Roxborough resident joins Phila. Parks and Recreation Commission

Some may recognize Derrick Ford from his community-focused TV and radio shows.

But the Roxborough resident has recently taken on a new role in the city as one of three newly appointed members of the Commission of Parks and Recreation (PaRC), which oversees the city’s parks and recreational facilities and programs.

Ford explained that as a Commission member, his role will be to make decisions about upcoming parks and recreation projects in the city within the confines of the department’s budget. 

“The job is about making the right decisions,” said Ford, “I’m just one of the Commission members. We have to work collectively to make conscious decisions.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

At a meeting last month, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced Ford as one addition to the 15-member team.

“I look forward to working with the new and returning commission members to make this vision a reality,” said Nutter, as quoted in the City of Philadelphia’s blog.

Ford, a Strawberry Mansion native, says he’s been advocating for his community for years, initially starting out as a lifeguard and taking on other duties at his local recreation center.

“I have always been in service here in the city, working as a change agent trying to improve the quality of life here,” said Ford.

Currently, Ford hosts a talk show on 900AM – WURD, the only African-American owned and operated talk radio station in Pa., from 6 to 7 p.m. every Saturday. He also co-hosts a television show on CCPTV, a cable channel of Community College of Philadelphia, called “The Tapestry of Life.” He says he has plans to use his media skills in his new position.

“I plan to develop a show to discuss issues surrounding Parks and Rec,” said Ford. “I would like to highlight some of the great sights in our parks and interview and showcase some of the many recreation centers in our city.”

Eighty people applied for the position. City Council then chose 25 nominations to provide to Mayor Nutter, who made the final decisions.

Ford was Council President Darrell Clarke’s designee, as nine of the members were selected from nominations made by City Council. The six other members serve ex-officio, including the president of City Council and the executive director of the City Planning Commission.

“We’re both from Strawberry Mansion,” said Ford about Clarke, “I’ve been advocating for the community as a whole and I think that’s what drew his attention. He understands my commitment to the community.”

Disclosure: WURD Radio is a content partner of 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal