Tag Archives: Elementary school

Looking for Green Space in Philly? You may have to look up.

Rooftop gardens have been a hot commodity the last couple years. Especially in Philadelphia where land, green garden space and a backyard can be hard to come by. Looking back, the transformation of the rooftop at The Free Library of Philadelphia’s into a garden space seemed ahead of its time.

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(Photo Source: urbangreens.tumblr.com, 2011)

Today, you will find more single family homes with green garden space on their roof, their deck, heck anywhere some sunlight may touch. Schools in the area have also started to adopt this trend as an educational and environmentally friendly way to teach young students the importance of green space in urban cities. South Philly High School (South Philadelphia) and Andrew Jackson Elementary (Passyunk Square) have jumped on the green train! While South Philly High has been fundraising, they have reached their first goal and continue to push for more feedback and funds. Looking out at a magnificent skyline view, just imagine the transformation this roof will take on.

(Photo Source: passyunkpost.com)

As for Andrew Jackson Elementary, they have already implemented their greenery and plan to celebrate their grand opening of their rooftop garden this Saturday (11/23) from 2-4pm. This rooftop launch will be an activity packed afternoon for the entire family. Offering some of Philly’s most renowned food truck vendors, games, crafts, live music, shopping and raffles. Join in with the Passyunk Square community and help support this beneficial project in helping Philly educate our communities on the importance of green living.

(Photo Source: facebook.com/passyunksquare)

Progress so far: These were posted not too long ago in preparation for this weekend. Keep the dirt coming!

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Back to School

The month of August signals one thing for kids; summer is ending. This phrase ‘Back to School’ means more than just backpacks and books. Clean up days are held to involve the neighborhood in cleaning our local schools. This year McCall Elementary School in Society Hill will hold two clean up days before the start of school on September 9th. Monday August 19th (12-4:30pm and/or 5:30-9pm) and Tuesday August 27th (8am-12pm and/or 12:30-5pm and/or 5:30-9pm). Efforts will include light cleaning, outdoor gardening, floor refurbishing and more. Lunch and/or dinner will be provided for volunteers who participate all day. This is a great way to meet your neighbors and help kids stay healthy and safe.

Screen shot 2013-08-15 at 12.04.16 PMMcCall Elementary School
(Image Source: phillyliving.com)

The neighborhood may change but the issues remain the same. Funding for our schools has been a hot topic over the years. Especially the talk this year of budget cuts again. East Passyunk Crossing has created a committee of community members and parents to focus on supporting Southwark Elementary School through various projects like tutoring, fundraising and providing school supplies. They have implemented a campaign in order to raise funds for these kids. The EPX Back2School Campaign is urging our city to help these kids start their school year with a full backpack of supplies. Donating $10 gives a child crayons and markers. Donating $30 fills their backpack with all the supplies needed while $50 gives two school uniforms. 100% of these proceeds will go towards supplies and uniforms needed for children at Southwark Elementary School.

31485_448270641937581_661077207_n(Image Source: epcrossing.org)

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The History of Cianfrani Park

A History of Cianfrani ParkCianfrani Park is an oasis and gem in the heart of Bella Vista. At 8th and Fitzwater, the green space plays host to a myriad of important events that build and strengthen the community. We will look back on it’s history and understand how Cianfrani Park became the hard-won, cherished public space it is today.

Many believe the park is named after former Pennsylvania state senator Henry J. “Buddy’ Cianfrani who lived from 1923 to 2002. Cianfrani was well known for many services to his country.  He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. However, after winning political office, he also became known for scandal. Cianfrani Park is actually named in honor of Henry’s mother. While Cianfrani’s life was cluttered with drama and headline-making news, the park has also had a tumultuous historical path.

Cianfrani Park sits on land that was once occupied by the Campbell Elementary School. The Campbell School is where Joe Venuti, the proclaimed Father of the Jazz Violin, attended grade school. A plaque at one of the entrances to the park marks this important factoid. Sometime in the 1960’s the school was demolished, thus bringing birth to the park. Neighbors carefully attended and took care of the space. However, by the early 1990’s, the park became a neglected wasteland and eye sore.  A home for the homeless, both dogs and human beings, became the park’s sole purpose.

In 1993, neighbors banded together and created the organization Friends of Cianfrani Park to quickly rehabilitate the park.  Raising funds themselves, these upstanding citizens spent countless hours working towards the common goal of bringing life back to the land. Local architect David Morse observed Friends of Cianfrani Park’s goal was to make the park, “the green heart of our community, everyone’s front yard and urban living room.”

History of Cianfrani Park

The website for the park reads, “With the financial help of many neighbors, small business people and supportive city and state officials, we have accomplished much of it. Gardens fenced with attractive wrought iron, urns overflowing with flowers, benches filled with seniors engaged in conversation, mothers with children playing with pets are all now a reality. Through our efforts, Cianfrani Park is once again the green heart of our community.”

Cianfrani thrives to this day having most recently received First Prize in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society 2012 City Gardens Contest. Some widely attended events that take place year round include a Summer Concert Series, Spring Festival, and Holiday Tree Lighting, It’s good to know that when people band together and work towards a common goal, great results can be produced. Cianfrani Park is a perfect example of that.

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