PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Marking its longstanding commitment to recreational and open space improvements throughout Philadelphia, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will join city representatives and neighborhood groups Saturday Aug. 4 in dedicating significant renovations at Fairhill Square Park in the city's West Kensington section.
The community celebration, featuring local artists, will begin at noon at the redesigned central stage of the park at 4th Street and West Lehigh Avenue.
DCNR provided $365,000 in Community Conservation Partnership Program grant funds toward the improvements.
"Partnership is what it takes to turn vision into reality and make projects like this come to fruition," said DCNR Deputy Secretary John Giordano. "Like much of our work across Philadelphia, the cooperative efforts of the city, state, neighborhood groups, and community organizations are what made this all possible."
Fairhill Square improvements include park walkway replacement; redesign of the center of the square; construction of a concrete stage; trellis installation; landscaping; site furnishings; and lighting.
"As a resident of Philadelphia, I know firsthand that projects like this serve as an important anchor to improving our neighborhoods' quality of life," said Giordano. "As I often point out, our investment in these projects hits the triple bottom line—improving environmental quality, neighborhood economic value, and the social fabric of our community."
"Across the city, new businesses, residents and tourists are being drawn to our neighborhoods," said Giordano. "They are being drawn by a revitalized Fairhill Square Park here in North Philadelphia, Dickinson Square Park in South Philadelphia, Lardners Point Park in the Northeast, and Clark Park in West Philadelphia, to name just a few. All these parks, like our neighborhoods, have their own unique flavor, but what many of them have in common is that as a result of their revitalization, new jobs are being created around them; the neighborhoods in which they sit are becoming safer; and communities are growing closer together."
The celebration will also highlight placement of the sculpture, "El Gran Teatro De La Luna" by Rafael Ferrer. Restored and placed above the park trellis under the Philadelphia Public Arts Program, the artwork was reinstalled in June to the delight of neighboring local residents.
The City of Philadelphia and DCNR both contributed $365,000 to the completion of this project, hailed by First Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis as the latest example of how the city and DCNR have teamed together as "trailblazers in providing more green space and public parkland for Philadelphians."
"The Fairhill Square Project is a perfect example of the vision DCNR and the City of Philadelphia share around accessible green space within urban areas," DiBerardinis said. "Through collaborative actions, we are ensuring that urban neighborhoods that need, want and embrace public spaces, will be successful and viable parts of our city. If we can transform Fairhill Square at 4th and Lehigh into what you see today, then I think our possibilities are endless."
Joining DiBerardinis and Giordano at the Saturday dedication will be Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria D. Quinones-Sanchez and representatives of The Lighthouse, Taller Puertorriqueno, Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises, and other community organizations.
Details on DCNR's Green and Sustainable Park Initiative can be found at www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/grants/greening/greeninggrants.aspx.
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources