East Falls Local

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Category: McMichael Park

No Yews is Good Yews

McMichael’s War Memorial gets a $65,000+ facelift, including some drastic (and much-needed) landscaping.

Lookin’ good, McMichael! Next time you’re in the area, check out the corner of Henry & Coulter where East Falls’ 70ish-year-old War Memorial (erected in 1949) has begun repairs & restorations. Big thanks to Curtis Jones who provided $50,000 for the project, and then an additional $15,000 on top of that after estimates exceeded the original budget.

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Rumor Has It…

Have you heard? There’s apparently some sort of controversy about a playground here..?? An insider’s scoop on McMichael Park blows NBC10’s coverage away.  

About a day late & a dollar short, guys. NBC10 came out Monday night to cover the “controversy” over McMichael Park’s imminent playground — except there is none. The vast majority of like 100 neighbors gathered for the conceptual presentation seemed delighted with the proposal.

Of course, you can’t please everybody. “The play areas seem a little far from each other, ” one neighbor opined. “It’s kind of frou-frou,” said another.

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Just Push Play

UPDATE 7-14-17  “Friends” strike back against playground advocates with two supremely bitchy editorials in the Philadelphia Inquirer (ooh, someone’s got friends in high places!).

Scott Cameron again, yet! We tangled with him last year, and now he’s back with more of the same entitled rhetoric that seeks to disregard popular opinion here, and divide the community rather than compromise even a tiny bit for the common good.

Rumors fly on Facebook’s “Fallsers for McMichael Playground” group. One parent reported that a woman was spotted outside Cranky Joe’s, pulling off flyers for the meeting. Another source reported that a “Friend” (or sympathizer) has been working connections at Abbotsford Homes, trying to drum up a protest movement on the grounds that funds should be spent there instead.

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From East Falls With Love

Lovelights are here!  Now in its 18th year, the February tradition at McMichael Park celebrates loves of all kinds with Lovelight messages. Watch for the tree lighting on the evening of Feb. 14th when a tree will glow for all your loved ones. 

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Shine On, Fallsers!

What’s that soft rosy glow in McMichael Park? Why it’s the Love Lights tree, shining for loved ones, near and far. Friends of McMichael’s Alexis Franklin sheds more light on this 18-year-old East Falls tradition.

Love makes the world go ’round but it also helps keep McMichael Park beautiful. Since 1999, Friends of McMichael have been lighting up a tree in the park every Valentine’s Day, as a special tribute to love in East Falls. Because there’s THAT much heart here, y’all!

Even better: for every $5 donation, Friends of McMichael will broadcast your message of love on local social media — and of course, East Falls Local will be printing these up in February’s edition. 

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New Day at McMichael

Finally, a breakthrough in the McMichael playground standoff! Councilman Jones announces plans for a natural playspace in the park. 


As the air turns cooler and crisper and the leaves begin falling, it is another autumn in East Falls. There is much to be proud about in your little nook of our city. The business district is taking off; residential development is at an all time high and of course, the many parks and recreational spaces including McMichael Park are thriving.

As you may know, there was a Community Forum held in late June at Gustine Recreation Center to discuss the idea of a play space at McMichael Park. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and I attended as did leaders from the community who presented their ideas on the topic.

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TURTLE TALK: Local Park Brings Fun, Drama, Memories

Happy August! Morton the Turtle shares some Summer highlights from his home at McMichael Park: Tartuffe, clean-ups, and a memorial bench. 

EastFallsLocal summer 2016 collage post

What a beautiful Summer we’re having in East Falls’ favorite neighborhood greenspace — where to start?

EastFallsLocal tartuff text july 19

July 19th…Moliere’s Tartuffe!  Oh what a lovely night in McMichael Park.  Terrific crowd — lost count at 165!  Thanks to our PR duo of Christina Kistler and Cynthia Kishinchand who did a fine job of getting the word out! We recently learned our July 19th audience was the largest in the play’s entire 2016 summer run.

Extra thanks to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, The Fairmount Park Conservancy, The East Falls Community Council and the Friends of McMichael Park.  And, of course, a big thank you to all those who attended this comical show by the Free Theater from the Commonwealth Classic Theater.

EastFallsLocal tartuff audience july 19

EastFallsLocal tartuff audience july 19 b

For more arts & community happenings, check out August’s events at the Oval, (right up Kelly Drive to the Art Museum).

EastFallsLocal parks rec july 24

July 24th PPR came out to cut down dead/dangerous trees — big thanks to great folks working on a Sunday for our park.

Speaking of park maintenance, special shout out to Sue Park and Jack Row, two neighbors who took time out of their Saturday to weed & sweep up the War Memorial:

EastFallsLocal Sue Park Jack Row

July 28th: Remembering “The Doon” (Jack Dooney) whose bench sits at home plate in McMichael Park.

EastFallsLocal Jack Dooney the Doon bench

As Summer continues, keep your eyes peeled for Pokemon! McMichael Park is indeed a hotspot for this addictive game. Read more on Town News Today!

EastFallsLocal pokemon go at mcmichael 2

And keep up with all the latest fun at McMichael right here on East Falls Local, where we load you up on links and pics, to give you the real neighborhood scoop — straight from the Turtle’s mouth!


Passive Resistance for McMichael

Part Deux: Insider vs Outsider! Netherfield Fallser speaks up for a passive McMichael Park, while a neighbor in nearby Wissahickon calls out affluence and NIMBYism. 
EastFallsLocal point counter point post 8 x 10

Are we sick of the playground-at-McMichael issue yet?

When a neighbor recently emailed us that McMichael should be left alone, one of his reasons stuck us as untrue: that this park is already thoroughly enjoyed by the community as it is.

Ummm… Really? 

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Flea for All

Falls Flea this year was off to a rainy start, but that didn’t stop bargain hunters from coming out in droves for great deals on clothes, antiques, and funky treasures of all kinds. A pop-up playground & a bike raffle, too.  Pics and videos of McMichael’s annual neighborhood fair. 

EastFallsLocal survey text Falls Flea

Funny how the rain date was actually wetter than the original day picked for East Falls’ biggest, bestest (!) outdoor market. No matter! It’s actually quite easy to shop under tarps (when necessary). And kinda fun, too, being out together in fussy weather.

So many vendors! So much stuff! Three sides of McMichael park were lined with stalls, plus community groups and attractions on the inside, including — dant dant! The controversial “pop-up playground”

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We Get Letters: Playground Update from the Friends of McMichael

Alexis Franklin writes in defense of green space at McMichael Park and recaps a recent vote by the Friends group.

EastFallsLocal 5-11 McMichael buttercups and bench a leafy green cause

The playground at McMichael discussion has certainly intensified in the past few weeks – there are now two petitions on Change.org and several highly entertaining threads on the Nextdoor messageboard. There’s also been a surprisingly civil EFCC meeting on the topic with respectful questions from both sides of the issue.

To make clear her group’s position (and to recap a vote the membership recently held), Alexis Franklin, Coordinator of the Friends of McMichael Park, provided the following letter —

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