New parks leader branches out, seeks input

    The city’s new Parks and Recreations Commissioner made his first public appearance over the weekend. He’s planning the future of the freshly bundled Fairmount Park, Recreation Department, and the Free Library.

    The city’s new Parks and Recreations Commissioner made his first public appearance over the weekend. He’s planning the future of the freshly bundled Fairmount Park, Recreation Department, and the Free Library.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090420pcparks.mp3]

    During a cleanup day at Gorgas Park in Roxborough, Mike DeBerardinis said the challenge of merging the Fairmount Park system with the Recreation Department is the different between the city and the country.
    Fairmount Park was designed to be a land management agency with forests and watersheds, the Rec Department oversees programs in recreation buildings inside urban neighborhoods. DiBerardinis says that’s also the opportunity.

    DiBerardinis: Let me give you a practical example – you have a rec center that’s next to the Wissahickon watershed. What does that mean for programming? How do you connect the kids at that rec center to the park, and the park to rec center? There’s great programming opportunities, great synergy between the two.

    DiBerardinis said in the next six months, he and the staff of the Parks and Recreation center will conduct outreach with neighborhood groups to learn what is needed in their parks.

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