Mayor Nutter Announces Recreation Programs In Schools Agreement


Philadelphia, October 23, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced an agreement with the Philadelphia School District to preserve winter season recreational programming and activities for more than 16,000 children in the City of Philadelphia.The Philadelphia School District will continue to pay for indoor facilities at some schools to remain open on week nights.  The City of Philadelphia will pay for indoor facilities at other schools to remain open for an additional hour on week nights beginning November 5thand all day on Saturdays beginning on December 5th for the 2012-2013 winter activities season at a cost of $338,000 for the 5 month season.Working together, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia School District were able to lower the cost to the City by about half with strategic changes in staff schedules to reduce overtime costs and changes to practice/rehearsal times and game/performance schedules for organizations using the facilities.“This is a smart, collaborative approach to provide high-quality services to young Philadelphians using limited public resources,” said Mayor Nutter.  “In addition to strong academic programs, extra-curricular activities are vital to the health and development of well-rounded students.  I am mindful of the serious fiscal issues facing the School District and the City of Philadelphia, and I am very grateful that we were able to come together to find a solution in the best interest of our youth.”

In light of the serious financial issues facing the School District, the City will change its Recreation Department programming in 105 schools, 80 of which will be open from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on weekday evenings, the cost of which will be covered by the School District.  The remaining 25 larger schools with multiple facilities will be open longer to accommodate more programs – from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on weekday evenings and from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.  Those additional hours will be covered by the City (for a list of those facilities, please see below).

“We appreciate this partnership with the City of Philadelphia to expand access for youths involved in athletic and cultural programs,” said Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia.  “After-school programs add immense value to the lives of our students and the community. I would like to thank the Mayor and our city leaders for supporting our students, families and community organizations.”

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation administers recreational programming that serves more than 42,000 children and youth every winter season.  About 16,000 of those slots operate in Philadelphia School District facilities in areas of the city that don’t have enough City-owned facilities.

The City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia School District announced a similar agreement in February 2012 to complete the 2011-2012 winter activities season, which ends in March.  The cost to the City for February and March 2012 was $189,000.


List of larger school facilities which will accommodate consolidated recreational programming:

School Council District
Taggert 1
South Philadelphia 1
Carroll 1
Greenfield 2
Sayre 3
Lincoln 3
West Philadelphia 3
Turner 3
Lamberton 4
Overbrook 4
Roxborough 4
Saul 4
Shawmont 4
Kelley 5
Strawberry Mansion 5
Frankford 6
Fels 7
Edison 7
Wagner 8
Leeds 9
Wilson, Woodrow 9
Baldi 10
Rush 10
Washington 10
Fox Chase 10
Northeast 10

Mayor Nutter Releases Greenworks Philadelphia Update and 2012 Programs Report

Philadelphia, June 18, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability released the Greenworks Philadelphia Update and 2012 Progress Report, marking the midway point in the plan’s goal for Philadelphia to be the greenest city in America by 2015. Of the 167 initiatives put forth in Greenworks, 38 initiatives are complete, and 110 are currently underway. For the first time, this year’s progress report features metrics for each of the plan’s measurable targets. Progress toward two thirds of the targets is on track, and two of the target goals, Targets 7 and 9, are exceeding expectations. Target 7 is to divert 70% of solid waste from landfill; the City has exceeded that and is now aiming higher. Target 9 was to provide Park and Recreation resources within 10 minutes of 75 % of residents; the City accomplished that and now is aiming to provide walkable access to Park and Recreation Resources for all residents.

“I am proud to say that Philadelphia has made significant progress in our goal to become America’s greenest city. I hope that other cities can learn from our experiences and build off of them,” said Mayor Nutter. “Philadelphia would not be where it is now without the many partners in the public and private sectors who want to see a cleaner, greener and healthier city. Katherine Gajewski and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability have demonstrated strong leadership on this issue.”

Highlights on current progress include:
• A reduction of municipal energy use by 5%;
• A more than tripled rate for curbside residential recycling;
• Increased access to healthy, affordable food for more than 200,000 Philadelphians;
• 428 miles of bike lanes completed

“We are proud to share our progress in implementing the Greenworks Philadelphia plan,” said Gajewski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Equally important, however, is the process. With this report we strive to provide numbers and data along with insight into the experience and lessons learned along the way. Our success so far can be attributed to the many partners within and beyond city government who have embraced the Greenworks goals and are playing a leadership role in driving them forward.”

