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, the Conservancy 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.

Click here to view all design renderings
Click here to explore the model video walkthrough

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

November 2023: Improvements and upgrades continue at the Environmental Center and are expected to be complete in early 2024!

Visit the Environmental Center’s Facebook page for updates on programming.
Questions about programming? Message or email cobbscreekrec@gmail.com
Questions about construction? Email rebuild@phila.gov

On September 22, 2023, Fairmount Park Conservancy joined City officials, Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Rebuild Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and community members to break ground on renovations to the Recreation Center. Click here to read more in our blog post.

On Wednesday April 5, 2023, we unveiled the final design renderings for the Recreation Center and shared an update about the Environmental Center. Attendees also learned about TreePhilly’s yard tree giveaways and enjoyed family-friendly activities and a drill team performance.

February 2023: 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. 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!

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

On Tuesday October 11, 2022, 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 29, 2022, 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 7, 2022, the community learned about the two Rebuild projects. During this time, community members shared ideas and enjoyed family-friendly activities and prizes.

Want to receive seasonal updates on park news and events in Cobbs Creek Park?

Sign up for our Cobbs Creek Park Newsletter

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