Double Play for the Falls

Curtis Jones scores a solid for kids on either side of Henry Avenue.  

In March, we caught up with our Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. at Murphy’s where East Falls Dems were feting him with a fundraiser heading into elections. Mr. 4th District was eager to talk playgrounds. “We are probably going to increase the allotment, “ he hinted about McMichael’s proposed natural playspace, “We think it can be kid-friendly and environmentally-friendly at the same time and not disrupt the ecosystem doing it.”

This announcement comes at the heels of recent press release indicating $250,000 has been allocated to begin construction of McMichael’s natural playspace. View plans & follow our colorful coverage here. A lot of neighbors have been waiting a long time for more active use of this traditionally “passive” park.

“Some people wanted us to do Mifflin vs McMichael,” he went on, shaking his head, “I say, Or? Why can’t we do And ? Kids need to play in both places, so – green grass is good for everybody. “ The Councilman is not only ready to get McMichael’s plans started but also looking forward to projects in the works at Mifflin that will also greatly improve quality of life in East Falls.

Scenes from March’s fundraiser. Top: Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. with EF neighbors Meghan Smythe, Kevin Todd and the Local’s Steve Fillmore. Bottom: EFDC’s new director Meredith Johnson chats up Board member John Hawkins

April 15th,  Polly Edelstein (Friends of Mifflin) shared to the East Falls Rants Facebook page that Mifflin is seeking $1 million in funding for a “campus redesign” to include the blacktop space, the arboretum (the greenspace along Midvale from the train station to Conrad), the pre-k yard, and some of the wooded area behind the school. “The entire campus redesign is $1.9 million dollars but the area (we) are currently focusing on is the main/traditional playground space which is just under $1 million.”

The plan will turn the area near the gym into a green/eco-friendly play area plus water garden (that provides storm drainage as well as greenery). And it’d be usable and accessible to everyone. “We are currently speaking with some large-scale funders who would be contributing in the 6-figure ballpark,” she advised, “As soon as any of these come to fruition, I will sound the alarm and share with the entire neighborhood.”

Image credit Friends of Mifflin March 2019

Big thanks to Curtis Jones and all the Mifflin & McMichael volunteers working so hard for a more kid-friendly Falls.

Follow McMichael Playspace for East Falls and Friends of Mifflin for updates.

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