Tag Archives: Friends of Cianfrani Park

Cianfrani Park Capital Improvements Project

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


Parks Stewardship Conference – June 6

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.

Event Ideas

Do you have an idea for an event in Cianfrani Park?

We expect our concert series to continue this summer, but there are opportunities for fresh ideas for other events.
Would you like to see more events in the park this year in addition to our Friday Concerts in June series?

  • Outdoor movies?
  • Easter Egg Hunt?
  • Flea Market?
  • Arts and Crafts Fair?Gardening Expo?
  • Board game challenge?

We welcome neighborhood input and participation!!

Email us: cianfranipark@gmail.com

Friends of Cianfrani Park is a Registered Volunteer Community Group of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Stewardship Program. Past events have included:

  • The Fridays in June Concert Series
  • Spring and Fall Festivals, (live music, flea market, raffle, kids’ games, food.)
  • Movie nights (we have the screen & equipment!)
  • Holiday Lighting Celebrations


June Concerts Are Back!


Last Friday’s rain washed out Pete Donnelly’s schedule performance, but he’s been rescheduled for July 12.

The rest of the June Concert Series is as follows:

Lara & Joe Show – June 14
Special kids concert start time: 6 p.m.!

Dr. Ketchup – June 21
Featuring Bella Vista’s own Lou Fuiano!
7 p.m.

Jazz Planet – June 28
7 p.m.


Thanks again to the Friends of Cianfrani Park for organizing this great summer concert series.

Park Meeting Minutes – March 2, 2013

Meeting Minutes
Friends of Cianfrani Park March Meeting (March 5, 2013)

Fante Leone Statue*

We will have access to a Masters Thesis in Conservation that focuses on the Fante Leone Pool Building. This will be a rich source of information regarding the history of our gift.


1. Get a conservator to evaluate the condition of the statue.

2. Ask PECO to bury the wires going into the park and remove the ugly poles.

3. Gather information for the real costs of foundation work, conservation and installation so we can establish fundraising goals.

4. Gather ideas for fundraising events and identify potential donors and partners.


1. Conservation efforts should preserve the patina and finish on the statue.

2. Keep the installation simple. We will not be using the remaining pieces of the door surround. Is there a fundraising opportunity in selling them off?

3. Keep landscape elements around the statue transparent to maintain clear site lines through the park.

* We realize that not everyone is familiar with the story of the statue and how we got it. We will try to have pictures and back round information on the website within the next few days.



1. Replace the shrubs in the North Central long planter. The Fothergilla is not thriving. The shrubs will be donated to other parks. These shrubs were obtained as part of a grant from PHS, not purchased with donated park funds.

2. Clear out the plants at the broad end of the “triangle” where the statue will be located, so we can start fresh in terms of design. Memorial shrubs and plants we can use will be relocated within the park, all other donated.

3. Install new fencing on the North side of the children’s toy area.




We have a volunteer to organize two movies for the end of August. She will need a two person “crew” to help set up and take down our screen. Trial run for experimenting with the set up process will be either April 13 or May 11 clean ups.

Friday Concerts in June are being planned.

April 13 Mayors Cleanup:

We will be cleaning the perimeter of the park, cleaning a lot across from the park and erecting a new shed to store our tools, potting up plants to be donated to other parks.

May 11 “Love Your Park” service day:

Clean plant, paint the fences, have lunch and talk.


The next meeting of the Friends of Cianfrani Park will be April 2nd

7PM Palumbo Recreation Center

We welcome your participation.

June concert in July!

The summer concerts continue! BUT NOT UNTIL JULY 27

New Date: Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m. come out to see  Pete Donnelly (of the Figgs and NRBQ).

Here’s what City Paper says about Mr. Donnelly:
“A cool blend of Andrew Bird-like chamber folk and quirky subtle soul — plus…riffing power pop”
– City Paper


Coming Soon: Cianfrani Park Spring Festival!

As you may know, we are beginning to plan for our Spring Festival to be held on Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Not only is this a wonderful neighborhood event, but it will help us raise some money to continue to make park improvements and support other events we hope to have. Activities will include live music, food trucks, flea market, raffle, bake table, children’s entertainment, and much more.

We will need several volunteer helpers if the festival is to be a success. Our first planning meeting is next Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at Cianfrani Park at 6:30 p.m. If you are willing to help but cannot attend the meeting, just send an email reply to cianfanipark@gmail.com to let us know and we will be in touch with you.

We will need help with: publicity, fundraising, raffle coordination and solicitation of prizes, organizing food trucks, baked goods table, children’s activities, set-up and clean-up, etc. If you have any suggestion or new idea for the festival, please pass it on to us.