Parks advocates seek more funds for Philly department

Supporters of parks and recreation in Philadelphia recruited some help to find additional city funding.

Parks and recreation supporters are upset over the city’s intention to use an increase in parking tax revenue for the general fund, instead of diverting a portion of it to the park system as was promised four years ago.

“We are blessed with great leadership at our department of parks and recreation and a very high performing department but the task that we ask park and recreation staff to do every day is impossible without proper resources,” says Lauren Bornfriend, executive director of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance.

Councilwoman Cindy Bass said Wednesday she is agreement that the parks need more funding.

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“We understand that in the city’s economic condition and the nation’s economic condition, things are pretty tight,” Bass said. “We get it. We understand it. But at the same time, we want people to understand

that this is not something that is optional.”

Councilman Jim Kenney said that, in light of the school district’s need for city funding, restoration of the requested $8 million might not be in the park’s future.

“That’s what the budget process is all about, it’s about negotiating,” Kenney said. “We’ll come up with a budget in the end.”

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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