In 2009, the Fairmount Park Conservancy laid out a multimillion dollar Master Plan for the revitalization of Hunting Park. The plan proposed projects that would return the park to its former glory for a community that had long lacked access to safe recreational space, park amenities, and healthy, fresh food.
With the Master Plan as a road map, the Conservancy recently completed Phase I of the revitalization of Hunting Park, investing $4.5 million in capital projects and programs, including:
The establishment of the 150-member park stewardship organization Hunting Park United;
Improved lighting along the park’s loop road;
A new baseball field spearheaded by Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard;
Six new state-of-the-art tennis courts supported by tennis legend Billie Jean King;
A community garden;
A weekly farmers’ market;
Two new playgrounds;
385 new trees;
The capstone project for Phase I – the new Team Vick Field, which is now home to more than 500 young athletes involved in the park’s football, soccer and cheerleading programs.
To encourage positive use of the new amenities, the Conservancy has launched critical programs focused around healthy eating, active living, and violence prevention, as well as year-round tennis programming. Finally, a guidebook has been created called Creating Healthy Concessions: A Resource Guide, which illustrates a model for healthy park concessions that is intended for use by community organizations, park groups, and city agencies, and can be implemented across the city’s vast park system, especially among communities that lack consistent access to healthy and fresh foods.
The improvements made at Hunting Park have already established it as a “green anchor” for the surrounding community and a model of urban renewal through park revitalization efforts.
New handball courts were completed and usable in November of 2017 with a ribbon cutting planned for spring, 2018.
Fairmount Park Conservancy is excited to report the new handball courts in Hunting Park are going up quickly with contractors set to finish the all-important wall early next week. Final grading, asphalt and fencing will follow and the courts will be playable within the next month. In spring 2018, contractors will come back to add an additional color coat to the play surface. A ribbon cutting will also occur in the spring. The project would not be possible without the support of Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez and her staff as well as the capital projects team at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. The project also benefited from insightful design recommendations provided by the Pennsylvania Handball Association, an organization dedicated to growing the sport in Philadelphia.