Fairmount Park Conservancy, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, has launched a master planning process for the 348-acre FDR Park in South Philadelphia. FDR’s popularity, years of heavy use, and regular flooding have taken a toll on its infrastructure and environmental integrity. The goal of the master plan is to revitalize the park, restoring it back to its original intent as an urban oasis for people as well as plants and animals, and create a shared vision for the park’s future.
Join us for the FDR Master Plan Celebration
February 24, 2019: The Conservancy hosted a guided walk on the west side of FDR Park, which currently operates as a public golf course, before the course opened for the season. Check out photos from the walk here.
November 14, 2018: The second community meeting on the FDR Park Master Plan was held at South Philly High from 6 to 8 pm. The meeting had 200+ people in attendance, included free food from the SoPhiE food truck, and offered free childcare. Participants responded to proposed improvements to the park based on the themes of nature, water, and recreation. Check out the meeting recap here.
October 20, 2018: Exploration Day at FDR Park featured the unveiling of artist Nicole Donnelly’s Carved in Water installation, a paper-making station using plants that grow in the park, and guided walks of the park with Let’s Go Outdoors. Learn more here.
October 2018: WRT and the Conservancy hosted a series of community design workshops in South Philadelphia in which park users created maps of their ideal FDR Park of the future. Local organizations SEAMAAC and The Aquinas Center helped us engage the immigrant and refugee communities as well as youth who use FDR Park. Learn more about the workshops here and check out the maps participants created here.
August 24, 2018: The Conservancy issued a Call for Artists to submit proposals for an outdoor environmental art installation that helped park users learn about the relationship between FDR Park and climate change. Learn more here.
July 31, 2018: The Conservancy recruited five community members to work as FDR Park Planning Ambassadors. Ambassadors surveyed park users in the park and in their South Philly communities throughout August and September. Learn more about the ambassadors here.
June 14, 2018: The first community meeting on the FDR Park Master Plan was held at Calvary Temple in Packer Park. Over 100 people attended to share what they love about the park and what could be better. To view a recap community meeting, please click here.
May 2018: FDR Park user survey was published. Over 1,200 people responded to the survey throughout 2018. Our planning team also interviewed over 40 FDR Park stakeholders.
March 2018: Out of the 15 applications received from design firms, WRT was selected to develop the master plan. Read the press release here.
August 2017: Fairmount Park Conservancy issued an RFP for the FDR Park Master Plan.
FDR Park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers and opened in 1921 as League Island Park. The park is a designated Historic District by the Philadelphia Historical Commission and is home to a series of lakes and lagoons, a golf course, the American Swedish Historical Museum, and a range of recreation facilities including tennis courts, ball fields, and a skate park.
FDR Park enjoys heavy use and activity, but as a result its infrastructure and environmental integrity have suffered. In order to restore South Philadelphia’s only large park to its original intent as an urban oasis, the Conservancy, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Friends of FDR Park, has embarked on a master planning process. After the Conservancy issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in August 2017, Philly-based design firm WRT, LLC was selected out of the 15 applicants to develop the master plan.
WRT and the Conservancy expect to solicit significant community input throughout the nine- to 12-month planning process.
Residents of South Philadelphia and regular FDR Park users are encouraged to participate in the master planning process for FDR Park. Sign up for updates and notice of community meetings below.
The FDR Park Master Plan has been supported by the William Penn Foundation, the office of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, and CUSP.
In kind support for the Master Plan Celebration has been generously provided by 20/20 Visual Media.