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. ••