Sims, city officials announce nearly $1 million for Markward at Schuylkill River Park

PHILADELPHIA, April 14 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., and city officials today announced nearly $1 million in investments at Markward at Schuylkill River Park, with state funding as the largest single source.

Sims said the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will provide $388,000 from the Recreation and Conservation Fund.

Sims said, "Today illustrates the best of what Philadelphia communities can do when we work together. I’m proud to be presenting this check today to help fund this important project and make this necessary investment in our neighborhoods. Philadelphia is home to some of the best parks in the nation and these funds will go a long way in ensuring that exceptional tradition continues."

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has secured $300,000 for the project, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell announced the department will invest an additional $300,000.

The parks department said the Markward at Schuylkill River Park rehabilitation and development project includes demolition and site improvements to the heavily used Center City park. To continue to meet the needs of the community and to bring the park into compliance with current standards, including disability access, safety and the Universal Construction Code, the park is being upgraded. The project will upgrade a park which has not undergone any renovations since the mid-1980s.

A design team worked with the community to get their input on aesthetic and design matters while also addressing safety and compliance issues. Upon completion, Markward at Schuylkill River Park will serve all community users, including seniors and people with disabilities, the parks department said.

This project also will improve stormwater management features by constructing a rain garden, which aligns with the vision of the city Water Department's Green City, Clean Waters Plan to protect and enhance the watershed by managing stormwater runoff with innovative green, stormwater technology. The project also will upgrade existing landscaping, including several tree and shrub plantings, providing a more natural space than the present hardscape environment. Finally, the project is the final piece of several upgrades to Schuylkill River Park and adjacent Schuylkill Banks: including the recently completed Schuylkill River Dog Run (2012), Schuylkill River Parks Connector Bridge (2012) and Schuylkill River Boardwalk/Schuylkill Banks (2014).

Sims represents the 182nd Legislative District, which includes part or all of: Rittenhouse, Fitler Square, Logan Square, Midtown/Gayborhood, Washington Square West, Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Fairmount, Queen Village, East Passyunk, Spring Garden and Market East.