Philly Parks: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

In Philadelphia, park love knows no bounds. Unseasonable rain didn’t stop hundreds of people from coming out to clean up their favorite neighborhood green as part of the city’s biannual Love Your Park bonanza, which ended on Sunday. 

With more than 100 city parks hosting volunteer cleanups and special events, the week-long celebration organized by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Parks Conservancy brought out folks to love on parks in all sorts of ways. While some people chose to spend a day transforming one of Wissahickon Valley’s peskiest plants into a delicious foraged snack, others pedaled through parks or showed off dance moves at the local playground. Scroll down for a peep at the action.

Wojo, a lifelong Kensington resident, photographer, and avid cyclist — he even got a nod in mural artist Steve Powers’ tribute to Philadelphia mural in 2016 — shared pictures of several parks he visited during Love Your Park Week, from Historic RittenhouseTown in Fairmount Park to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.

Historic RittenhouseTown, the first paper mill in British North America, is tucked off of Lincoln Drive, is on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated National Historic Landmark District.  The site still has six of the original 45 buildings, which was established in 1690, WHYY reported.

In South Philadelphia, a coalition of organizations celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month and a South Philadelphia gem, Mifflin Square Park.

Keith Mui of Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition (SEAMAAC), one of the festival’s host organizations, shared his favorite shots of Mifflin Square Park during the day’s festivities.

Mifflin Square Park in South Philly serves the immigrant and refugee populations in the neighborhood, where over 21 languages are spoken.. Credit: Keith Mui
Mifflin Square Park in South Philly serves the immigrant and refugee populations in the neighborhood, where over 21 languages are spoken.. Credit: Keith Mui (Keith Mui)

Jishava Patel, a recent transplant to Philadelphia, took no time to get accustomed to the Philadelphia park tradition. She shared a few more pics from Saturday’s celebration.

Lion dance performance during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration at Mifflin Square Park. Credit: Jishava Patel
Lion dance performance during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration at Mifflin Square Park. Credit: Jishava Patel (Jishava Patel)

Visitors oohed and ahhed 10 historic houses and museums, including the grand Strawberry Mansion.

Over in West Philadelphia, Streets Dept’s Conrad Benner points out one of Philly’s best parks up above, at Cira Green. In University City, where new developments make green space on the ground floor increasingly rare, developer Brandywine Realty Trust took advantage of rooftop green space, offering reprise from the busy street traffic and, according to Benner when he laid eyes Philly’s first elevated park, “quite possibly one of the BEST views of the Center City skyline.”

Heading South, the 1,200-acre John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, a 2013 PlanPhilly ‘Staycation’ site, protects the largest freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania and serves as a refuge for rare plants, resident and migratory birds, and earthbound animals. The refuge is also a key component of the Tinicum Marsh, which, as Catalina Jaramillo reported in March 2017, is crucial in understanding the environmental foundation for the Eastwick’s flooding problem.

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