Cianfrani Park Gardens

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.

June Concert Lineup

 

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June Concerts!

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.

LOVE Your Park: Cianfrani Work Day May 17

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.

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A Short History of Grass in Cianfrani Park and Why We Put Up the Caution Tape

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A message from the Friends of Cianfrani Park:

As Cianfrani Park becomes more popular the open areas have become worn and ragged.

Last summer turf specialists at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PP&R) explained to us that the dominant grass here was a form of fast growing quack grass, a sign that the park is under stress. You may have noticed that the spotty “grass” would be knee high within days of a mowing, causing the park to look unkempt most of the time.

The Friends of Cianfrani Park asked PP&R for help. They responded by spraying the park to kill the weeds (not a success), and by aerating the grassy areas and re seeding (Yes!). The aeration pulls plugs of dirt out to allow air and moisture in, letting the lawn breathe. It also benefits adjacent trees.

We experimented to see if protecting the aerated grass from foot traffic during the wet winter season would have any effect. The caution tape “fence” was respected by most. Today you can see the remarkable difference between the East and West sides of the park. It got us thinking that if nice grass was a possibility, wouldn’t it be great to have a “clean zone” that people (especially the smallest ones) could enjoy for picnics and play.

The second part of our experiment will be to post signs asking pet owners not to use the designated areas for toileting purposes. That is not to say that leashed pets are not welcome, just requesting they do not use these areas as a bathroom.

We have been talking informally to people at park clean ups, and the response to the clean zone idea is very positive. Some have been inspired to pull up the invasive weeds by hand to avoid using chemical herbicide. Others expressed interest showing movies in the park this summer if there was a clean and pleasant place for people to enjoy them. Several neighbors with lawn expertise have offered to donate services.

There is no intention to abandon other areas of the park. The Friends are eager to reach out to every park user to help develop a plan for rehabilitating all the grassy areas.

A small park like Cianfrani with many, many users will always be challenged to keep grass healthy and lush. Success depends on the good will and cooperation of all who use the park daily.

If there is interest, we will add the “Clean Zone” concept to the agenda for the June 3rd monthly meeting. Our partners at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, The Fairmount Parks Conservancy, and Councilman Mark Squilla’s office will also be invited.

 

Monthly meetings are held a t Palumbo Recreation Center at 7pm, unless otherwise noted via cianfranipark@gmail.com. The next meeting of the Friends of Cianfrani Park will be held June 3rd. 

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Spring Cleanup – Saturday, April 5

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March 4 Meeting

Agenda for Friends of Cianfrani Park March 4 meeting at 7 p.m. at Palumbo Recreation Center.

We are pleased that Erin Engelstad from the Fairmount Park Conservancy will be attending our meeting. The Conservancy is a great resource for all city parks. They provided our new bulletin board and have helped fund the winter Holiday Lighting event.

Statue
Review of any comments regarding the statue project. Review the statue presentation and submit comments here.

Workdays
Discuss projects for the Mayors Cleanup on April 5th and Love Your Park Service Day on May 10th.
If conditions permit, we may call for an informal “raking party” soon to remove leaves and pods from the taped off lawn areas. The point of the protection is to give the lawn a rest from constant foot traffic over the winter.
We will be discussing an idea to keep some portion of the grass area dog free so there is a clean and attractive portion of the park for human use this spring and summer.

Grants
There is an opportunity to apply for Americorps volunteers to do some work in the park. This may be a chance to repaint all of our decorative iron fencing, which needs attention.
We need people to guide the volunteers to do the job properly. Can anyone help with this?

Activities
There will be a short report on our discussions with other local parks about coordinating our concerts and other events.
We are still looking for additional events for Cianfrani Park. All ideas are welcome.

Makemusicphilly.org is the local website for a worldwide event that occurs at the Solstice, June 21st. They want to arrange free musical events all day long all over the city, so they are looking for people with musical talent to volunteer. Cianfrani Park will agree to be a venue!

April Meeting
Please note that the April meeting will take place in the park on Saturday the 5th during the clean up, and not at Palumbo on the first Tuesday as we usually do.