Mayor Nutter, Elected Officials, Community Groups Break Ground on Hawthorne Park

Philadelphia, March 15, 2011- Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis and community groups announced the groundbreaking Hawthorne Park. Construction of the new three-quarter acre green space, located at 12th and Catherine Streets, is expected to be complete by Spring 2012. Low-energy lights, a variety of plantings and water reduction measures will be included in the park’s design.This is the first new park development since the unveiling Green 2015, the City’s plan to add 500 acres of green space to communities across Philadelphia.

“This groundbreaking is symbolic of the commitment laid out in the Green 2015 plan to make our neighborhoods cleaner and greener,” said Mayor Nutter. “Hawthorne Park is one of many spaces that will be greened over the next four years so families across Philadelphia have convenient access to quality recreation and neighborhood improvement opportunities.”

The $2.2 million project will be funded with a $1.1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, $300,000 in City capital funding, a $300,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development grant, $250,000 from The Pew Charitable Trusts through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and $250,000 from The William Penn Foundation through PHS.

Commissioner DiBerardinis thanked the Pa. Horticultural Society for its support and assistance with the community engagement process. “PHS and the Department of Parks & Recreation have developed a strong partnership through a collaborative effort on a variety of projects. We appreciate their support of the City’s efforts to bring more green into our communities,” DiBerardinis said.

Brenda Barrett, director of DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation said, “Just because a park is green does not mean that it is sustainable – we need our parks to improve environmental quality. Hawthorne demonstrates that we can build an affordable and quality green space in a dense urban neighborhood.”

Hawthorne Park was selected among more than 150 projects across America to participate in a sustainable design pilot program. The SITES two-year pilot program, part of the Sustainability Sites Initiative, will rank various sustainable design projects across America, based on The Guidelines and Performances Benchmark 2009. A 2013 report ranking the projects of various scopes and sizes will be used to encourage additional sustainable design, construction and maintenance of landscapes across America. To learn more about the SITES two-year pilot program, visit http://www.sustainablesites.org/

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