Exciting News!

A Pop-Up Play Space is coming to FDR Park!

by Fairmount Park Conservancy on July 7, 2022

**UPDATE: As of Wednesday, July 27th, the Pop-Up Play Space is officially open to the public!** 

As part of the FDR Park Plan, we will be breaking ground on the Anna C. Verna Playground this summer. While we eagerly await the opening of this new, permanent playground in Summer 2023, we have partnered with Tiny WPA to introduce a temporary Pop-Up Play Space at the FDR Park Clubhouse Lawn, providing multiple opportunities for free play in the meantime. 

Join us for the official Pop-Up Play Space Grand Opening at the FDR Park Clubhouse Lawn on Saturday, August 6 from 11am – 2pm. We’ll have music, water ice, and kid-friendly activities like a Nature Scavenger Hunt with Let’s Go Outdoors. We hope to see you there!

Join us for special drop-in family programming with Let’s Go Outdoors on select Saturdays from 11am – 1pm:

  • 7/30 Lawn Game Extravaganza
  • 8/6 Nature Scavenger Hunt
  • 8/20 Water and Bubbles
  • 9/10 Art in the Park
  • 9/17 Bugs in the Grass
  • 10/15 Birding Tic Tac Toe

Why is play important?

The unfortunate reality is that only 1 in 4 adolescents get their recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Kids need fun, safe, welcoming, and engaging places to play and learn. What children learn through free play impacts their physical, mental, social, and creative well-being. As part of Fairmount Park Conservancy’s ongoing commitment to investing in equitable places for play in FDR Park, this project – along with the future Anna C. Verna Playground – will provide new ways to play, explore, imagine, and foster these crucial development skills.

Who helped to design this play space? 

Thanks to the building heroes at Tiny WPA and our community workshop days, kids of all ages got to have a say in what this space looks like! The design of the new space was developed through two participatory design-build workshops in April and May 2022. It will feature seating for families to picnic; nature play elements; and ‘built’ play structures that grew out of kids’ designs, ideas, and play during the Spring workshops.

Can I help build the new pop-up play space?

Yes! Tiny WPA is hosting several upcoming community build sessions at the FDR Park Clubhouse Lawn, and we’d love for you to drop by! No experience necessary, all ages are welcome:

  • 11-5 pm Tuesday-Friday July 12-15
  • 10-1 pm Saturday July 16
  • 11-5 pm Monday-Wednesday July 18-20

In the event of rain or other severe weather conditions, the build session(s) will be canceled.

Know before you go:

What are the big insects buzzing around the play space?

They’re Cicada Killer Wasps. Although they may sound and look scary, they are no threat to humans! The males you see buzzing around the play space have no stinger and cannot harm you. If you encounter a cicada killer above ground, he might spend a moment hovering or flying near you, but he’s just determining that you aren’t another male cicada wasp!

What about female cicada killers?

While female cicada killer wasps do have stingers, they burrow 6-10 inches deep into the ground to nest. They are solitary wasps, not social wasps, and rarely sting unless handled roughly or disturbed. They lack the instinct to defend their nests, and are, therefore, considered less aggressive than bees!

Why not get rid of them entirely?

These insects are beneficial because they help control the annual cicada population.