The 10th Annual Love Your Park Week kicked off on a beautiful Saturday morning, with hundreds of volunteers showing up to clean and green 100 parks across Philadelphia.
At Marconi Plaza, this year’s signature site, nearly 100 volunteers from the surrounding South Philadelphia community came out to mulch and plant trees, sweep sidewalks, remove weeds, and spruce up the playgrounds in the 19-acre park that is split into two halves by Broad Street. Marconi Plaza dates back to the early 1900s and is named after Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the radio.
“Cities don’t really thrive unless they have great parks, just like Marconi Plaza,” said Connor Barwin, Board Member of Fairmount Park Conservancy. “And the one thing I think is special about Love Your Park Week is that it speaks to what makes parks special: Parks bring people together.”
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy host a citywide cleanup in all of Philly’s parks twice a year in partnership with the Philadelphia Park Friends Network, a group of volunteers who steward their neighborhood parks. Saturday’s kickoff at Marconi Plaza marked the 10th year of Love Your Park Week.
Along with Friends of Marconi Plaza, plenty of volunteers from the community, PowerCorps PHL, the Carpenter’s Union, TD Bank, Bank of America, PECO, Sports Complex Special Services District, and the Knight Foundation came out to lend a hand.
Said Barwin, “Nonprofits like Fairmount Park Conservancy, city leaders like Mayor Kenney and Kathryn Ott Lovell, corporate sponsors like PECO, TD Bank, Bank of America, and foundations like the Knight Foundation – everybody, volunteers, and friends groups coming together – that’s what makes parks special, and special parks make cities great.”
Friends of Marconi Plaza is one of the 130 Friends Groups that make up the Philadelphia Park Friends Network. At Saturday’s kickoff event, Rich Cedrone, Friends of Marconi Plaza’s president, highlighted all of the events and programming the group has brought to the park over the years, from movie nights to concerts to pony rides.
Cedrone, who lives nearby Marconi Plaza, said they want to do even more for the park, but it takes a village. After recognizing his fellow Friends of Marconi Plaza, Cedrone said, “You can move mountains when you stick together.”
Relive the magic of our the Love Your Park Week kickoff at Marconi Plaza in 10 #loveyourpark photos! For even more opportunities to Love Your Park this week, please visit loveyourpark.org.
To learn more about getting involved with your neighborhood park, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.