UPDATE 6-12-17: The plot thickens… No one’s claiming responsibility for alarming (yet vague) new signs at McMichael.
Mysterious signs have popped up at McMichael Park, in apparent response to a recent stakeholder meeting where plans for the new playground proposed using more space than the initial 1 – 2 % requested for a natural play area.
It’s just a first draft, though! Designers are back at the drawing board to address concerns. Meanwhile, Friends of McMichael park deny that they’re behind the new signs — but these “bandit” signs hung around for days without any comment from the Friends, so perhaps that’s telling?
What’s with the wording, btw? “Our” park? Who are “they” that want us to help them save “their” park? And from what? And how, specifically, are we supposed to help? The signs are anonymous and unclear. And kinda sinister looking, too — made of black trash bags, it seems, and accented with angry red paint splotches.
On Nextdoor, the same vocal minority who lost their fight to keep the park “passive” last year is starting up the same tired arguments again. “We shall never give up!” insisted one neighbor, to which another shot back, “Churchill quotes? It’s a playground, not WWII. Let’s bring it back to reality…”
Looks like democracy might take a little more time coming to East Falls, after all. Stay tuned as the saga continues.
Original post 5-22-17: Local parents advocate for a playground at McMichael — and succeed. Here’s to community activism in the Falls!
PhillyVoice.com announced earlier this month — McMichael’s getting a playground! Not just any playground, a “natural playspace” in keeping with the park’s peaceful, residential vibe. My how far we’ve come…
This time last year, some neighbors were freaking out over the idea of changing this “emerald gem” in the heart of East Falls. Today, though, “it’s all about positivity,” wrote reporter (and Queen Lane resident) Brian Hickey.
After months of behind-the-scene meetings, McMichael’s new play space is on the way, probably in the area where the turtle is now — but neither the design nor the site are definite yet, stressed Alexis Franklin (Friends of McMichael).
Funding for construction is not exactly figured out, either — but it’s coming. Probably a combination of capital and communities monies, according to Josh Cohen of Curtis Jones’ office. But first, an upcoming community survey and public meeting will help finalize the design. Once one is chosen, installation will begin soon after.
Won’t be long before The Great Playground Debate will be over for good, and McMichael Park can begin its new life better serving our community. Congratulations to all the parents who worked so hard for over ten years to make this natural playspace a reality — especially Joyce Brady who initiated the effort last April on NextDoor, and led this charge for change.
Thanks, too, to the Friends of McMichael Park for warming up to the idea at last!
And thanks to Curtis Jones’ office, who help orchestrate the playground and also a $50k restoration project for McMichael’s war memorial.
PS: Have you noticed how McMichael has really stepped up their game recently? Expanded Falls Flea with a beer garden, yet, and even Parks on Tap is coming, for gosh sakes! Way to go, Friends. We’re loving the new McMichael.
QUOTES FROM SOCIAL MEDIA…
Daniel Ostrov The Natural Playground sounds awesome! — Fallsers for McMichael Playground
Gina Snyder Joyce Brady you are a superstar!! Thank you!! — Fallsers for McMichael Playground
Melissa Holloway Thank you for all your hard work! — Fallsers for McMichael Playground
Christine Pincituro Smith I hope they don’t do that to such a nice clean park… there are other places in the Falls for kids and parents to play. — I’m From East Falls
Darlene Rodgers Spino You can thank Carolyn Fillmore for stirring the pot. — I’m From East Falls
Arlene Kish DuBois But but! Look out. There will be children in the park. Oh my. — East Falls Rants
Jennifer Gallagher Thompson Let’s make sure we set up some Hate Has No Home Here signs for all the opponents of the playground. — East Falls Rants