Some of the new initiatives include:
• Benchmarking large City facilities in order to evaluate City government energy consumption;
• Developing a climate adaptation plan that will address specific vulnerabilities and strategies to deal with climate change; and
• Conducting a regional clean economy survey every two years to track trends and outcomes in the clean economy

Mayor Nutter also announced that the City of Philadelphia in partnership with PhillyCarShare now has the nation’s largest publicly accessible fleet of American-made electric vehicles. The City of Philadelphia, through a grant received from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, supported the installation of 20 electric vehicle chargers throughout the city. These changes allowed Philly Car Share to add 20 Chevy Volts to its fleet and provide two chargers to the public. The new fleet of electric vehicles allows the more than 10,000 members of Philly Car Share, a division of Enterprise Holdings, access to cutting edge alternative fuel vehicles that are fun to drive and average 100 miles per gallon equivalent.

The full Greenworks Philadelphia Update and 2012 Progress Report can be found at

Mayor Nutter Announces Green 2015 Pilot Program to Green Schools and Recreation Centers

New public-private partnership envisions major expansion of public green space

Philadelphia, May 10, 2012– In a major step forward for the “greening” of public spaces in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael A. Nutter formally announced today that the City and a national conservation group will partner with the School District to green as many as 10 school yards and recreation centers starting this spring.

The new groundbreaking initiative marks the second phase of the City’s innovative Green 2015 Action Plan. It was announced at the William Dick Elementary School, which will partner with the adjacent Hank Gathers Recreation Center in North Philadelphia on a pilot project to significantly expand green space for public use. In addition to the School District, Green2015 partners include the Philadelphia Water Department, the Department of Parks and Recreation, national conservation non-profit The Trust for Public Land and the Mural Arts Program.

“This is an exciting collaboration for the City of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “Working with our partners, we will be able to green places where our children play. Making Philadelphia the greenest city in America involves infrastructure changes and creating healthy, sustainable spaces. However, it is also about educating our children about the environment so that they are prepared to care for it in the future. I am confident these improved school yards and recreation centers will do all of the above.”

The partnership will initially focus on redesigning and redeveloping the William Dick Elementary Schoolyard, Hank Gathers Recreation Center and Collazo Park, with additional recreation centers and schoolyards to be announced in the coming months based on the success of the pilot. One major advantage of the partnership is that it allows the City and the School District to pool limited public resources to focus on areas where public schools and City recreation centers are located close to each other.

The partnership also leverages federally-mandated stormwater management funds, committed state funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Conversation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and private philanthropy raised by The Trust for Public Land from the William Penn Foundation, MetLife Foundation, National Recreation Foundation, and others. The TPS Foundation is also providing support to incorporate public art at various sites as part of the overall initiative.

The William Penn Foundation was one of the original supporters of the planning and public engagement effort to draft the Green2015 Action Plan and is now providing significant resources for the pilot project. “This program represents a triple bottom line for Philadelphia. It cuts down on paved surfaces, which helps to keep heavy rains from washing pollutants into our water supply,” said Janet Haas, M.D., the Board Chair of the William Penn Foundation. “It repurposes existing city property, putting assets we already own to better use. And it brings communities together in attractive public spaces around their schools and recreation centers. In a time of economic scarcity, that level of impact is no small feat.”

When fully implemented, the project envisions the greening of 10 school playgrounds and City recreation centers at a total cost of $9 million, about two-thirds of which would be met through combination of State, City, and School District sources. The Trust for Public Land is leading the effort to raise private funds to leverage public funding from the City and School District, and will also be establishing a stewardship fund to assist local organizations with maintenance and programming for each site.

“When we launched the Green2015 action plan last year, our goal was to chart a course for action that would make our city more equitable, livable, and competitive. Now we stand in partnership to make good on that goal through the greening and connecting of our community assets, parks and recreation centers and schoolyards,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor, Environmental & Community Resources/Parks and Recreation Commissioner. “With this partnership and the community, these sites will provide children and families with places for recreation and increase the attractiveness of our neighborhoods—all by taking affordable steps to transform land into publicly accessible green space. Green 2015 is a smart choice, makes sense for Philadelphia, and we look forward to engaging with many partners to advance this work.”

Pedro Ramos, Chair of the School Reform Commission said, “When schools, communities, and local agencies work together as we’re doing in the Green 2015 project, we’re given a unique opportunity to maximize value all around us. The children and everyone participating in this project are learning why it’s important to care about public spaces like city parks, school yards, and neighborhood playgrounds. At a time when the District must make the very best use of limited financial resources, this project offers the potential to provide cost-effective new ways to improve the quality of life in our city by creating more publicly accessible green space and protecting the environment at the same time.”

Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug shared the Water Department’s enthusiasm for Green2015. “If we want to change the world, we need to begin by nurturing the seeds for change at our schools. The city’s children – our children – are the true stewards of a sustainable future for Philadelphia. Our children need to grow and thrive amongst trees and green play spaces to truly learn about and value the elements of the natural world that clean our air, manage our stormwater and provide those precious spaces of beauty in our urban environment. PWD is thrilled to be working with its Green2015 partners – PPR, TPL and Mural Arts – to leverage our shared resources to collectively transform schools and adjacent public spaces into green acres that ultimately renew our rivers and streams.”

Because one in eight Philadelphians does not have a public park or playground within walking distance of their home, the Green2015 plan outlines the opportunity to link the City’s twin goals of increasing outdoor recreational spaces and improving stormwater management through the creation of parks, playgrounds, and other recreational areas with green elements.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national non-profit conservation organization that conserves land for people and is the nation’s leader in creating parks in cities. TPL is dedicated to ensuring that everyone—in particular every child—enjoys easy access to a park, playground, or open space.

Through its Parks for People–Philadelphia program, The Trust for Public Land will play a key role implementing the Green2015 Initiative of Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks Philadelphia sustainability plan, helping transform 500 acres of land into neighborhood green playspaces by 2015. TPL will work with the City of Philadelphia to identify existing schoolyards and recreation centers as prime opportunities for conversion into greened play spaces and recreation areas, thereby providing healthy, outdoor recreational resources for all Philadelphia residents, especially children.

“The renovation of urban parks and playgrounds and the creation of green spaces that allow city dwellers to connect with nature and lead healthier lives is a high priority for The Trust for Public Land,” said Will Rogers, president of TPL. “Clearly, the City has the same priorities and understands the importance of this work. We are glad to be working in a strong multi-level partnership with Mayor Michael Nutter’s office, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department, other public partners, and local communities. Win-win partnerships like these get real traction and deliver on-the-ground results.”

Community engagement will be a critical element of The Trust for Public Land’s unique design process; teams of Philadelphia students, city and school staff, and community members will be involved throughout the design process—evaluating existing conditions, selecting new amenities and play equipment, and developing use and maintenance plans—to ensure that the parks and play¬grounds meet the needs of the communities they serve and are safe, accessible resources.

“We believe in the power of art to unleash new possibilities, create common ground, and bring together people through transformative projects,” said Philadelphia Mural Arts Program executive director Jane Golden. “Mural Arts is thrilled to be part of this public-private partnership, and looks forward to working with all of our partners and the community to create engaging, sustainable spaces for youth.”

Philadelphia Streets Department and Parks & Recreation Launch Pilot Recycling Program in Select Parks & Recreation Centers in Northwest Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 21, 2012- Today, the Philadelphia Streets Department and Parks & Recreation launched a pilot program that expands recycling to outdoor spaces throughout parks and recreation center properties inNorthwest Philadelphia. The pilot program launched at an outdoor celebration atSimonRecreationCenter today. Recycling is already available inside recreation centers and now, the city has arranged for recycling receptacles and pickup in the outdoor areas of:


“This pilot recycling program which will take place at select Parks & Recreation Centers inNorthwest Philadelphiawill help us determine the best ways to expand our recycling program going forward,” said Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis. “Even in its current pilot phase, this program helps us support the Mayor’s goal to increase the amount of public facilities that recycle.”


The Streets Department and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation aim to roll-out the pilot program to other parks and recreation center properties in the next several years. 

