Mayor Nutter, Council President Clarke Announce Applications Open for Commission on Parks and Recreation

Applications must be submitted by May 9, 2012.

Philadelphia, March 30, 2012– Mayor Michael A. Nutter together with Council President Darrell Clarke announced that the City Council of Philadelphia is currently accepting applications to serve on the Commission on Parks and Recreation. The Commission was created as part of the amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, approved by the voters on November 4, 2008, which merged the Fairmount Park Commission and the Recreation Department to create the new Department of Parks and Recreation.

“This Commission is responsible for setting written standards and guidelines for land use, green space preservation, and the acquisition, sale or lease of park land and recreation facilities,” said Mayor Nutter. “I am asking committed citizens who share my vision for a strong and sustainable park and recreation system to submit an application and help shape the future of Philadelphia’s parks and recreation areas.”

Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown sponsored the legislation putting the Charter Change before the voters. “We were amazed and humbled by the extraordinary quality and sheer number of applicants to serve on the Commission in 2009,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “I know Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, my co-sponsor on the legislation establishing the Parks & Recreation Department, joins Councilwoman Bass and me in encouraging Philadelphians to become more actively involved with their City.”

The Commission is composed of 15 members: nine appointed by the Mayor from a list of nominations submitted by City Council and compiled from applications received; and six “ex officio” members – the Commissioners of the Departments of Parks and Recreation, Water, Streets, and Public Property; the City Council President; and the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission.

“It is very important that the Fairmount Park Commission be diverse and represent citizens from all over the City,” said Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Chair of Council’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Committee. “I strongly encourage people to participate in the nomination process no matter their neighborhood or background.”

There are nine positions to be filled and current Commissioners interested in continuing to serve must reapply for consideration. A Commission appointment is a volunteer, unpaid position, and appointed Commissioners will serve four-year terms. Under the Charter’s general provision concerning boards and commissions, members of the Commission must be residents of Philadelphia or Pennsylvania counties adjacent to Philadelphia (Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery).
Application forms can be found at http://www.phila.gov, the Office of City Council’s Chief Clerk (Room 402 City Hall), Free Library of Philadelphia branches, City recreation centers, and Fairmount Park facilities. Interested applicants must submit an application by May 9, 2012 to be considered.

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Citizens Planning Institute Announces Philadelphia Zoning Code Training Series

Philadelphia, March 16, 2012 – The Citizens Planning Institute (CPI), the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s educations program to engage citizens in the city planning process, will offer a Spring-Summer 2012 training series on the new Philadelphia zoning code, which was signed by Mayor Michael A. Nutter in December 2011. The classes, sponsored in partnership with the Department of Licenses and Inspections, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, will provide citizens with the opportunity to learn more about the zoning code. Registration opens today, and the first classes will begin on April 24, 2012.

“The Citizens Planning Institute is a new way to educate Philadelphians about city planning,” said Mayor Nutter. “We set out to educate our citizens on development and zoning so they can share this information with their neighbors, friends and colleagues. Planning is about the future of our communities, our neighborhoods, our city, and I want to encourage residents to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about how we can create a more livable, green and sustainable Philadelphia.”

The new zoning code includes changes to the City’s development regulations and approval procedures such as:

  • Making the zoning code more user-friendly;
  • Reducing number of zoning classifications;
  • Incorporating a civic design review process; and
  • Establishing the role of citizens in the zoning approval process.

To sign up, individuals can visit www.zoningmatters.com to participate in two core classes, the Comprehensive Overview of the Zoning Code and Administration & Procedure, as well as have the opportunity to sign up for three electives. The registration fee for the core classes is $160 and each elective class is $45. Currently also open for registration is the CPI Spring Citizen Planner course series. Registration for these classes ends on March 27, 2012.

Mayor Nutter, Streets Department Kick off Countdown to Philly Spring Clean Up

Philadelphia, March 6, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia Streets Department kicked off the countdown to the 5thAnnual Philly Spring Cleanup on April 14th (rain date April 28th). Starting today, residents can volunteer for a Philly Spring Cleanup project online at www.phillyspringcleanup.com. The press conference was held a McPherson Square Park in order to highlight ongoing revitalization efforts there.

“I’m continually inspired by what we achieve every year during the Philly Spring Cleanup,” said Mayor Nutter. “Thousands of volunteers, hundreds of projects and millions of pounds of trash and recycling have been collected over the last four years. We’ve accomplished a lot, but I know we can do better this year. In honor of the Philly Spring Cleanup’s fifth anniversary, let’s work together to make this the best cleanup yet and keep the effort going all year long.”

Mayor Nutter was joined today by Streets Department Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Deputy Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams, dozens of community groups, Kensington residents and Philly Spring Cleanup sponsors and partner organizations.

“The Philly Spring Cleanup is all about establishing civic pride, creating a better quality of life and taking ownership of our neighborhoods not just one day, but ever day,” said Commissioner Tolson. “We need to build off the momentum established during the cleanup and ‘Keep Up the Sweep Up’ year-round.”

City residents and organizations can become involved in the 5th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup by registering as project site or to volunteer. City residents and organizations who wish to participate should visit www.PhillySpringCleanup.com. The deadline for submitting a project is Friday, March 30, 2012. Residents may also call the Streets Department’s Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560, or call 3-1-1.

The Countdown event this afternoon also highlighted the work happening to revitalize McPherson Square Park in Kensington. Over the years, McPherson has dealt with many issues including crime, drugs and blight, which have adversely affected the Park. Recently, local nonprofits and city agencies have banded together to make the park safer, cleaner and a better resource for local residents.

Major Philly Spring Cleanup sponsors include Waste Management, the Carton Council, DOW, Covanta Energy, Republic Services, BigBelly Solar Compactor and ReCommunity Building.

Among the partners who are working on the Philly Spring Cleanup and/or the revitalization of McPherson Square Park are the following: Philadelphia Streets Department, UnLitter Us, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee, Community Action Center of the United Way Southeastern Pennsylvania, City Year, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Services, Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, Recyclebank, HACE, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, The PhillyRising Collaborative, The Free Library of Philadelphia, Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia in McPherson Square Park, Impact Services, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, Aspira, Epic, New Kensington CDC and PHS (The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society).