At 4th and Manton Streets in South Philadelphia an abandoned pocket park that sat vacant, overgrown, and rundown for years now has renewed life thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer friends and neighbors. But the park is in danger of disappearing. The City of Philadelphia has sold the park without notifying the neighborhood.
Over the last seven months, friends and neighbors have weeded, cleaned, and planted to transform what was a dilapidated lot into an open public park where the neighborhood gathers. The pocket park at 405-411 Manton Street has been in existence for over 50 years. The past 20 years it was badly neglected and became a hotspot for illegal activities. More recently the illegal activity has subsided and park became home to trash and abandoned shopping carts. In just eight weeks over the summer of 2011, an ambitious and eager team of volunteers neighbors mobilized and removed the trash, over grown ivy and dirt by hand, power washed the concrete, and created a community garden.
The most incredible impact of this transformation has not been the physical results, but the bringing together of a neighborhood. The introductions and development of friendships between neighbors who live doors away that might have otherwise remained strangers. People from completely different pasts, have worked hand in hand to improve their surroundings, sharing their experiences and their commitment to shape a better future for their neighborhood - this is proof that a public park and community garden renovation is more than just a source of beauty and an excuse to get outside. These are the building blocks of a thriving community.
On November 23, progress on the park was halted by the discovery that the City Philadelphia via Ordinance 110384 sold the park with no public notice to the neighborhood. The Friends of Manton Street Park and Community Garden have turned their attention from weeding and planning their holiday fundraiser to halting the sale of the park and saving their community open space.
Sign this petition to stop the sale of the park and save a beloved neighborhood open space!