Park MeetingsFriends of Cianfrani Park meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at Palumbo Recreation Center at 10th and Fitzwater, or in the park, weather permitting.
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Join the Friends of Cianfrani Park, and help keep our trees healthy and our gardens blooming!
Thank you to all who come to our workdays and contribute to making Cianfrani one of the beauty spots in the city park system. The park is a place to use and enjoy. This is evident if you stop by to relax with a book, or walk your dog, or play with your children. It is also our responsibility to take care of it.
We are grateful to the City (especially to Councilman Squilla) for the recent investment in the infrastructure of our park. Their part of the bargain is complete except for some promised turf restoration. Now we must do our part to maintain our park to a standard we feel we deserve.
Our gardens are ambitious and our trees are large. Philadelphia allows Friends groups to contribute to special projects, such as tree work and gardens. We need to raise $6200 to hire professional help for some urgent projects that would be difficult or dangerous for volunteers to attempt.
Our partners in the City and the Fairmount Park Conservancy are aware of the depth of our commitment as a Friends group, and the strength of the support the community shows for Cianfrani Park.
These are our current priorities:
- Major work is required on some of our largest trees, especially pruning and stabilizing the kid’s favorite “climbing tree”. Several of the big maples are damaged and need help. Other trees should be thinned to stay healthy. It would be good to do this before the end of June.
- Various overgrown evergreen shrubs must be removed and/or relocated as soon as possible.
- We have a proposal of $2600 for the tree work and $1600 to relocate various shrubs and perennials. The proposals are from reputable firms that have worked in the park before.
- We will also need $2000 for additional plants and shrubs to finish our gardens.
What can you do to help?
- Give money! One generous neighbor donated $200, and another has promised to match that gift. Please consider a donation of $50 or more. Any amount is gratefully accepted.
Write a check to the Friends of Cianfrani Park and put it in the mail slot at 721 Pemberton St. Make a donation using the Paypal button on our website cianfranipark.com
It would be ideal to have most of the funding in place before MAY 20
- Unleash your inner entrepreneur: volunteer to serve on a fundraising committee!
It could be fun. Our plants and trees would be happy, and we may even be able to afford extra concerts, movie nights or other events.
Join us for “Love Your Park” Service Day on May 13
We will move mulch and have lunch! Meet the Neighbors! Together we keep Cianfrani park beautiful.
The capital improvements project in Cianfrani Park has resumed and is progressing. In October, after some paving was done on the east and west ends of the park, and some of the beautiful new benches installed, the project was delayed due to the contractor being pulled off and assigned to other jobs. It resumed again in April with work on the center square.
Four large Kentucky Coffee trees were planted on April 11, after the root balls were surrounded with biochar and Mycorrhizae, special fertilizing materials purchased by Friends of Cianfrani Park to assist in drought tolerance, and create an ideal garden soil structure that drains, breaths, and retains optimum moisture levels.
The Kentucky Coffee tree itself is drought-resistant, tolerant of pollution, and adaptable to a variety of soils. With its reputation as a tough species, the Kentucky Coffeetree is known as an excellent choice for parks, golf courses and other large areas. It is also widely used as an ornamental tree. The tree’s picturesque profile stands out in all seasons and can be attributed to a unique growth habit of coarse, ascending branches that often form a narrow crown. Each tree will be surrounded by iron fencing that will help to keep them alive, so they can grow to provide a wonderful shaded area.
Pavers have been laid in the center square that not only provide beauty, but also will help with allowing the trees to receive plenty of rainwater. While they establish themselves, the trees will need be cared for by daily watering and volunteers are needed. If you are willing help with this, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City Seal Statue will be installed on the east end when certain electrical issues have been resolved. However, we are assuming that there will be other delays due to the fact that it is too late in the season to plant the five remaining trees and repair the turf which has been badly compacted. For these reasons, we expect some work to be postponed until the fall.
However, we do expect the park to be ready for our Fridays in June Concert Series.
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.