Finally, a breakthrough in the McMichael playground standoff! Councilman Jones announces plans for a natural playspace in the park.
As the air turns cooler and crisper and the leaves begin falling, it is another autumn in East Falls. There is much to be proud about in your little nook of our city. The business district is taking off; residential development is at an all time high and of course, the many parks and recreational spaces including McMichael Park are thriving.
As you may know, there was a Community Forum held in late June at Gustine Recreation Center to discuss the idea of a play space at McMichael Park. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and I attended as did leaders from the community who presented their ideas on the topic.
Since that meeting, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s (PPR) planning team has developed a basic scope of work to engage a landscape architecture firm to explore concepts for a nature-inspired play space in McMichael Park. Five landscape firms will be given the opportunity to submit their proposals by early November to work with the community to explore the options.
Once PPR receives the proposals, a Selection Committee made up of PPR staff, Council staff and community leaders will select the landscape firm before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Selection Committee will then serve as a Steering Committee to work closely with the selected landscape firm and the City over the course of a few months to develop a few concepts for McMichael Park. A final concept will be presented to the community for its feedback sometime in late winter/early spring 2017.
This planning process for McMichael Park will be an open and transparent and we intend to keep the community informed every step of the way. I am excited about the future of McMichael Park and grateful for the tremendous community support for this East Falls treasure.