Kristin Wisniewski, Recreation Leader, welcomed the group to Carmella Playground on December 4th. It was an informative and productive meeting for the 20 residents who attended to hear about plans for the facility. The $500,000 project is being funded by a combination of City and State funds thanks to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez and State Representative Jason Dawkins.
There will be new equipment in the children’s play area, some adult fitness features too, new landscaping and a water feature for the warm weather. It is an ambitious and much-needed upgrade that is planned to be finished by the start of the Summer, IF THE WEATHER COOPERATES. If that schedule cannot be maintained, the project will be moved back to start up in the Fall.
Residents questioned how the project would be managed. At present, areas of the Playground look like a construction zone. One area of contention came from the users of the Whitehall Skate Park on the Torresdale Avenue side which is not included in this project. The users feel that they should get some attention since it does get heavy use. Some of the athletes involved are likely to be in contention for Olympic participation when Skateboarding becomes an Olympic sport in 2020.
Councilwoman Sanchez responded that the park has only recently fallen into her Councilmatic District and she was not involved in the planning for this project. However, as she has stated at other meetings involving recreation facilities, users have to become active participants in the advisory councils or Friends groups of these facilities in order to have a say in the future improvements.
The members of the skateboard group said they would become involved. Also at the meeting were representatives of The Block Gives Back who are actively involved at the Playground and they will also look to become active on the Advisory Council.
The participants at the meeting approved the plan presented at the meeting with some suggestions and future communication with the participants will come via email. Pictures below are some renderings of what the equipment will look like when the project is complete,