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May 12, 2016

Big plans on deck for renovated South Kensington park

Refurbished green space to host handball, markets and more

Parks Development
Benson Park Friends of Benson Park/Facebook

The newly renovated Benson Park in South Kensington.

Handball, salsa dancing and music from one DJ Cookie will mark the reopening of Benson Park in South Kensington.

The newly renovated green space, located at 1442 N. Fourth St., will be home to a kickoff festival on Saturday, May 14.

Benson Park's new digs — a new grass field, a refurbished handball court and a restored water fountain — were funded by Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez and the Philadelphia Water Department's green infrastructure program for stormwater management.

Jessica Noon, acting chair of the Friends of Benson Park, said Saturday's "Grand Opening Fiesta" is just the start of more to come for the community space.

"We are hoping to put together future events this summer, such as movie nights, handball workshops and a neighborhood Mercado (market)," Noon said in an email.

Teaching those handball workshops will be Wally Amaro, a local expert in the sport.

The park's renovations, completed in November 2015, were made possible after the city won a long-fought legal battle with a local resident who was claiming public property of the space, according to the Friends.

Now restored to its "full glory," Benson Park will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from March to November, with limited hours during the winter.

Saturday's party runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can find more information on the event and the park on Facebook.