Providing recycling capabilities in parks and on recreation center properties will help divert more recyclable materials from they city’s waste stream. The city earns $67 for each ton of materials it recycles and this money is added to the city’s General Fund which supports essential services such as the Fire and Police Departments and libraries.Philadelphia’s recycling diversion rate‐ the amount of materials diverted from the waste stream‐ currently stands at nearly 20 percent, reaching rates of over 25 percent in some neighborhoods of the city.


“InPhiladelphia, we love to recycle! We’re proud to partner with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to provide recycling receptacles and pickup in parks and on recreation center properties in Northwest Philadelphia,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. “Providing this service will help our environment by diverting more recyclables from landfill, earn our city money and give our parks and recreation centers the opportunity to earn rewards points through the Philadelphia Recycling Program!”


All of the parks and recreation center properties participating in the pilot program will be registered with Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, a program that allows them to earn points that can be redeemed through Recyclebank for discounts or full-value gift cards

at hundreds of participating local and national merchants. Residents neighboring the participating parks and recreation centers will benefit from the pilot program as they stand to receive more rewards points and can recycle outside at their local park and recreation center. For more information about Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, please visit


For more information on the City ofPhiladelphia’s recycling programs, please visit the Streets Department’s website and social media pages at,,, and


Recycling in Philadelphia

  • • The City ofPhiladelphiaearns $67 for each ton of materials that it recycles. This money is added to the city’s General Fund, which supports essential services such as the Fire and Police Departments and libraries.
  • • Diversion rate is verging on 20 percent
  • • Diversion rate for fiscal year 2011 (July 2010‐June 2011) was about 19 percent, approximately a 15 percent increase over the prior year.
  • • Since July 2011 (the start of fiscal year 2012), tonnage is up about 10% above the prior year
  • • By October 2011, about 170,000 residential households had signed up for thePhiladelphiaRecycling Rewards program. Over 1.5 million points have been earned by residents.
  • • Overall diversion rate in the city has increased from roughly 7% in January 2008 to almost 20% in November 2011. The City has more than doubled its average monthly recycling tonnage since the beginning of 2008.





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, 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.

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 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 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).

Mayor Nutter Announces Completion of Manayunk Canal Towpath Renovation Project

Philadelphia, February 23, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the completion of $645,000 in renovations to the Manayunk Canal Towpath. The project was funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the City of Philadelphia. The Manayunk Canal Towpath is a key linkage in Fairmount Park’s multi-use recreational trail system. It is also part of the larger Schuylkill River Trail, which will ultimately connect Philadelphia to Pottsville in Schuylkill County via a multi-use trail extending the entire length of the river—a distance of approximately 130 miles.

“The improvement and beautification of our trails and natural lands are vital to the livability of the city” said Mayor Nutter. “The renovated Manayunk Canal Towpath will benefit thousands of cyclists, joggers, runners and pedestrians who rely on a safe and functional recreational trail network. I would like to thank the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for their support of this project.”

The project includes restoration of 2.2 miles of trail with crushed stone on path, improvements to drainage, gateways, re-decking/repairing four bridges, fencing for safety of trail users, paving approaches to bridges and boardwalks with porous paving for stormwater management, bollards and gates, new retaining wall construction at the Leverington Avenue parking lot and tree removal.

“The trail helps keep children and youth safe, active, and healthy by connecting them to the park and the natural world along the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources. “The collaborative approach used on this project represents a new way of working at Parks & Recreation; leveraging partnerships and community engagement to create and accomplish bold and innovative projects”

“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the partnerships that led to the completion of this project,” said DCNR Deputy Secretary John Giordano. “Like many of our projects across Philadelphia, the teaming together of the city, the state and regional organizations are what made this project possible.”

The Manayunk Canal Towpath is one of several capital projects underway in Manayunk:

  • The Philadelphia Water Department’s Lower Venice Island project, which will include a brand new multi-million dollar performing arts center to be managed by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.
  • A joint project between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Water Department, which will restore flow to the Manayunk Canal.
  • A federally funded (TIGER) trail project, sponsored by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, constructing a new portion of Schuylkill River Trail from Shawmont Avenue to Port Royal Avenue and widening the existing trail from Port Royal Avenue to the Montgomery County line.