Today’s post comes from Nyla Holland, the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Bloomberg Arts Summer Intern. Nyla will be a senior at Masterman High School this fall and is working with us on summer programming at the Oval as well as other arts-related projects.
Roughly 7 million people visit the 2,050 acres of Fairmount Park every year. From barbecuing to shooting hoops, bike riding to nature walking, the park is a source of laughter, fun and discovery for all of its visitors. It is a destination for people from surrounding neighborhoods, the city at large and from countries around the world.
Yet there are many people, particularly residents of Philadelphia, who do not explore its creeks, embrace its history, or engage with its recreational assets. One reason that people don’t visit Fairmount Park is because it can be daunting to navigate. With its considerable expanse and limited park signage, it may seem overwhelming to explore such a vast place. Visitors and residents of the city call nearly every day asking for a map and have, through the years, made it very clear that a map is wanted. The Fairmount Park Conservancy has finally created something many people will appreciate; a map of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.
This vibrant and comprehensive map, entitled 50 Unique Experiences in Fairmount Park, details various activities people of all ages and interests can enjoy. The road-map style pamphlet includes not only a map of both East and West Fairmount Park, with hiking trails, bus stops, and Ride Indego stations in the area, but photos and suggested itineraries for planning a visit. Graphic designer Andee Mazzocco of Whole-Brained Design, who was tapped to organize and design the map, said:
“I’ve been lucky enough to map Fairmount Park several times. All of these maps have been small—so small, sometimes, that the depiction of the park reads more like a cartoon. A useful map of Fairmount Park demands a bigger scale in order to understand the nuances of this vast landscape. When Fairmount Park Conservancy approached me to design this map, going big was the first thing I asked for. This allowed us to show the topography of the park and reveal the sixteen creeks that shape the land and feed the Schuylkill River, which really gets to the heart of the park’s heritage as a protected, working landscape. To me, these “creeksheds” that are the key to understanding the park are also real grounds on which to plan a future for Fairmount Park that’s all about connecting people to water.”
Also featured are 50 adventures that Fairmount Park Conservancy compiled to get more Philadelphia residents and tourists out and about in Fairmount Park. The color-coded listings highlight areas of interest, activity type, cost and the season(s) when they are offered. Each listing has essential information regarding location, availability or other helpful things to know before exploring, as well as a location pin on the map. Fairmount Park Conservancy included activities that appeal to people with different interests when visiting the Park. These include swimming at Kelly Pool, touring Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens, exploring park myths and legends, and much more. It even features three possible itineraries to follow for a fun day in Fairmount Park. Ellen Ryan, Senior Director of Strategy and Planning for Fairmount Park Conservancy, said, “As Philadelphia’s signature park, Fairmount Park is an incredible and vast resource, but it can be daunting to understand. This map is an invitation to visit and take advantage of its great amenities and destinations there. We hope people get inspired by the map and get out to experience Fairmount Park!”
Fairmount Park is a beautiful natural treasure in the heart of the city of brotherly love. From hiking around the Belmont Plateau trails to yoga at Lemon Hill, there is an experience waiting for everyone. We invite you to come to The Oval this summer and grab your map, so you can start exploring what Fairmount Park has in store for you!
To see what the map looks like click: