May 20: Parks Roundup: Paine’s Park praise | Mother Bethel AME burial ground below Weccacoe Playground | Improved Pleasant Hill Park | Ralph Brooks Park renovations planned

Welcome to the working week, Streeters. We’ve got a roundup of park-related news to kick off your Monday:

Skateboarders and casual park visitors are invited to commingle at Paine’s Park, Philadelphia’s distinctive and first-of-its-kind public space designed for skateboarding. In her column Friday, Inga Saffron writes, “Paine’s Park is not just a top-notch skate park, it is a fine public park.” What distinguishes Paine’s Park, she writes, is its thoughtful design by Anthony Bracali of Friday Architects/Planners – from its graceful curves, quality finishes, preserved white oaks that organize the spaces, and dimensions inspired by LOVE Park. You can see, and skate, Paine’s Park for yourself when it officially opens Wednesday.

Under Queen Village’s Weccacoe Playground is the original burial ground for Mother Bethel AME Church, which could complicate upcoming plans to renovate the playground, reports the Inquirer’s Stephan Salisbury. An independent historian has documented some 1300 burials at the site between 1810-1860, including many of the church’s founding members. That work prompted the Department of Parks and Recreation to undertake an archaeological study, which will begin this week. Later this month the Historical Commission will consider designation of the site – though without the support of Mother Bethel Church.

Last week the city celebrated improvements to Pleasant Hill Park in Torresdale with a youth fishing competition, reports NEast Philly. A grant from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources paid to improve the waterfront park’s amenities and to rehabilitate the park’s fish hatchery ponds.

Later this year Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze will begin its transition into a haven for youth basketball. Hidden City Daily pays a visit to the park, known for its ‘Stop the Violence’ wall of names, and explores the park’s planned phased transformation into a “Rucker Park,” spearheaded by Urban Roots. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.  |  Follow us on Twitter @EOTSPhilly, Like us on Facebook.

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