Point Breeze

Thursday: Point Breeze Residents to Build New Features for Lot Project

Following a successful June 10 community cleanup with Point Breeze neighbors that targeted a vacant lot at Point Breeze Avenue and Mifflin Street, we’re heading back to the space this Thursday for a special event with Philly’s Public Workshop:

Residents are invited to join this collaborative “community build” June 29 at 3 p.m. and construct decorative wooden benches and signs for the emerging neighborhood green space

Residents are invited to join this collaborative “community build” and construct decorative wooden benches and signs for the emerging neighborhood green space, which is set to become a rain garden through the Green City, Clean Waters program.

When complete, the plant-filled lot will protect Philadelphia’s rivers and creeks by soaking up stormwater and reducing sewer overflows. Read more about the project and cleanup effort here.

Over the last year, we have been working with Public Workshop, a community-building organization specializing in creative, hands-on events, to get Point Breeze residents excited about green projects planned for the neighborhood.

In addition to the cleanup activity, PWD and Public Workshop have worked with the nearby McDaniel Elementary School to get students thinking about how the Mifflin Street lot can benefit the neighborhood now and in the future as a green stormwater site.

This week’s building event will start at 3 p.m., and residents of all ages are invited to come pitch in.

Share the event on Facebook and invite your friends!

With help from Residents, Point Breeze Vacant Lot Is Becoming a River-Protecting Green Space

Point Breeze Cleanup & Block Party - June 2017

After two hot hours of picking up trash, weed-whacking, and sweeping at a vacant lot in Point Breeze, PowerCorps PHL’s Desmon Richardson, on hand with fellow crew members to bring some added muscle to the effort, suggested lining the small, triangular space with unused rocks from a pile sitting in the middle of the site.

Neighbors who’d been helping agreed: the natural-looking border was the perfect finishing touch for the renewed lot, concluding a sticky Saturday morning spent cleaning up the local eyesore.

Members of the Philadelphia Water Department’s Public Engagement team joined the local non-profit Diversified Community Services and area block captains on June 10 to clean the publicly-owned lot at Point Breeze Avenue and Mifflin Street—the future home of a rain garden that will soak up stormwater and bring regular maintenance to the site through Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program.

Similar efforts in other neighborhoods have led to dramatic improvements at formerly nuisance-plagued lots, something locals are hoping to repeat here.

Tour Two Point Breeze Vacant Lots Targeted for Green Improvements


The rendering at right shows a rain garden proposed for a vacant lot at 1900 Point Breeze Avenue. PWD will be touring this site and a second vacant lot on the 1700 block of Ringgold Street.

We kicked off October with a ribbon cutting at a formerly vacant lot at 55th and Hunter streets in West Philadelphia that is now a vibrant green space featuring a rain garden and hidden storage trench that manage stormwater and protect local waterways while adding a whole new asset to the neighborhood.

On October 18, we’ll be holding a walking tour at two sites in Point Breeze where similar rain gardens could bring flowers and plants to vacant lots, adding new green spaces to the area and helping to protect the local watershed. Join us at 5pm at 1701 Ringgold to start the tour:

This map shows where PWD will meet for the Oct. 18 vacant lot tour.

What’s Going on with Green City, Clean Waters in South Philly West of Broad?

Point Breeze residents attend a Rain Check workshop and learn about local Green City, Clean Waters projects on Aug. 24, 2016.
Point Breeze residents attend a Rain Check workshop and learn about local Green City, Clean Waters projects on Aug. 24, 2016.

Last night, we highlighted some of our local Green City, Clean Waters projects at a Rain Check workshop in Point Breeze. Residents were able to sign up for a free rain barrel or take steps to get reduced-cost green tools for their home, including downspout planters and rain-absorbing pavement.

Amanda Krakovitz, a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program who is working with Philadelphia Water to engage communities around Green City, Clean Waters investments, provided information about area projects designed to improve local streets and parks while managing stormwater runoff.

For those who missed the meeting but want to learn about some of the local Green City, Clean Waters projects proposed or in the works, we’re providing a quick look at our South Philly projects west of Broad Street below.
You can also register for upcoming Rain Check workshops here.

New and Improved Ralph Brooks Park Manages Stormwater with Green Tools

Top: City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug, Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles and others cut the ribbon to open Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze. Bottom: A new rain garden stretches along the basketball courts, which sit atop a storage trench that will hold stormwater. The rain garden will be filled with plants next month. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
Top: City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug, Connor Barwin of the Philadelphia Eagles and others cut the ribbon to open Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze. Bottom: A new rain garden stretches along the basketball courts, which sit atop a storage trench that holds stormwater. The rain garden will be filled with plants next month. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

After three years of fundraising, planning, design, and construction, the Point Breeze community officially welcomed a tremendously improved Ralph Brooks Park at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday.

