Posted on

Poop, fences, movies, high end flower theft highlight June meeting of Friends of Overington Park


The Friends of Overington Park met at 7:00 pm this past Wednesday to discuss park business.  The ongoing battle against dog poop rages on.  The Friends have been proactively approaching dog walkers asking if they’re planning on picking up after their dog.  There was a feeling that most visitors are ignorant of the fact that it’s the law that you need to pick up after your dog.  One dog walking visitor has started to as a result.  They want to work with Barbara McCabe at Parks and Rec to get “curb your dog” signs set up.


Movie night returns to the park this summer.  The fee for each movie night is $600.  The first, Thursday July 18th, is being sponsored by Philip Balderston, owner of the adjacent Parkside Apartments.  Suggestions for the move included Brave, but the title is still up for debate.  The second movie night will be on Thursday August 15th.  Being sponsored by 179th State Representative James Clay, in conjunction with a child safety night, the movie is going to be The Avengers.  Further discussions centered on whether they should give out food for movie night or sell it.  The group hasn’t sold food in the past but have been advised that it’s used as a fundraising option for other groups and is considering it.  Someone mentioned you need a permit to sell food, that statement was countered with a comment that you need a permit even to give food away.


Two members of The Friends have received robo-calls from the city as a result of putting up flyers on poles around the streets near the park advertising park events.  Diane Kunze thought it was ridiculous, saying the group puts up flyers two weeks before the event and takes them down two days after.  They think they may be getting targeted by vengeful park haters.

It was noted that John Marshall Elementary School and Frankford Friends were using the park for activities before the year ended.  This is noted with delight because it speaks to the good health of the park that schools will allow children into it.

There has been the usual vandalism of the plants.  Some accounts say as much as 60% of the plants they plant are destroyed, and gleefully replanted.  They think there’s a rogue gardener poaching their rare and more expensive plants.  A variegated blue lace cap hydrangea, retailing for $25 and planted in the crescent near Pilling St was dug up with a shovel.  This has happened before.

A milkweed has been planted on the northern side of the tool shed as a weigh station for migrating monarch butterflies.

Bike cops have been seen visiting the park and writing up vagrants and scaring away mischief makers.


The fence separating Parkside Apartments with the park is collapsing again.  Apartment residents are hopping the fence to get into the park and destroying the fence.  The park group would like the fence maintained to help control park access and cut down on crime and vagrancy.

The Friends of Overington Park will meet again in July.

Posted on

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


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