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Park System

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NEWS
June 11, 2008 | By Jeff Shields INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A proposal to meld Fairmount Park with the city Recreation Department appears headed for a November referendum, with park advocates, City Council and Mayor Nutter aligned to radically change oversight of the 9,200-acre city jewel. With a unanimous recommendation from Council's Law and Government Committee yesterday, the measure faces few obstacles to gain final Council approval next week. If passed by voters, a change in the city's Home Rule Charter would eliminate the Fairmount Park Commission, which has controlled the park for 141 years.
NEWS
October 20, 2003 | By Lauren Bornfriend
A question facing each of us as citizens and voters in the coming weeks concerns the potential of Philadelphia's more than 9,200 acres of parkland. What do these unimaginably unique and precious resources mean to us personally, and how will they benefit our families, our neighborhoods, our city, and our region? If we believe that urban parks are an essential component of any first-class city - that they generate economic vitality, community development, education, and self-expression; that they contribute to health, fitness, peace and beauty - then we have the opportunity and obligation to tell it to the candidates for mayor and City Council.
NEWS
December 10, 2001 | By Thom Guarnieri INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Burlington County officials have finished gathering the public's comments on a proposed county park system and expect to have a basic design ready by late winter or early spring. This master plan would aid the county in deciding where to locate parkland and how the land would be used when acquired. More hearings are expected next year on the draft plan. The county is focusing on assembling areas for passive recreation, such as biking, hiking and boating. Active recreation, such as athletic fields, is a municipal responsibility, Freeholder Bill Haines said.
NEWS
January 22, 2012 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
A chain restaurant in Wharton State Forest. A Ferris wheel at Liberty State Park. Weddings, flea markets, and corporate events taking over New Jersey's historic sites and scenic lands. That could be the future if the state goes forward with plans to privatize parts of its park system, some warn. "Next thing you know, you have to pay more for everything and the public's access is limited," said Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey. "You'll be getting fee'd to death.
NEWS
February 21, 2011 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once a popular swimming hole and a location for dances put on by American Bandstand , the Willingboro Lakes Nature Preserve soon will be part of the widening Burlington County Parks system. Willingboro acquired the 106-acre tract, previously known as Olympia Lakes, through a $1 million state open-space grant and $1 million in county funds in 1997. Unable to afford the millions it could cost to make it accessible to hikers, bird-watchers, and boaters, Willingboro Mayor Eddie Campbell Jr. said the township approved a transfer of the title to the county late last month.
NEWS
December 1, 1999 | By Frederick Cusick, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Representatives of the Fairmount Park Commission last night presented Northeast Philadelphia residents with a summary of the problems and opportunities present in the trail systems of three of the city's "stream valley parks. " Speaking to a crowd of about 40 at the Jerdel Recreation Center on Cottman Avenue, the commission's representatives and consultants offered what they described as an inventory of the trail systems in Pennypack, Tacony Creek and Poquessing Parks. The inventory was the first step in a six-month process to come up with a new trail system master plan not only for the three stream valley parks but for the whole city park system.
NEWS
January 5, 2006 | By Phil Goldsmith
A proposal to make the Fairmount Park Commission part of an expanded Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation will promote a cohesive and rational park and recreational plan for our city and bring sound business practices - something our two separate park systems lack. The proposal, by City Council members Blondell Reynolds Brown and Darrell Clarke, is not radical, untested, or out of the mainstream. Cities such as Baltimore, New York, Phoenix, Houston, St. Louis and many others all have unified park and recreation systems.
NEWS
November 14, 2008 | By Art Carey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
True to his name, Alex Bonavitacola is still living the good life. At 77, the former president judge of the Court of Common Pleas is trim and muscular - the happy consequence of 15 minutes of daily weightlifting and a 2 1/2-mile walk in FDR Park. Known to generations of Philadelphians as "The Lakes," FDR Park, at the far end of Broad Street and just north of the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, is the retired judge's 348-acre backyard. He lives in a Packer Park rowhouse 2 1/2 blocks away.
NEWS
August 27, 1992 | Michael A. Renshaw, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Ever since William Levitt's bulldozers bit into the fertile farmland of Lower Bucks County 40 years ago, heralding the arrival of the suburban housing boom, a commonly held belief has been that unchecked development is destroying open space. But in reality, Bucks has been a leader among the suburban counties in land preservation, with more than 20,000 acres of county and state property that will remain forever green. The Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation, the Bucks County Conservancy and the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program have been working independently to protect millions of dollars' worth of land from the developers' bulldozers.
NEWS
October 9, 2005 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Just two years ago - and what's two years in a city that has been around for three centuries? - a crew of children and suits and plain folks marched themselves into Fernhill Park, picked up brooms and shovels and rakes, and set about putting the old green place in order. That turnout, repeated many times over subsequent weeks and months, marked the beginning of a joint effort involving the Fairmount Park Commission, corporations, foundations and city residents to retool and refurbish parks all over the city.
