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November 20, 2016

City to receive $100 million donation to improve parks, libraries

A Philadelphia charity will commit this week to a major investment that will improve access to public spaces in the city.

The William Penn Foundation will donate in an effort to upgrade the city's parks, recreation centers, libraries and trails. According to the Associated Press, the organization will contribute $100 million to Mayor Jim Kenney's Rebuilding Community Infrastructure Initiative.

The donation will be the largest grant in the charity's 70-year history. A formal announcement is expected Monday.

The mayor's program is a seven-year, $500 million effort to revitalize the city's public spaces and spur economic growth. City officials are considering more than 400 projects and plan to announce the program's first set of projects next spring.

Earlier this month, the city was able to secure another source of funding for infrastructure projects. Voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question to allow the city to borrow $184,303,000 to benefit transit, streets and sanitation, municipal buildings, economic and community development and parks, recreation and museums.

City Council still needs to sign off on the allocation of funds.

To date, the William Penn Foundation has contributed more than $1.6 billion for nearly 10,000 projects.