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June 23, 2021

Fairmount Park Conservancy to host children's workshop for Pattison Park redesign

Pattison Park is part of the larger, $4.5 million redesign of FDR Park

Development Parks
Pattison Park Courtesy/Fairmount Park Conservancy

The Pattison Park redesign is underway and officials are hosting an information session for kids and adults to voice their opinions on what they want out of the park.

Kids and adults can share their ideas for the upgraded Pattison Playground in South Philadelphia at a workshop later this month.

The playground's redesign is part of a larger, $4.5 million project to revamp the 100-year-old FDR Park that the city announced earlier this year.

Located near the Pattison Lagoon, the children's play area and picnic space will celebrate FDR Park's identity. It will have barrier-free paths, hills and planted spaces near the welcome center.

The Fairmount Park Conservancy is hosting the children's workshop to survey both kids and adults on what they want to add to the park and to "explore play memories, draw playful ideas and tell stories about what play is," according to its website.

Participants will be given a worksheet that asks kids questions like "what adventures could you have here?" and "if you could build anything, what would it be?" 

Caregivers are asked "what play memories do you want children to experience here?" and "how can the new playground support you, as an adult?"

"There's really no limit to what children can influence at this future play space at FDR - that's why we're so excited to see their imagination run wild at this workshop," Spokesperson Melissa Romero said. "We'll be asking them to think about what adventures they want to have, if you could build anything what would it be, and more."

The information session will be held on June 26 from 10 a.m. to noon at picnic spot #2 in FDR Park, across from the current playground. The event is in-person and face masks and social distancing will be required. 

The event is free, though organizers are asking for interested participants to sign up beforehand so they will have enough materials for all that attend.

For those unable to attend, the activity sheet is available for download on the Park's website. Children and adults can fill it out at home and send it in.

The Pattison Playground is being funded by a $250,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and a matching $250,000 contribution from the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

Other changes to the park include a renovation of the 5,500-square-foot guardhouse (located at the park's Broad Street and Pattison Avenue entrance) into a welcome center that will have a courtyard, public restrooms and a staffed information center and equipment rentals.

The stables at the park will be transformed into a 4,000-square-foot café and a 6,700-square-foot event space overlooking Pattison Lagoon.

Funding for the entire renovation project comes from a $3 million grant from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and a $1 million slice of the city's capital budget. 

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