Nature Nights kick off this week at The Woodlands

Posted on 24 June 2014

TheWoodlands_FireflyNightSome of you may remember last summer’s Firefly Night held at the historic Woodland Cemetery’s grounds. Following this fun tradition, The Woodlands is kicking off a series of free events this week that would help bring local residents closer to nature and enjoy each other’s company. Nature Nights will take place on June 26, July 24, and August 21, from 6 to 9 p.m.. Each summer month, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the urban ecosystem and the creatures that are part of it: fireflies, moths, and bats.

The Firefly Night kicks off the series this Thursday and here’s what you should expect:

• Pack a picnic and bring your flashlights

 Spend the evening inside The Woodlands after dark searching for fireflies

 Educators from The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will be on site to tell you more about the way animals, including fireflies, communicate and attract mates

• Sweet treats from Lil’ Pop Shop will be available for sale throughout the evening.

For more details and other upcoming events at The Woodlands, check out this page.


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Community River Fest Sunday: Activities-filled day on the banks of the Schuylkill River

Posted on 20 June 2014

Bartram’s Garden (54th St and Lindbergh Blvd) is inviting community members, especially families, on Sunday, June 22, to spend a day filled with activities on the banks of the Schuylkill River. The Bartram’s Garden Community River Fest will offer activities both on water and land and absolutely free! Activities are scheduled throughout the day – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.!


Photo courtesy of Bartram’s Garden.

On the river: there will be free kayak and rowboat rentals, free ferry boat rides and kid-friendly water activities. The highlight of the event, the Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade, will begin at noon, amping up the party vibe with “gussied up sailors, tricked out skiff masons, heavily adorned floaters and bedizen paddlers,” according to Danielle Redden, boat parade organizer. Now in its third year, the parade is a nautical costume party on homemade river crafts, accompanied by a floating brass band. Community members are invited to come in costume and take part in the parade.

On land: Throughout the day, there will be nature scavenger hunts, a petting zoo with alpacas, donkeys, sheep, goats and Indian fantails and pony rides. The Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels will showcase a variety of wetland creatures, including owls, hawks and turtles. A mega farmers’ market will also be offering a beautiful array of locally-grown produce for sale, the majority of which was grown on site at the Community Farm and Food Resource Center at Bartram’s Garden. Finally, there will be cool treats served up by Little Baby’s Ice Cream (checkout their brand new Oyster Ice Cream), and free hot dogs and refreshments provided by Philadelphia Energy Solutions (while supplies last).

The Community River Fest will kick off a new series of river-focused programming at Bartram’s Garden. Check out its website for more information:


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2014 pool season kicks off today

Posted on 20 June 2014

Kelly Pool

John B. Kelly Pool (Photo from Kelly Pool’s Facebook page).

Here’s some great summer news: The 2014 pool season in Philadelphia officially opens today, which means that dozens of public pools and spray grounds will begin welcoming visitors across the city (though it looks like many of them will start opening on June 23, 24). Overall, 69 pools and nine spray grounds will be open this summer, according to an announcement by Philadelphia Parks and Rec. Public pool hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Apart from recreational swimming, Philadelphia Parks and Rec will also offer youth swimming lessons at several public pools. It’s always a good idea to call your neighborhood recreation center before heading to the pool since there their hours of operation may change or some special activities may be scheduled.

Here’s again the list of pools and spray grounds located in West Philadelphia and vicinity.  Please let your neighbors know about your experience with these facilities in the comments below.



Baker Recreation Facility (Map)
5431-43 Lansdowne Ave.
Phone: 215-685-0261

Cobbs Creek Recreation Facility (Map)
280 Cobbs Creek Parkway
Phone: 215-685-1983

John B. Kelly Pool (Facebook page) – Opens June 23
4231 North Concourse Drive (Fairmount Park, by Please Touch Museum)
Phone: 215-685-0174

Kingsessing Recreation Center (Map)
4901 Kingsessing Avenue
Phone: 215-685-2694

Lee Cultural Center Recreation Facility (Map)
4328 Haverford Avenue
Phone: 215-685-7655

Mill Creek Recreation Facility (Map)
743-81 N. 48th Street
Phone: 215-685-0260

Myers Recreation Center (Map)
5800 Chester Avenue
Phone: 215-685-2698

O’Connor Pool (Website, Map) – Opens June 24
2601 South Street
Phone: 215-685-6593

Sayre Morris Recreation Center (Map)
5835 Spruce Street
Phone: 215-685-1993

Shepard Recreation Facility (Map)
5700 Haverford Avenue
Phone: 215-685-1992

Tustin Recreation Facility (Map)
5901-29 W. Columbia Avenue
Phone: 215-685-0258

39th & Olive Playground – Mantua (Map)
39th & Olive Streets

Spray Grounds


48th & Woodland Playground (Map)
1414 S 47th Street
Phone: 215-685-2692
Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed on Sunday.


