In 2015, the Fairmount Park Conservancy merged with the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, combining resources and championing both the natural and physical assets within the Philadelphia park system.
History of the Fairmount Park Conservancy
In 1997, a study was ordered by the former Fairmount Park Commission to “determine the feasibility of establishing a more formal and effective development program on behalf of the Fairmount Park Commission; to identify the possible uses of contributed support; and to examine fundraising potential for the Park.” Following a recommendation of the study to create a separate 501c3 fundraising organization that would operate independently of the Commission, the Fairmount Park Foundation was incorporated in July 1998 and renamed the Fairmount Park Conservancy in 2001.
The Fairmount Park Conservancy spent its first 10 years investing more than $20 million in the Philadelphia parks system while increasing public awareness of the park’s role in contributing to the Greater Philadelphia region’s health and vibrancy. Over the last four years, our mission and work has evolved beyond fundraising to position us as a collaborative leader and partner of the park system, focusing more strategically on planning, project management, program development, and community outreach endeavors. Today, we work closely with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to develop and implement projects and programs that support, improve, and enhance Philadelphia’s parks and serve the communities that depend on them through park stewardship, civic initiatives, and environmental education.
History of the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust
Created by an act of City Council in 1992, the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust was developed to address the critical state of the significant historic resources owned by the City of Philadelphia in Fairmount Park. The Trust addressed these needs by providing support in matters of historic preservation to the former Fairmount Park Commission. The Trust sought to preserve the historic resources of the park by providing investment opportunities for vacant and underutilized Fairmount Park properties through the implementation of long-term leases, and identification of public/private organizations able to invest in the restoration and maintenance of the structures. This model resulted in the restoration and financial self-sufficiency of more than 30 properties throughout the park. Through a formal Conservation Program established in 1997, the Trust created a fee-for-service program through which an expert staff of conservators would assess, manage and implement the maintenance and repair needs of a variety of historic park properties. Most recently, the Trust formed a partnership with the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission for the Summer Apprenticeship Program in the Preservation Trades and a partnership with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia to offer a series of free, seasonal Homeowner Workshops to the general public.