Northeast Times

Frankford Parks Group strives for non-profit status

The Frank­ford Parks Group, whose mem­bers are ded­ic­ated to im­prov­ing and main­tain­ing the neigh­bor­hood’s small parks, is try­ing to get non-profit status with the state, said Kim­berly Wash­ing­ton, pres­id­ent.

But to do that, the small or­gan­iz­a­tion must have a board meet­ing and choose of­ficers, something yet to be sched­uled.

Dur­ing the group’s meet­ing earli­er this month for the first time in a while, a meet­ing sched­ule for Septem­ber through Novem­ber was de­vised. Mem­bers will meet at the Second Baptist Church of Frank­ford, Mul­berry and Mead­ow streets, at 6 p.m. on Sept. 26, Oct. 31 and Nov. 28 and then break un­til March.

Jason Dawkins, an aide to City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones-Sanc­hez, said the coun­cil­wo­man is giv­ing the group an activ­it­ies grant for to $2,000 to $3,000.

The parks group has ar­ranged sev­er­al cleanups at Wilmot Park, Mead­ow and Mul­berry, and at the nearby Hedge Street Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, but there is a con­stant prob­lem with lit­ter and ar­ran­ging for trash pickups.

Also, Dawkins said two Wilmot Park trees need to be re­moved. One is dead and an­oth­er is in very bad shape. An­oth­er tree at Hedge Street needs to be re­placed, too, he said.

The ef­forts of the parks group are most vis­ible right now at Wilmot. Thanks to fund­ing that came through Sanc­hez’s of­fice, there is new play­ground equip­ment and the bas­ket­ball court, the site of a re­cent tour­ney, has been giv­en a facelift.

The tab wasn’t small. Dawkins es­tim­ated up­grades at Wilmot cost about $100,000, an amount that prob­ably would be needed to fix up the Hedge Street rec cen­ter.

“But we’re look­ing at a big­ger pro­ject” at Hedge Street, Dawkins said last week. That “pock­et park” needs play­ground equip­ment, too, and old fix­tures are un­safe and need to be re­moved.

Dawkins said one step to­ward get­ting work star­ted at Hedge Street is that it’s now fully owned by the city.

The old play­ground area, long dec­or­ated with a mur­al of the his­tory of Frank­ford, was owned by the city, but the heir of the de­ceased own­er privately held the ad­join­ing green space.

“We were able to get it trans­ferred over to the city,” he said. 

That might seem a smal­ler mat­ter than it really is. Now that the land is mu­ni­cip­al prop­erty, city cap­it­al funds can be used for im­prove­ments.

Dawkins said he also is look­ing for help from a non-profit group. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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