Recently, we have heard that the major capital improvements for Cianfrani Park that we have been discussing at our meetings will come to fruition this October. Neighbors have
been working with Councilman Squilla and the Department of Parks and
Recreation for almost four years. The catalyst for this special effort was
the donation of an historic statue of the City Seal of Philadelphia.
The money comes from
a program set to expire unless it was used by this fiscal year. We are
taking advantage of this funding opportunity in order to get as many
infrastructure improvements done for our park as possible. An opportunity like this is rare and will probably never happen again. It will give us, not only the statue installation that we started out with, but a new electrical system, water source, new benches, new paving including semi permeable pavers for the center square, fencing, renewed turf surface, and nine new trees.
You can see the whole plan that has been worked and reworked at our regular monthly meetings: “Opportunity knocks: February 4 meeting about the sculpture project and park upgrades.”
At that time we had a unanimous vote in favor of the project. For those that missed that meeting we have had information about the sculpture and infrastructure project at most cleanups over the last two seasons, as well as it’s posting on the web site and on the bulletin board in the park.
The decision to replace the Mimosas was not easy. We met with no fewer
than five arborists whose consensus was that the trees were near their end
and were unlikely to survive repaving the center square. Mimosas have
about a 10 to 20 year life span. These were planted in 1968. We were all upset to hear from the arborists and the three-landscape
professionals that are part of FOCP that the mimosas are not long for this
world- despite their obvious beauty and tremendous shade. We tried to find
ways to save them but have been convinced, after much conversation, that
replacement with large-caliper trees will be an enduring, generational
investment in the park’s future. Meantime we intend to create a shade
structure to give relief from the sun in the center of the park.
The park’s electrical systems must be upgraded, which requires trenching
that goes through the center of the park lengthwise. This will disturb the
mimosa root systems. The center paving needs to be removed – especially
after falls from people tripping on uneven pavement. FOCP sees this as an opportunity to improve the quality of the
pavers that also support the longevity and health of our trees. Both of
these necessary upgrades will disturb the health of trees already stressed,
and near the end of their expected lifespan. So even if we could find
smart, cost-effective ways to save the mimosas, we’re not sure they’d be
saved in the near-term much less the long-term.
We meet at Palumbo Playground the First Tuesday of every month at 7pm. If
anyone has an interest in discussing the issues before August, we can try
to set up a casual meeting in the park at a mutually convenient time.
Friends of CianfraniPark
Attention Cianfrani Park supporters! Check out this event from Parks & Rec:
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy will host a Parks Stewardship Conference on Saturday, June 6 from 8:30am – 1:30pm at the McNeil Science and Technology Center of the University of the Sciences, 45th St. at Woodland Avenue in Philadelphia.
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Partnerships for Success.’
We will offer a variety of workshops to help you and your Friends group think about how to engage with local partners to better serve your parks. We are eager to come together with our community partners to bring focus to specific aspects of stewardship and to offer organizational tools to help make your work easier.
After breakfast, we will start the day with a visual look back at Love Your Park Week and a panel discussion on Special Events.
After the morning session, the presentations you will be able to choose from include:
– How to Recruit and Keep Volunteers
– Fundraising for Success
– Programming Your Park for Children
– Park Politics 101
* Optional walking tour of Woodlands Cemetery after lunch at 1:30pm
The McNeil Science Center is a state of the art facility and we will even utilize their computer labs to offer hands-on technical guidance. Breakfast and lunch will be served, and ample free parking is available on site.
The site is easily accessed by the 11 and 36 SEPTA trolley lines. We hope you will join us! Each Friends group may send up to three representatives.
Please RSVP to Meghan Geiser at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation by Wednesday, June 3 by emailing Meghan.Geiser@phila.gov or calling 215-683-3679.
Many of you have commented on the dramatic improvement to the grass in Cianfrani Park. This is due in large part to a continuing experiment to see what might happen if we kept one third of the park on the east end roped off as a “people zone” that would be clean and safe for the children who use the east end extensively.
We would also like boast about out the improvements of our park’s volunteer gardeners.
We would like to thank Chris Desilvis and Karen McCormick for all of their efforts in the planters throughout the park. The bulletin board tells about some of the additions they have made this year. We also thank Dennis McGlade who year after year beautifies the front planter that presents our park to the city. Elaine Ulmer, who is the stalwart motivator that keeps our park moving forward, will soon have some news about the statue project for the triangle garden, which she has been working toward for the last two years.
The Friends of Cianfrani Park are very fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers.
The Cianfrani Park June Concert Series is the unofficial start of summer. Woohoo!
The series kicks off on Friday, June 6 with a special kids’ concert by The Paisley Pickles. Show start at 6 p.m. and will finish by 7:30 p.m.
Information about the other Friday concerts is forthcoming.
Also, June 3 is the next monthly meeting of Friends of Cianfrani Park. The topic on the agenda is the next step in our successful turf project.
As part of LOVE Your Park Week, Cianfrani Park will be having a service day on May 17 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM with lunch and t-shirts for those who come out to help. Meet neighbors, greet friends, and pitch in to make the park look great for the summer season.