In First Meeting of Season, Friends of Overington Park Plan Their Year

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Tonight at the Historical Society of Frankford, the Friends of Overington Park held their first meeting of the year.

Phillip Balderston, attended the meeting representing PT Real Estate Capital, the new ownership of 4616 Leiper St, the apartments immediately adjacent the park.  They’ve been aptly branded Parkside Apartments.  He was referred to the group by Jason Dawkins through Counsel woman Sanchez’ office.  Balderston attended in the hopes of providing support to the park and enhance the neighborhood.  PT Real Estate Capital already owns properties in Frankford, including 4712 Leiper St.

The main issue on the agenda was setting the calendar for the rest of the year.

March 23rd will be the dedication of the new park shed.  The even is from 11 AM to 1 Pm.  It was a hard fought four years to get it.  Frankford ROTC students will ceremoniously carry over the equipment from the former storage locations in houses surrounding the park to be placed in the new shed.  There will also be a “very cheap” bottle of champagne to christen the shed.  They’re also getting a cake to thank PHS and Philly Parks and Rec for their help getting the shed.

April 13th from is the Mayor’s Spring Cleanup Day.  The event lasts from 10 AM to 1 PM.  They’ll be giving out pretzels.

May 18th is Love Your Park Day.  It will be the day of the group’s spring planting.  Kunze sought input from the group about participating in a plant sale that day sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.  The plants will be donated to the group for the sale and Overington Park will be listed as a participating park on the sponsorship tee shirt.  They’ll also be given a 50 dollar gift card to a big box home improvement store.  Kunze said she’d use it to buy dustpans and brushes, since the never get those donated to them.  The group unanimously voted in favor and will participate. They were excited to see the return of the participant tee shirts after years of their absence.

The 3rd Annual Overington Park Meet and Greet has been proposed for the 3rd Saturday in June – June 15th.  They’re proposing a pot luck.  In years past, they cooked too much food.  They’re considering making it for all of the park volunteers and inviting other park groups to come and see the Overington Park.  There will be a best salsa contest[the dip, not the dance].  Balderston was drafted to judge.

It was revealed that after the quarterly Philly Rising meeting, State Rep James Clay approached the group to sponsor a movie night this summer.  Details are pending.  Phillip Balderston also promised to help with a movie night.

Towards the end of the meeting, Balderston asked what the park was like at night, to which Diane replied “scary”.  With the new shed now in place, the group’s grand dream turns toward lighting the park at night to help welcome use.

Other items:

  • Diane noted with joy that Parks and Rec had been emptying the trash cans around the park
  • the group is looking for folding chairs.  They now have enough folding tables, they need chairs to go with them.
  • there’s a particular bench called the drug bench, also known as the humping bench.  It was unclear at press time which bench this is though
  • they’re considering a standard work day through the spring and summer so that people can get in a routine and it’s clear which day you should show up
  • they brought up the need of a Facebook page, and I volunteered to steward them through an online presence.  They’re looking at interacting with other park groups better online

The next meeting will be April 3rd at the Historical Society from 7 PM to 8 PM.  It will move to the park when the weather gets better and the sun stays out longer.

[link] 6th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup Day – April 13

[link] Love Your Park Week – May 11 to May 18th