The project was made possible through the collaboration of several city and state agencies, Pa. State Representative Jordan Harris, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, the non-profit groups Urban Roots, Mural Arts, PHS, Philly Rising, 25th Century Foundation, Tasker Street Baptist Church and the Make the World Better Foundation (MTWB), founded by Philadelphia Eagles player Connor Barwin.

That broad coalition allowed for a complete renovation of this public space, with improvements covering everything from new playground equipment and basketball courts to a community garden and green stormwater features that add to Philadelphia Water’s Green City, Clean Waters infrastructure.

The stormwater features include a rain garden at the southern end of the park, and an underground storage trench beneath the basketball courts along the western edge of the park. Combined, those green tools can manage over 16,000 gallons of stormwater—it would take 320 homes with rain barrels to store that much stormwater runoff—and the trees, shrubs and other plants add to the beauty of Ralph Brooks Park. While the ribbon cutting featured plants donated by Bartram’s Garden, the actual vegetation for the site will be planted in October, which will give the plants a better chance to become established and thrive.

“This partnership demonstrates that green infrastructure projects can manage stormwater and enhance community efforts to improve and beautify public spaces,” Philadelphia Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug said of the project.

More: See Photos From the Ralph Brooks Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Other speakers at the event included Mayor Nutter and Barwin, who raised $170,000 for the project through a benefit concert. Philadelphia Water contributed approximately $152,000 to the project.

The Ralph Brooks renovations are part of Green City, Clean Waters’ Green Parks program, which works with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to leverage resources for park improvements and bring green stormwater tools to park sites.

Philadelphia Water is also working with partners from the Ralph Brooks project to bring similar improvements to Smith Playground in the West Passyunk neighborhood. Green infrastructure improvements at Smith are scheduled to begin construction next summer.

Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking Rescheduled... Again

RESCHEDULED
The Ralph Brooks Groubdbreaking event will take place today!
Please join Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, Mayor Michael Nutter, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, PWD Commissioner Howard Neukrug, Urban Roots, and more as we kick off this fantastic project. 

WHAT: Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking
WHEN: Monday, December 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM
WHERE: Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker Streets

To learn more about the project, check out our earlier blog post.
A flyer for this event can be downloaded here.

Rendering of Ralph Brooks Park  

Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking Rescheduled

RESCHEDULED!
We are pleased to announce the new date for the Ralph Brooks Groubdbreaking.

WHAT: Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking
WHEN: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 2:30 PM
WHERE: Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker Streets

Rendering of Ralph Brooks Park

Please join Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, Mayor Michael Nutter, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, State Representative Jordan Harris, PWD Deputy Commissioner Chris Crockett and other partners as we break ground on a revitalization project for Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze. 

Ralph Brooks Tot Lot, a small playground with basketball courts and a play area for children, was named after a seven year old boy who was shot and paralyzed at the site in 1988. The shooting galvanized the community and the park has carried his name as a symbol against violence ever since. The park, now over 25 years old, has seen better days...and soon it will again.

After years of hard work, fundraising and collaboration, multiple partners have joined forces to revitalize Ralph Brooks Park. Tuesday will be the groundbreaking for the first phase of the project, which will include new basketball courts, new play equipment, sidewalk improvements, tree plantings and a rain garden which will manage stormwater runoff from the site.

PWD is proud to be involved with multiple partners working on this project:

To download a .pdf flyer for this groundbreaking event, click here.

Break Ground at Ralph Brooks Park with Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin

Please join Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, Deputy Mayor Michael DeBerardinis, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and PWD Deputy Commissioner Chris Crockett for...

WHAT: Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking
WHEN: Monday, November 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM
WHERE: Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker Streets


Ralph Brooks Tot Lot, a small playground in Point Breeze with basketball courts and a play area for children, was named after a seven year old boy who was shot and paralyzed at the site in 1988. The shooting galvanized the community and the park has carried his name as a symbol against violence ever since. The park, now over 25 years old, has seen better days...and soon it will again.

After years of hard work, fundraising and collaboration, multiple partners have joined forces to revitalize Ralph Brooks Park. Monday will be the groundbreaking for the first phase of the project, which will include new basketball courts, new play equipment, sidewalk improvements, tree plantings, and a rain garden which will manage stormwater runoff from the site.

To learn more about the project and how Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin is involved, check out this video, Connor Barwin As Green As It Gets.

PWD is proud to be involved with a host of partners working on this project including:

To download a .pdf flyer for this groundbreaking event, click here.

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