Fairmount Park Conservancy has been selected as the Rebuild Project User for the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation owned sites of Johnny Sample (Cobbs Creek) Recreation Center and the Cobbs Creek Environmental Center. As the Project User, FPC is tasked with community engagement, design, and construction of capital improvements to both properties.

Rebuild is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.

The Johnny Sample (Cobbs Creek) Recreation Center and Cobbs Creek Environmental Center projects are in partnership with:

Johnny Sample (Cobbs Creek) Recreation Center

Project Overview

Johnny Sample (Cobbs Creek) Recreation Center is located within Cobbs Creek Park. It features a gymnasium and multipurpose rooms where community members attend summer camp,  and participate in other programming. It is located at 280 Cobbs Creek Pkwy., Philadelphia, PA 19139.

The project is focused on building improvements to provide clean, safe, and healthy public space.

Capital improvements will focus on…

  • Site accessibility upgrades
  • Building upgrades
  • Systems and interior improvements


In 2019 the site was renamed for Johnny Sample. John B. Sample was born in Virginia in 1937. He was an American football defensive back who played for four teams in both the NFL and AFL from 1958 to 1969. He is the only professional football player to have won three championships: the NFL (1958), AFL (1969), and Super Bowl III.

Sample retired from football in 1969. Later, he became an accomplished tennis player and umpire. He served as a sports talk show host on W-H-A-T Radio in Philadelphia from 1988 to 2004. In 1995, he led 73 buses from the Philadelphia area to the Million Man March in Washington, DC. Sample died in 2005.

Visit the Rebuild Site

Cobbs Creek Environmental Center

Project Overview

Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center features meadows, forest area, two creeks, and a wetland. The center offers hands-on activities, environmental programs, outdoor learning, research, and teacher training. It is located at 700 Cobbs Creek Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19143.

Capital improvements will focus on…

  • Improving exterior conditions of the building
  • Addressing issues of deferred maintenance
  • Improving mechanical systems to support comfortable interior spaces
Visit the Rebuild Site

Project Updates

Please join us for our next community meeting on Wednesday April 5th, 2023 5-7:30pm at the Johnny Sample Cobbs Creek Recreation Center!

We will be celebrating the feedback we’ve gathered and sharing any updates to the proposed design since our last community meeting in October.

Please note the rain date for this event: Thursday April 6th, 5-7:30pm

Exciting news! Improvements are underway at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center! Among others, improvements to the Environmental Center include the repair and upgrade of the heating and cooling system, roof repair and replacement, restoration of the iconic cupola, window repairs, and security upgrades.

Please note that the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center is temporarily closed for improvement through Spring of 2023 and is expected to reopen during the summer. During this time, Cobbs Creek Environmental Center staff will offer monthly programming out of the Johnny Sample (Cobbs Creek) Recreation Center. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/CobbsEnvCenter/ to find out more!

Questions about programming? Message or email cobbscreekrec@gmail.com

Questions about construction? Email rebuild@phila.gov


Pictured below: Roof replacement underway at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center

On Tuesday October 11th, we shared the proposed design for the Recreation Center and updates on the repairs at the Environmental Center. Attendees spoke with our design team about the proposed changes and enjoyed warm cider, snacks, and family-friendly art activities.

On Wednesday June 29th, we celebrated all of the meaningful feedback we’ve heard so far and shared updates on the proposed improvements to both the Environmental Center and Recreation Center. After providing feedback on our design boards, community members enjoyed free water ice, sandwiches, and a performance from a local dance company.

On April 7th, the community learned about the two Rebuild projects. During this time, community members shared ideas and enjoyed family-friendly activities and prizes.


If you would like to receive more information about the Cobbs Creek Rebuild  projects, please email capitalprojects@myphillypark.org.