Our community’s treasures

What we’re doing to invest in our city’s public spaces

It is an exciting time in the west and southwest Philadelphia and, quite honestly, citywide. This year has been prosperous for our neighbors, and I’m delighted to say we’ve made a hard push to provide funding for our free, public spaces.

As a state representative and lifelong resident of Southwest Philadelphia, I can attest to the importance of public spaces, their role in our community, and why it’s necessary we leave no stone unturned when it comes providing funding for their upkeep and revitalization.

Public spaces are locations where our community bond is nurtured, memories are made, and our children learn and grow.

Now, more than ever, is the time to provide direction for our young people and instill hope for their future. This is possible by dedicating resources to our public spaces and revitalizing outdated building and playgrounds.

I’m happy to say we’ve already had a running start in this regard, and projects are already underway at locations in Cobbs Creek and Southwest Philly.

To date, we’ve secured $4.5 million in funding for the Francis J. Myers Recreation Center located on Kingsessing Avenue. This funding is being used to make critical improvements like making the facility environmentally safe, improving its roof, exterior masonry, installing new windows and doors, updating the plumbing, mechanical systems, fire alarm and fire protection systems, and increasing building accessibility.

Most recently, a combined investment of $3 million to the Cobbs Nature Playground & Environmental Center has allotted for a total revamp of the playground and upgrades to the environmental center. Some of these upgrades include new nature-themed play equipment, water misters, fountain and bottle filler, and pedestrian lighting and security cameras. I recently attended the groundbreaking ceremony for this project, and I can say with confidence that our neighbors and young people will be enjoying these upgrades sooner rather than later.

These are just a few of many quality investments we’ve been able to dedicate to our local public spaces, but they all remain significant in their own regard, Myers Rec especially.

Both Myers and Cobbs Creek are beacon of hope for our young people, thanks to our city and state officials. Our public spaces are part of the foundation of who we are as a community, and it’s important we do whatever necessary to ensure it remains that way for years to come.