The Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Growing the Neighborhood program has encouraged the re-connection of citizens to each other and to the land by providing a new vehicle for direct public participation in the conception, creation, and stewardship of parks. Through Growing the Neighborhood, physical improvements have been made to 21 neighborhood parks and counting in Philadelphia.

The Growing the Neighborhood program has grown to include LOVE Your Park Week, a spring celebration of neighborhood parks at over 100 park sites across the city. After kicking off with a city-wide volunteer day, the week includes movie nights, plant sales, old school game nights, bird walks, yoga in the park, craft fairs, and much more.  With over 10,200 acres in Philadelphia’s park system, this is a great way to explore new parks and to see how local communities are making their parks a vibrant part of their neighborhood.  The expansion into LOVE Your Park Week was a direct result of the sustained commitment of two lead corporate sponsors, ACE Group and NovaCare Rehabilitation.

A ground-breaking study from The Trust for Public Land from 2008 quantified the economic impact of Philadelphia’s park system. They found that the collective wealth and direct savings that come from our Philadelphia parks, at that time, was $1.9 billion dollars, through increased property values, tourism and environmental savings. This study was based on the Philadelphia park system in its current, under-resourced state. As ACE Group and NovaCare partner with the Conservancy to expand Growing the Neighborhood, the Conservancy is collectively working to bring Philadelphia closer to an excellent park system and one that will contribute even more to its economic well-being.