Just in time for summer break, the City of Philadelphia with the Trust for Public Land unveiled a new playground at William Dick Elementary on Tuesday. Residents of North Philadelphia now have the opportunity to spend their days outside at the new schoolyard located on Diamond Street near 24th.
Students opened the ribbon cutting celebration with a local rendition of Pharrell William’s “Happy” and ended it with an impressive gymnastics routine. In between, Mayor Nutter kicked off a round of acknowledgements and congratulations to all the groups responsible for remaking the asphalt parking lot into a much needed green space.
William Dick Elementary is the first Green 2015 project to finish construction. Green 2015 is a plan developed by PennPraxis and put into action by Mayor Nutter with Parks and Recreation, the Water Department, the School District and the Trust for Public Land with funding support from the William Penn Foundation. The goal of the plan is to create 500 new acres of public green space by 2015.
Students from the elementary school played an important role in redesigning the William Dick playground, choosing the play equipment, plants for the rain garden, locations for new trees and important amenities like benches. PWD constructed a rain garden to manage the stormwater runoff from the play area. During the school year, the green space will be utilized for teaching children about the importance of green infrastructure and how the rain garden helps maintain water quality. In addition to a rain garden, the playground includes benches for relaxation, spinning cups, and additional space for playing sports. The new and improved playground will be open to the public every day — helping achieve Mayor Nutter’s vision of exposing at least 75 percent of the city’s population to green space within a 10-minute walk.