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NEWS
July 31, 2015 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
The late July heat is blooming inside the Camden County Community Greenhouse, but the volunteers seem unfazed. Tina McHugh and Christine Pike fill wheelbarrows with ungainly petunias destined for the nearby compost pile. Steve Politowski arrives with tools so he can help finish the roof on the new potting shed. And Jane Elkis Berkowitz is ready for a plant propagation class. "The power of the flower," Freeholder Michelle Gentek-Mayer says. "It goes very far. " The once-abandoned greenhouse at the Lakeland complex in Gloucester Township will yield 15,000 flowering plants this year to beautify the county's park system and public buildings.
NEWS
June 27, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
The National Park Service is removing all Confederate flag items on sale throughout the federal park system. The action, announced Thursday in the aftermath of the shootings of nine African Americans in Charleston, S.C., applies to merchandise in bookstores and gift shops, said Jonathan B. Jarvis, park service director. "We strive to tell the complete story of America," Jarvis said. "All sales items in parks are evaluated based on educational value and their connection to the park.
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
John Anderson hopes to help more people fall in love with the Rancocas Creek. "You paddle into a semi-wilderness . . . and you can't see houses, you can't hear anything," says the Westampton resident, 53. "All you hear is nature. It's hypnotic. It's an escape from everything around us. " Anderson, who regularly plies his red Pyranha Mountain 300 kayak along the storied Rancocas, is championing an excellent idea: Creating a "water trail" to encourage more people to kayak, canoe, or hike along tidal portions of the creek.
NEWS
August 19, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
Police are investigating reports that a skateboarder beat a ranger in LOVE Park on Friday as others stood by and laughed. Details were made public over the weekend after a witness posted a video of the attack on the Internet. The confrontation began just before 5:30 p.m. Friday, police said, when a Philadelphia Parks and Recreation ranger approached a group of skateboarders and told them skateboarding was not permitted in the park at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard, a popular spot with tourists for picture-taking.
NEWS
June 27, 2014
A FEW years ago, I pitched what I thought was a great idea for the city: A beer garden at LOVE Park. I could just imagine the lunchtime crowds, the evening diners with their families, the skateboarders and foodies, people just hanging out - all of them coming together and enjoying the city's finest, freshest beer at one of its most scenic locations. The reception from city reps who oversee the popular but underutilized park was colder than an ice-filled keg bucket. Beer? Forget it, they sniffed.
NEWS
May 24, 2014
With a comprehensive new study setting out the challenges facing the beautiful but balkanized 2,000-acre heart of Fairmount Park on both banks of the Schuylkill, city leaders and park lovers alike have a to-do list for years to come. If the core of Philadelphia's sprawling park system is to be an even greater asset, the city must take steps to tame speeding traffic along its drives, substantially improve transit links, and bridge natural barriers (a broad river and steep slopes) and man-made impediments (freight lines and an expressway)
NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Beth Kephart
The day before there'd been a storm, and so the Wissahickon Creek ran freckled, like the back of a fawn. It was 51 degrees, the 13th of May, early, but not dawn. Fish jumped. Frogs demurred. A garden-variety Canada goose was jonesing for a show. If there were turtles on the backs of rocks, they achieved perfect incognito, and every bird that rustled was (it seemed) a chubby-bellied robin, until my eyes saw past the secrets of the trees. A chimney swift. A pair of fish crows. An operatic gray catbird wearing a very sweet toupee.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By Billie Jean King
As a young girl growing up in Long Beach, Calif., I was fortunate to have access to public tennis courts. The opportunities for free instruction and available court time made a huge difference in my life and career. And I wasn't alone. Chris Evert, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, and so many great players from tennis got their start in a public park program. So, yes, the protection and the future of our public parks are near and dear to me. Programs like LOVE Your Park Week here in Philadelphia need our support and our attention.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Even as it crumbles, the little cottage on a knoll overlooking Evans Pond manages to charm. It has so captivated Cherry Hill resident Kevin Cook that he's started a campaign to save the vacant structure, built as the Wallworth Park clubhouse in 1927. And even as he battles a progressive and incurable neurological disorder that affects his mobility, dexterity, and speech, Cook, 35, has succeeded in persuading Camden County to delay demolition. He also hopes the county can fix the holes in the roof.
NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
If landscapes were gems, Timber Creek Park would be Tiffany's. It offers 128 rolling acres of woods, water, and fields - an oasis amid the postwar suburban sprawl of Gloucester Township. But some people who enjoy the trails and the dog run worry that this sylvan jewel could be tarnished by people who like to play disc golf. The competitive sport mixes aspects of the links with elements of Frisbee, horseshoes, and basketball. Players stand at a tee and try to sink a plastic disc about the size of a dinner plate into a basketlike target from 200 to 500 feet away, taking successive shots from wherever the disc lands.
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