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    • A May 2017 kickoff event for PennAssist, which consists of a younger group of 44 participants.

These pre-employment programs could be a model for Rebuild's jobs goals

At 36 years old, Herbert Robinson wasn't just looking for a job. He wanted a career. Earlier this year, his resume looked pretty patchy. He had some manufacturing experience — making…

    • The basketball court at Hunting Park Rec Center.
Eyes on the Street

What if it rained? How a rec center changed one life, and could change more

Every time it rains, the Hunting Park Recreation Center has to shut down activities because of a hole in the roof.  The “Rec” is a safe place where many children in…

    • Rendering of a closed Parkway block for The Oval+ 2018 | PORT Urbanism
Eyes on the Street

In Common: The Oval stretches car-free play onto the Parkway this summer

Our series about Philly's changing public spaces continues with a trip on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Ashley Hahn checks in on The Oval, a summertime experience geared at making the Parkway…

    • The refurbished pool at Pleasant Playground in Mount Airy.

It must finally be summer: City pools open starting Tuesday

Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council have yet to pass a budget for 2019. There’s more than $27 million missing from the city’s primary bank account, and the firm hired to…

    • East Parkside neighbors gather in one of Parkside Edge's new
Eyes on the Street

In Common: Centennial Commons carves out space for East Parkside neighbors to connect

Next up in our series about Philly's changing public spaces, Ashley Hahn heads to Parkside Edge to see how this project aims to find new ways of connecting neighbors to West…

    • Young men gather for an afternoon basketball game at Vare Recreation Center.  | Emma Lee/WHYY

Rebuild legislation passes City Council, this time quietly

On a day when those on the fourth floor of City Hall were deafened by the noise of protesters, a key piece of legislation tied to the mayor’s signature capital…

    • Julien Carrasquillo (right) is a 28-year-old leader trainee at Rivera Rec Center in Fairhill.

Attracting a younger generation of recreation leaders for the city

Each year, it takes an army of seasonal employees at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to make the summer a little more hospitable. By the time public schools close in June, the…

    • Anglers cast their lines for catfish at Pier 60 off Columbus Boulevard

At waterfront development site, a popular DIY rec space hangs in the balance

As rush-hour traffic grinds to a halt along Columbus Boulevard one afternoon in May, a slow flow of bicycles moves in a perpendicular direction, intermittently cutting across the road toward the…

    • Lardner's Point Park in Northeast Philadelphia, where the city tried timed locks and composting toilets -- unsuccessfully.

Where's the restroom? In city parks, there may be nowhere to go

Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown has no bathroom, so when a local preschool class met there for a playdate recently, the parents pulled out little travel toilets for the children. Kensington…

    • Emily Coleman leads a ceramics class at Olney Rec Center.

City Council and Mayor Kenney play nice as rec center 'rebuild' advances

Mayor Jim Kenney’s plan to revamp public facilities throughout the city took another step forward this week, with key legislation passing favorably out of a City Council committee on Monday. The…

    • LOVE in reverse / Neal Santos for PlanPhilly
Eyes on the Street

In Common: Finding a new LOVE

First up in a series about Philly's changing public spaces, Ashley Hahn heads to LOVE Park looking for love and finds plenty. Hear what Philadelphians using the park think about Center…

    • Brothers at Wister Playground | Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Philly gains ground in national park ranking

Philadelphia’s park system has bumped up two places, to 30th, in a national ranking of the 100 largest U.S. cities, reflecting good distribution of facilities around the city, strong volunteerism, and…

    • Young men gather for an afternoon basketball game at Vare Recreation Center.  | Emma Lee/WHYY

Mayor Kenney announces first rec 'rebuild' as clash over union diversity heats up

Dilapidated Vare Recreation Center in Grays Ferry will be the first city facility improved through Mayor Jim Kenney’s stalled soda tax-financed upgrade for parks, rec centers and libraries. Announced at a…

    • Mayor Jim Kenney poses with volunteers at Fisher Park. (Fairmount Park Conservancy)

3 cool things to do in Philadelphia parks this weekend

David Bower explains William Penn’s initial vision of Philadelphia as a city with parks sprinkled throughout its neighborhoods. “Penn gave instructions to his people to lay out a map,” says Bower,…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Philly mayor threatens council over lagging rec center rebuild

In a fiery letter sent on Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told City Council that he is willing to scale back his signature rec center, playground, and library improvement effort in…

    • The city recently renovated Piccoli Playground to meet new standards for

Philly's next generation of playgrounds is here and everyone is invited in

When it comes to places to play, the notion of proximity and convenience are two very different realities for South Philadelphia mother Kelly Palange. A few blocks away from her home…

    • A couple poses at Love Park in February.

LOVE Park? More like loathe park! Criticisms mount as JFK Plaza slowly reopens.

It’s an iconic shot, a photo taken by numerous Philadelphians, millions of visitors, and countless brides and grooms. The subjects stand in front of Robert Indiana’s LOVE Statue as a geyser-like fountain…

    • National championship-winning NW Raiders youth football team practices on a patchy city-owned field in East Germantown.  (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

After winning the Super Bowl of youth football, Germantown's Raiders search for a field of their own

Boys scrambled backward across the threadbare field at Lonnie Young Recreation Center in East Germantown on a recent early spring evening, running pursuit drills over sparse patches of grass as their…

    • Meghan Talarowski of Studio Ludo designed the climbing wall at the Cecil B. Moore library with the idea that children need

A Philadelphia library gets 'risky' with a new play space

It’s a weekday afternoon just before 3:00 p.m. and Cecil B. Moore Library in North Philadelphia is quiet.  But librarian Kayla Hoskinson says when school lets out, kids will flock to…

    • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, left, shakes hands with members of City Council at City Hall on Nov. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Parks & Rec makeover caught in clash over union diversity rules

A City Council hearing on Rebuild ended on Thursday with still no resolution on which parks, rec centers, libraries and playgrounds will be improved in the first phase of Mayor Jim…

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