Walnut Hill Playground eager to connect with local community

Posted on 27 August 2014


Walnut Hill Community Playground. (Photos by Selah Lynch / West Philly Local)

At the corner of Sansom and 47th sits Walnut Hill Community Playground, a park with a long and varied history. It was built in the 1970s and used for decades, but in early 2009 an inspector declared it unsafe and recommended it be closed. In response, residents organized a complete rebuild. This culminated on August 6th 2009 when 373 volunteers came together for one day to finish the park. Today the park is home to playground equipment, including a spiral slide, monkey bars and swings. It is surrounded by benches and picnic tables and shaded by mature Japanese Pagoda trees. One patron, Jacki, whose three kids were playing in the park said, “I’m so grateful for this place. I live in the projects but I like to take my kids down here where it is safe.”

While many residents are thrilled about the park, some residents have been confused about the hours. According to the Walnut Hill Community Association (WHCA), which maintains the playground, they adhere to the following hours: M-F 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m. But local mom, Maggie Gummere said, “I’ve walked by a few times on a Saturday or a Sunday and the park has been closed.” This disappoints her because, as she adds, “It looks like so much fun.” Another mother blogs, the hours are “marked ’9 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days,’ but it’s been closed several Sunday mornings.”

The WHCA says that they lock the playground outside of daylight hours to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere. Currently, responsibility for the park falls on the shoulders of very few. Walnut Hill residents Lydia Connolly and Teresa Leedie lock, unlock and monitor the park. Resident Horace Patterson, WHCA President, takes responsibility for cleaning and emptying the trash.

Lorna Peterson, a Walnut Hill resident for 24 years and WHCA vice president, says that one thing parents can do for the park is simply to use it and help maintain a positive adult presence. She also adds, “anyone who is interested in using, maintaining or chaperoning the park, we encourage them to join the community association.” The next meeting is at 6 p.m. on September 25th at the Enterprise Center at 4548 Market Street. Alternatively, people can contact the association at 215-472-1381 or walnuthillevents [at]

- Selah Lynch


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Neighborhood families invited for weekly playgroup

Posted on 26 August 2014


Photo via

Here’s a great chance for children to play together and their caretakers to socialize. All neighborhood kids and their parents or guardians are invited for a weekly playgroup at the West Philadelphia Cooperative School (WPCS) located at 4625 Baltimore Avenue. The playgroup meets every Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m., so there’s a playgroup happening today. Children can enjoy free play, snacks, and circle time.

Donations are welcome, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Just come and play!

For more information or if you have questions, please email Sochi Thomas, a WPCS parent member, at Dearsochi [at]

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Earn cash, support local school at ‘West Philly Grows Again’ Kids’ Consignment Sale

Posted on 22 August 2014

WPGA_LOGO_WHITEHey West Philly parents and guardians, you probably have some stuff in your closets that your kids have grown out of over the past year. Here’s a great chance to get rid of it, earn some cash, and support a neighborhood school. The annual “West Philly Grows Again” Kids’ Consignment sale, which benefits St. Mary’s Nursery School, is scheduled for September 20, 2014 and consignors are welcome to register. Here’s how the sale works:

If your items are accepted and then sold at the event you earn 50 percent of the profits. The other 50 percent will go to support the school. If you also volunteer during this fundraiser by working a 3-hour shift you can increase your percentage to 60 percent.

Gently used and good-quality children’s items are accepted at the sale, including clothing (newborn up to size 16), shoes, toys, books, baby and sports equipment, and more. Maternity and nursing clothing is also accepted. For the full lists of accepted and not accepted items and general consignor guidelines, check out this page. Click here to register ($10 consignor registration fee is applied).

The “West Philly Grows Again” Consignment sale will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, at St. Mary’s Nursery School, 3916 Locust Walk. Consignors, volunteers and shoppers are welcome. For more information, visit: To check out sale updates as they arrive, visit the event’s Facebook page.


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Young West Philly athletes in the spotlight (Go Taney and Tauheed!)

Posted on 20 August 2014

West Philly kids are doing great in sports and are in the spotlight of some current and upcoming sporting events.


The Taney Dragons. (Photo from

• The Taney Dragons, Philly’s youth baseball team that made it this year to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., keeps winning! In their second game, on Sunday, they defeated the team from Texas. We learned that there are at least three West Philly kids on the team. According to neighborhood sources, these kids are: Eli Simon, No. 4, a student at Penn Alexander School (43rd and Locust), Tai Shanahan, No. 7 (who had the game-winning hit on Sunday), goes to St. Francis de Sales (47th and Windsor), and Carter Davis, No. 9, lives on 49th St.

We’re very excited about the success of these and other young stars on the team (their amazing pitcher, Mo’ne Davis, is on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated!). Taney’s 3rd game is tonight, at 7:30 p.m., when they will take on a team from Las Vegas, Nev. You can watch it on ESPN. Also, there’s a free Taney Dragons Pep Rally and Watch Party tonight, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., in the City Hall Courtyard (Broad and Market Sts). Go Taney!

It’s not every day when you get a chance to practice with tennis stars like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, but a West Philly kid will be at this year’s U.S. Open. Eleven-year-old Tauheed Browning, a student at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center, is heading to Flushing Meadows, New York, to participate in Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, Aug 23, as part of the 2014 U.S. Open Tennis Championship. Tauheed will get to warm up with tennis professionals and another Legacy student, Brandon Caban of Drexel Hill, will compete against the pros in a target-hitting contest in the hopes of bringing back $15,000 to provide tennis and life skills education to more than 4,500 young people from the greater Philadelphia area, many of who come from low-income and under-resourced communities.

Tauheed is a student at PA Leadership Charter School, and is from Overbrook. He is one of the youngest Legacy student-athletes with very high potential, according to a spokeperson at the center.


Tauheed Browning. (Photo courtesy of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education)


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Kindergarten play date this Sunday at PIC

Posted on 15 August 2014

Kplaydate2014If your child is entering Kindergarten in the fall, check out this great event organized by Parent Infant Center (PIC).

On Sunday, Aug. 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., PIC (42nd and Locust) invites all families in the community who have rising kindergarteners to join them for a fun play date.

This is a great opportunity to meet soon-to-be kindergarteners and their families and enjoy a casual time together. You can also learn what you can expect from families whose children have finished their kindergarten year. Representatives from PIC’s After School Center will be on hand to answer questions.

Siblings are welcome and families are encouraged to bring a snack to share.

To RSVP and if you have questions, email: kplaydate [at]


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Children experiment with scientists at Community Science Festival this Saturday

Posted on 08 August 2014


Click to enlarge.

Children in grades K-6 are invited to be Curious Scientific Investigators at the 2nd Community Science Festival being held this Saturday, Aug. 9, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., at the White Rock Baptist Church (5240 Chestnut St). Children will assist Penn graduate students, Arcadia University students and Post-doctoral fellows with scientific experiments. The festival is organized by the Science Education Academy, a community partnership between the White Rock Baptist Church and the Ernest E Just Biomedical Society at the University of Pennsylvania.

This is an exciting event for both children and parents. Children will learn about microbes, how to make batteries with potatoes, how planes fly and how to solve mysteries using chemistry! For parents, there will be a workshop on how to help your children with science fair projects as well as research presentations from Penn graduate students. The event is free and open to the public.


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