Parks and recreation are an investment, not a cost.
Cities where parks, recreation and trails play a vital role in the lives of their residents are vibrant places to live and have proven to be attractive to businesses and residents. In a disadvantaged urban community, public parks, recreation, and greenspaces are particularly important. These resources offer opportunities for people of all incomes, abilities, and social circumstances to come together in a common space to experience nature, build strong family and community bonds, get fit, play, de-stress, and enjoy life.
In conducting its current strategic plan, BHF conducted two community “Vision Cafes” which with over 150 people attending each. This resulted in the community’s resounding approval for the development of a master plan for parks and playgrounds in the CASD – the Parks & Playgrounds Project. Subsequently the Natural Lands Trust had in interest in working in urban areas and was looking at Coatesville , connected with the Brandywine Health Foundation and a strong and effective partnership was formed.
The Greening Coatesville Initiative is another example of the Brandywine Health Foundation bringing the right partners together, at the right time, to address the issues our community has identified as a priority.
This past year, the City of Coatesville, Natural Lands Trust, and Brandywine Health Foundation collaborated and engaged the community’s residents as well as civic and political leaders in a series of workshops and an online survey in an effort to identify and prioritize needed improvements to existing facilities and programs and to gather other ideas for improving residents’ quality of life through trails, parks, greener streets, recreation programs, and more. The process was led by staff from Natural Lands Trust – the regional land conservation organization – and a nationally-recognized recreation planner, Ann Toole of Toole Recreation Planning. A steering committee of residents and local leaders has been assembled to provide input and guidance throughout the process.
Kaboom! Playground Build at Patton Park October 7, 2016.
Change is Happening!
Funding for the assessment was provided through the Brandywine Health Foundation with generous support from ArcelorMittal, PECO and the Philadelphia Foundation. This funding will also support Phase Two of this assessment resulting in an action plan for the surrounding municipalities.
The Foundation believes strongly that the development of a master plan for parks and playgrounds in the CASD is the next step in identifying and developing new community leaders, and creating a culture of community engagement so necessary for a healthy, active community well into the future.
Thanks to this initiative, Coatesville caught the attention of KaBOOM! They came to Coatesville and helped the community build a spectacular playground in Patton Park in 6 hours, with generous financial and volunteer support from PECO and the Applestone Foundation. PECO made a fantastic video of the day – CHECK IT OUT!
To get started on transforming the public parks and recreation system into a safe community treasure where residents can play, socialize, get fit, and connect with nature, and where businesses thrive because people want to live, work and visit here.
- Build capacity. Build the City’s capacity to provide the safe and well maintained park system that its citizens desire.
- Build community. Channel the incredible volunteer interest into addressing the City’s highest priority programs and park improvements. Enlist non-profit partners to carry out programs and physical improvements that meet City needs and desires.
- Build facilities (and maintain them). In accordance with the Needs Assessment and future priorities, seek funding for highest priority physical improvements to City parks and facilities.
We need your help!
If you want to financially support the Greening Coatesville Initiative, especially the implementation action plan that targets the renovations to our parks and playgrounds, or if you would like to support the initiative with your time and talent, please contact Jill Whitcomb, Vice President for Development and Communications at email@example.com. Donate Now!
Building a Healthy, Safe, and Vibrant Community