Pennsylvania DCNR Celebrates Revitalization of South Philadelphia Park

Jul 25, 2012, 17:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

PHILADELPHIA, July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials will join city representatives and The Friends of Dickinson Square Park this evening in a celebration of wide-ranging renovations at the historic Dickinson Square Park in the Pennsport area of South Philadelphia.

DCNR provided $350,000 in Community Conservation Partnership Program grant funds toward improvements on the 3-acre tract at Fourth and Tasker streets.

"Partnership is what it takes to make projects like this come to fruition," said DCNR Deputy Secretary John Giordano, who will represent the department at the event. "Like many of our projects across Philadelphia, the cooperative work of the city, state and community organizations are what made this all possible."

Dedicated in 1900 and named for the late Pennsylvania Governor John Dickinson (1732-1808), Dickinson Square Park was once hailed as one of the most complete playgrounds of its kind found anywhere in the United States. The park is located on the site of the former Pascal Iron Works, which was founded in 1821 to manufacture parts for sugar refineries.

This evening's dedication is part of a "Dickinson Square Park Renovation Celebration" hosted in the park by the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department and The Friends of Dickinson Square.

"This investment hits the triple bottom line -- improving environmental quality, neighborhood economic value, and the social fabric of our community," said Giordano. "Across the state, natural and cultural assets such as Dickinson Square Park drive the economic revitalization and competitiveness of our cities. The public support and enthusiasm surrounding this park fuels that engine."

Specifically, DCNR funding, undertaken as part of its Green and Sustainable Park Initiative, helped to finance: renovation of the park building and park center; basketball and bocce courts; pedestrian walkways; installation of playground equipment with required safety surfacing; storm water management measures, site amenities; ADA access; landscaping and plantings; project signage and other related site improvements.

Replacement of sidewalks along Tasker, Fourth and Morris streets also is planned, providing visitors with safe, easy access to a wealth of restaurants and shops located on the park's periphery.

"The ongoing commitment and support from DCNR for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation -- coupled with a steady commitment and dedication from the Pennsport community and neighbors of Dickinson Square Park -- made this project a reality," said Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis. "A project of this magnitude needed all the help and support it could get and this was a perfect combination."

Other funding sources besides DCNR included: City of Philadelphia, $300,000; Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department; $240,000; and city Councilman Frank DiCicco, $360,000.

For more information on Dickinson Square Park, visit

Details on DCNR's Green and Sustainable Park Initiative can be found at

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources