Fairmount Park Conservancy offers volunteer opportunities throughout the year that allow groups big and small to lend a helping hand to beautify Philly’s parks and public spaces.
Our Corporate Stewardship Program is one way to give back in a big way to Philly’s parks. It lets companies and their employees spend a day outdoors instead of in the office and give back to their community, whether it’s by cleaning up a park or planting trees.
For the past three years, the firm Franklin Park in Bala Cynwyd has dedicated one day each summer to volunteering in Philly’s parks with the Conservancy. Associate Marissa Mazurana shared some highlights of their corporate volunteer experience!
Why did Franklin Park decide to dedicate its volunteer time to Philly’s parks?
We have a fairly extensive community service effort at our firm. We offer donations and do drives, but this is always our big day in the summer that we dedicate to going out to the community. We close the office and instead work to make a difference in the community.
We had worked with other organizations in the past and had a great experiences with them, but being that we are based in Bala Cynwyd and are so close to Fairmont Park, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to make an impact in our local area.
Franklin Park employees helped clear a pathway in West Fairmount Park in the Parkside neighborhood in 2017.
What were some of the highlights or most memorable experiences of your volunteer days?
They were all very different! The first experience was at the Parkside Evans Recreation Center, which really hadn’t been used all year. There was a summer camp coming up, so we cleaned out the facility, removing items and cleaning up the playground area. That was probably our most grueling experience, but it was wonderful! We had such a great time working with the community members and knowing that we were going to be setting up the facility for a camp the next week was really rewarding.
In 2016, we planted trees along a new path in the Belmont Plateau region. Both Parkside Evans Recreation Center and Belmont are so close to where our office is, but a lot of us had no idea that they existed. I even went back with my husband afterward to check it out.
Franklin Park employees transformed the the tunnel under 52nd Street Bridge in one day.
Last year, we worked to clean a pathway that was also in the Parkside neighborhood and painted the tunnel under 52nd Street Bridge. It was covered in graffiti so we helped give it a fresh slate. You can really see the difference at the end of the day and what you accomplished as a group. So not only does it benefit the community, but it benefits us, too: We’re strengthening our teamwork and meshing with members of our organization and groups don’t see on a normal basis, all while beautifying our community.
What advice would you give to other corporate groups who might be interested in this type of hands-on opportunity?
With a project like this, where you’re getting so many people together, you really have to give your time to make everything work. But it’s also worth remembering that the money your team is donating will help enhance the work that the Conservancy is doing. It’ll help these volunteer programs continue and help continue to beautify the parks, which doesn’t happen overnight!
So it’s great that we can help on that one day with our physical presence, but then our donation allows that to work to continue on after we are back in the office.
To learn more about our Corporate Stewardship Program, please click here.