or by contacting . Support from local organizations and business keep the registration costs for the program low, but for families with financial need we also have “soccership” funds, available thanks to generous donations made in memory of Paul Brooks, the founder of the program.


Loss of a Friend

Xmas tree mulch spreading

Winnie Harris organizing the volunteers at the 2017 MLK Service Day — spreading the Christmas Tree mulch in Clark Park!

The Friends of Clark Park were deeply saddened this past week to learn of the tragic loss of Winnie Harris. Winnie was a tireless advocate for building community through care of each other and care of our neighborhood, and was a beloved friend of Clark Park. Her life being cut short is an enormous loss and she will be greatly missed. Winnie was truly the salt of the earth. Her example will live large for the Friends, and we commit to living her example and carrying on with the work she started and championed.

You’re Invited to the Dickens Birthday Bash!


Please join us 2 pm Sunday, February 5th, at Griffith Hall at the University of the Sciences, for our annual celebration of the life and works of Victorian novelist Charles Dickens. This year marks the 205th anniversary of his birth. Clark Park is home to one of the world’s only statues of the author of David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol, and every year we gather to remember our famous resident. We’ll have dramatic readings from his works, Morris dancers, music, food, and birthday cake! Admission is free, and all are welcome!