Menu
Donate today!
view counter

In West Philly, a playground built for school and community

'Greening Lea' project looks to fill a neighborhood need for green space.

By Bill Hangley Jr. on Sep 19, 2014 01:18 PM
Photo: Bill Hangley Jr.

There’s at least one new bright spot in a district unsettled by budget cuts, lawsuits, layoffs, and surprise resignations: Lea Elementary has a new playground.

“We’re excited for the work that’s been done, and the work to come,” said Amara Rockar of the West Philly Coalition for Public Schools, just before cutting the ribbon that officially opened Lea’s colorful new play structure to the public.

As happy students clambered about on its monkey bars and sliding poles, Rockar said the installation of the structure was an “important first step” toward transforming Lea’s one-acre asphalt lot into a tree-lined green space that can serve as a park for residents of all ages.

“The community wanted to see this kind of thing happen,” she said.

The opening marks the end of a year-long effort to bring the structure to Lea. It was originally installed in 2010 at nearby Wilson Elementary, with support from the Cole Hamels Foundation and the Spruce Hill Community Association. When Wilson closed, Lea was a logical next destination.

The District paid the moving costs. A $64,000 donation from the Philadelphia Water Department created a colorful, permeable rubber surface for it to stand on.

And when $3,000 was needed to complete the work this summer, Lea supporters raised it from community members and businesses in just eight days, said Maurice Jones, head of Lea’s Home and School Association and vice president of the Garden Court Community Association.

“This is fantastic,” Jones said. “The kids love it. A lot of them are just learning about who actually did this. They’re coming up to me and saying, ‘They did this for us?’ And I said, ‘Yes, they did this for you.’”

Lea supporters are still raising money for the big job of transforming the remaining space - a $400,000 project known as “Greening Lea.” They said that about three-quarters of that money has already been raised, including $242,000 from the Philadelphia Water Department, $10,000 from PECO, and another $10,000 from community partners and over 100 individual donors.

The greening project will leave much of the large asphalt play space intact – Lea’s lot is already well-used for basketball and bicycling – but will add groves of trees and landscaped “rain gardens” that will help manage stormwater runoff while also creating pleasant, shady areas around the lot’s perimeter.

“All the water that falls is going to be piped into underground storage under the trees, and it will flow into the rain gardens,” said Jen Martel, a Lea parent and co-chair of Greening Lea.

Martel said Lea supporters hope to complete the fundraising in time to start construction this spring, so that the transformed space can be ready by next September.

The new play space will help fill a need in a densely populated neighborhood whose closest parks are about a mile away. “There was a void of green space,” said Jones.

By this time next year, Jones hopes to see not only kids on the playground, but older people relaxing in the shade, playing chess or making music – “all the things that happen in Clark Park,” he said.

He also hopes to see the school itself continue to improve, despite the challenges of the cash-strapped District. Just four weeks into the job, new principal Jennifer Duffy has put the place on an even keel, Jones said, and he’s optimistic about her leadership.

“This is as good as I’ve felt in the six years I’ve been here,” he said. “I’ve always been very positive, but it’s really over the top now.”

As Jones spoke, Duffy and her staff were behind him, lining up the students for an orderly procession into the building.

“When she raises her hand, everybody gets quiet,” he said. “It’s a simple change of tone. What’s happening out here is what’s happening in the school.”
 

Click Here
view counter

Comments (27)

Submitted by Amara (not verified) on September 19, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi Bill, 

Thanks so much for coming out early this morning! I wanted to clarify that the Greening Lea project is two years old and the project to move the play structure from the closed Wilson Elementary is about a year old. Many former Wilson students now attend Lea and we are proud to be a part of this reunion.

Amara

Submitted by Bill Hangley (not verified) on September 19, 2014 3:38 pm

Thanks!

Submitted by Masker Kefir (not verified) on October 10, 2016 1:49 am
Masker Kefir adalah masker wajah yang berbahan dasar KEFIR SUSU hasil fermentasi SUSU BERKUALITAS dengan BIBIT KEFIR (KEFIR GRAINS) 100% alami sehingga aman untuk Ibu hamil, menyusui.
Submitted by ShannonMcClellan (not verified) on November 26, 2016 6:21 am

I have visited the playground recently which is really nice place for the children. According to the best paper writing service reviews, these types of projects can develop the talents of the children at a small age. Every school should encourage their students to assign these types of projects.

Submitted by Darryl (not verified) on November 26, 2016 10:42 am

Plygroud in the school is the most vital and important place for the kids.This is my sources where you can get connected for learning more details about what makes you happy.

 
Submitted by Plombier rapide (not verified) on January 26, 2017 3:10 am

Plombier rapide Mantes la Jolie

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 30, 2017 8:23 am

I really appreciate students for completing this play ground which is really amazing. The kids really like this play ground and enjoyed a lot in this play ground.