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They got it! Neighborhood Bike Works wins $100,000 grant, plans new West Philly hub

Posted on 05 June 2014

Here’s some great news for a West Philly based nonprofit: Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW), which offers educational and recreational programs and career-building opportunities for youth and adults in underserved areas, was awarded a $100,000 grant this week. Impact100 Philadelphia, an all volunteer women’s collective giving group that funds Philadelphia nonprofits, selected NBW as one of the $100,000 grant winners after they presented their cause on Monday during Impact100′s sixth annual meeting. In total, $328,000 was awarded to five area nonprofits on Monday.


Neighborhood Bike Works receiving a $100,000 check from Impact100. (Photo courtesy Impact100 Philly).

Thanks to the grant, NBW can now move forward with some of their big plans.

First, a new West Philly hub is planned, which would bring NBW’s two sites, in West and North Philly, together. With the help of the Impact100 grant, this vision will become a reality. The new single hub will enable NBW to expand its programming, strengthen relationships with community partners, increase its retail and instructional spaces, and reduce the overhead costs associated with maintaining two facilities.

NBW will also launch a new program, Freedom to Ride, that will bring their services to the heart of the neighborhoods. NBW staff will go to schools and community centers and involve 100 new middle and high school students in an intensive 10-week program. The students participating in the program will build their own bikes and then go on cycling field trips to explore natural areas, like Bartram’s Garden and Cobbs Creek.

Finally, NBW is planning to launch a series of outreach activities to get families and communities engaged in cycling. They’re planning to train and employ teens as assistant instructors and ride leaders. Teenagers employed by NBW will go to block parties and other community events and will talk to the public about safe riding skills and offer quick bike tune-ups.

For more information about Neighborhood Bike Works and their work, visit:

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Buy sweet treats at Ben & Jerry’s this Mon-Wed, support Walnut St West Library

Posted on 12 May 2014


Here’s a sweet way to support a local library! This Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, you can buy some ice cream at the 40th Street Ben & Jerry’s location and help the Walnut West Library across the street. Ben & Jerry’s will donate 20 percent of the proceeds toward the library and its summer programming from all sales between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on these days.

So stop by the shop located at 218 S. 40th St, enjoy some treats with your family and friends and also meet the wonderful folks from the Friends of Walnut St West Library who are behind this cool event.

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May Fair Saturday at Clark Park; “Love Your Park” week projects, events

Posted on 09 May 2014

The “Love Your Park” week kicks off tomorrow in Philadelphia and everyone is encouraged to participate in cleaning, greening and celebrating neighborhood parks. Some fun events, as well as park clean-up and beautification projects will be happening in some West Philly neighborhoods, too. In addition, the Spruce Hill Community Association is organizing the annual May Fair at Clark Park this Saturday, so we hope many of our readers will stick around and join their friends and neighbors at this annual celebration of the Spruce Hill community. Guests are welcome!

Details for local events in the next few days are below. More great events are scheduled for next weekend (stay tuned). NOTE: Volunteers are wanted for some of tomorrow’s projects.


MayFair1Spruce Hill May Fair, Clark Park (43rd and Chester)

Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The annual Spruce Hill May Fair features live music from local bands, food from some of the best trucks, and a raffle with terrific prizes. There will also be many local artists and craftspeople with gifts for graduations and Mother’s Day, plants on sale by the UC Garden Club, used books for $1 each, and groups and organizations offering information about their causes. Kids can enjoy a big inflated obstacle course, a bounce house and other games. Raffle items include gift cards from local cafes and restaurants, a 60″ Samsung Plasma TV, a free weekend night at Homewood Suites, free yoga classes and more! For more information and schedule for the music groups, click here.


Planting Extravaganza!, Cedar Park (49th and Baltimore)loveyourpark_flyer2

Saturday, May 10, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Volunteers are needed for planting trees, perennials and annuals throughout the park. The tools will be provided. The garden beds are composted and mulched so all is ready to go. If you can lend a hand for an hour or so, please RSPV:


Work Day at Clark Park (45th and Regent)

Saturday, May 10, 9:00 a.m.

Help is needed with spreading some mulch and other work. And you can spend the rest of the day at the Spruce Hill Community Association’s Mayfair. Meet at 9 a.m. by the shed, on 45th St where Regent Street ends, south of Chester. Snacks will be served. The event is organized by Friends of Clark Park.


Art in the Park, Malcolm X Memorial Park (52nd & Pine)

Monday, May 12, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation presents Art in the Park, a FREE arts and crafts traveling class. All ages are welcome! For more information, visit:


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