Vernon Park ‘belongs to all of us,’ say organizers of family friendly Germantown event

Bounded by commerical districts along Germantown and Chelten avenues, and the traffic heavy Greene Street, Vernon Park can still manage to retain the charm of the sounds of children’s laughter and the sights of a tended-to rain garden.

Adding to that on Saturday was Friends of Vernon Park’s Family Fun Day, a first-ever event designed to further the group’s “reformation” efforts there.

“We wanted to reinforce to the community that the park belongs to all of us,” said Angela Miles, co-chair of FVP’s programs committee. “The most important part of this event was that we wanted neighbors to come out on a beautiful day and just enjoy the park.”

Taking back the park

Family Fun Day’s activities included yoga, Tai-Chi, bocce ball, Zumba, face painting, soccer, hopscotch and Twister.

Sherwin Williams donated hats for children to paint and decorate. Boy Scout Troop 1719 set up an information table, a tent and demonstrated various survival skills. Tabor Children’s Services offered information for foster and adoptive services and handed out free pretzels and bottled water.

Multiple food trucks came as well, including Bird of Paradise, Cupcake Carnivale and Zea May’s Kitchen, all three of which would also appear at the night’s Germantown Photo Walk slideshow event.

“We also had a lot of families come just to picnic in the park,” Miles said.

Turnout was good

For a debut event (of which there are plans for more), drawing more than 50 people to the park was deemed a success.

“We learned a lot today about putting on this event”, said YahNe Ndgo Baker, co-chair of the FVP programs committee. “Next year, we need to make the day a little shorter, however. We’ve met a lot more organizations we will be able to collaborate with.”

Friends of Vernon Park meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at Center in the Park. The programs committee is currently in the planning stages for the park’s next event, an Oct. 27 flea market.

“What we are really trying to do with this committee is show residents what a vibrant community this is, with so much to offer,” Miles said. “Many residents here don’t realize how many activities you can do for free in one day without ever leaving Germantown.”

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