 

because I could not stop for death

Submitted by Kim (not verified) on April 8, 2017 7:17 pm
For any appearing that has to carry with final groups or clients, creating a unrivaled hunt and cunning letterhead is of a rattling massive grandness.  cheap brochure printing melbourne
Submitted by Ashar Seo (not verified) on May 3, 2017 6:36 am

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff not surprisingly. Keep up the considerable work!!! macchinette tatuaggi

Submitted by Ashar Seo (not verified) on May 4, 2017 8:07 am

Great article, much obliged for assembling this! This is clearly one extraordinary post. A debt of gratitude is in order for the important data and bits of knowledge you have so given here. discover more here

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 13, 2017 6:00 am

Awesome article with great idea!Thank you for such a profitable article. I truly acknowledge for this extraordinary data.. Cheap fiftyfive prints Discount Code

Submitted by Ashar Seo (not verified) on May 18, 2017 4:23 am

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff not surprisingly. Keep up the considerable work!!! cheap55printing.com

Submitted by Pervez74 (not verified) on May 30, 2017 1:29 am

We had been happy to discover this particular excellent website. I needed in order to thanks for your period for this reason wonderful study! Right now follow-up check cashing We certainly loved just from it as well as I've a person book-marked to look at brand new points in your web site

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 31, 2017 3:40 am
Awesome article with great idea!Thank you for such a profitable article. I truly acknowledge for this extraordinary data.. cheapest printing
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 6, 2017 5:58 am

"Boredom is a killer—which is why a cure for boredom can be a lifesaver. The truth is, portable Bluetooth speakers have been the handheld solution to elevate the moment, whether at the beach, the middle of a party, or a lazy afternoon at home for years now—and your brand can get in on that excitement. Right now—with C2BPromo.com, you can put you logo on a wide array of Promotional Bluetooth Speakers, in all different shapes and sizes, from waterproof to resilient wood—with models coming in at 6-7 dollars all the way up to high-end luxury designs. Multiple surfaces on almost every customized Bluetooth speaker can showcase your logo—so no matter which way it’s turned, your name is always center staged." Promotional Speaker

Submitted by Ashar (not verified) on June 14, 2017 6:37 am

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff not surprisingly. Keep up the considerable work!!! solar cctv trailer johannesburg

Submitted by AsharSeo (not verified) on June 23, 2017 5:58 pm

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff not surprisingly. Keep up the considerable work!!! Injustice Cheats

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 6, 2017 2:27 am

I needed to thank you for this extraordinary read!! I unquestionably getting a charge out of each and every piece of it I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post. Promo Fidget Spinner

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 15, 2017 2:29 am

Decent to be going to your web journal once more, it has been months for me. Well this article i"ve been sat tight for so long. I require this article to finish my task in the school, and it has same theme with your article. Much obliged, awesome offer. The Author Incubator

Submitted by sâm hàn quốc (not verified) on September 10, 2017 9:10 pm

Cửa Hàng sâm hàn quốc Sâm Yến Thịnh Phát xin giới thiệu các loại bánh trung thu yến sào 2017 đặc biệt thơm ngon. Bánh trung thu yến sào bán tại cửa hàng là sản phẩm của công ty nhà nước Yến Sào Khánh Hòa. Đây nhan sam han quoc là các sản phẩm được sản xuất trên một quy trình khép kín đảm bảo các sản phẩm đạt tiêu chuẩn về mặt an toàn hợp vệ sinh cũng như có chất lượng hết sức thơm ngon và đặc biệt. Các loại banh trung thu yen sao 2017 được đóng gói bằng các loại bao bì hết sức đẹp mắt và trang trọng, có thể làm quà để tặng cho người thân và gia đình trong dịp trung thu.

Submitted by Ashar Seo (not verified) on December 12, 2017 7:52 am

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff not surprisingly. Keep up the considerable work!!! TwentyMotion

Submitted by Ashar Seo (not verified) on December 20, 2017 3:26 am

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff not surprisingly. Keep up the considerable work!!! baby portraits

Submitted by hellenjos (not verified) on January 10, 2018 6:24 am
It is very great to hear that a playground builds for school and community. Now the children can play well and it will become the favorite place for the kids. I would appreciate the people who worked on this idea and all the very best. Gems Arcade
Submitted by annonces (not verified) on February 1, 2018 5:44 am

Mode of use of the services.
The user undertakes to publish the announcement in the category pi appropriate to our site bakeca not to commit following activities & agrave ;:
- violate the read in force or our Content Rules prohibited ;
- publish announcements containing false or misleading information ;
- publish ads in violation of property rights; intellectual property of third parties; - use the service offered on subitopunto.it in order to send 'spamming', proposals for pyramid schemes or network marketing;
- do not spread computer viruses or other technologies that could damage subitopunto.it or users of subitopunto.it;
- do not make any action that could cause an unreasonable overload on our technological infrastructures and to our site;
- copy , reproduce, alter, modify or disseminate content published by advertisers without their express consent;       

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 14, 2018 6:57 am

I appreciate the school authorities for their wise decision. The playground is an important part all schools and it’s the place where the students start their sports activities. It’s a lesson for other schools too. anti snore mouthpiece

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 19, 2018 12:57 pm

Fascinating theme for an online journal. I have been scanning the Internet for the sake of entertainment and happened upon your site. Impressive post. Much appreciated a ton for sharing your insight! It is extraordinary to see that a few individuals still invest an exertion into dealing with their sites. I'll make sure to return again genuine soon. wrongful termination

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 20, 2018 4:29 am

Dr. Garner says the idea for the program came from community college deans who realized they need this kind of terminal degree, but could not get traction from traditional schools. buy Autodesk VRED Design software

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. We reserve the right to delete or remove any material deemed to be in violation of this rule, and to ban anyone who violates this rule. Please see our "Terms of Usage" for more detail concerning your obligations as a user of this service. Reader comments are limited to 500 words. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments

Top

Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300
notebook@thenotebook.org

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy