Celebrating 30 Years of Amazing FOMP Volunteers

February – 2020

Tom Williams (left) and Keith Schively were the original volunteers of Friends of McMichael Park

What did you love about volunteering in McMichael Park? 
Getting to know our neighbors from all parts of East Falls and making the Park appear cared for then and continuing for many years.

What volunteer moment are you most proud of?
Getting started by Tom and Keith painting benches by themselves and overcoming feeling like a dweeb.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome regarding being a park volunteer?  
 
Forcing ourselves to work with and be polite with some administrative persons we did not like and coming to realize that our ideas were not always the best.

How many years did you volunteer in McMichael Park and what inspired you to keep participating?
     
From the beginning of the FOMP Group (1990) until 2000 when we moved to Bala Cynwyd.  It has been our observation that a more cared for public place will attract more responsible people to use it.  Both of us were also discouraged – – perhaps taken aback that the judges, lawyers and city employed professionals living in East Falls did not see or comprehend what was happening to their park. We did not want to live across the street from a derelict city property so I/we worked to change it with Alexis. Eventually some of the categories we mentioned did come round.  It is so easy to criticize people who live in run down, trash strewn areas and there we were, more educated, and social professional standing and WE were letting that happen to our Philadelphia neighborhood.  Someone had to get the ball rolling and it fell to us to do that.  A lot of thanks should go to Herb Henze and the late Sallie Maser for their help


What advice do you have for other friends/volunteers?     
Don’t feel self conscious about your interest to improve your neighborhood.  If you build it eventually they will com to help.  Be tenacious.  People will stop looking at you like you are strange and eventually join you.

Treemendous LOVE lights McMichael Park – Feb. 1, 2020

Love Lights have shined annually in McMichael Park for the past 21 years. Supported by the generous community to benefit the work done by the Friends of McMichael Park

Since 1999, The Friends of McMichael Park have lit a tree in McMichael Park to raise funds for the “well-loved” McMichael Park. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Friends of McMichael. The Park will be glowing the week of February 10th remembering all the loves of your life. See the acknowledgments below and thank you for all who supported this event. With Admiration and Appreciation from the Turtle.

Lovelights: 2020

A Love light shines for… With Love from….

Marie Anne Spedding Gibbs

With all his adoration, appreciation & love. Your adoring husband, Steve

Harriet Soffa: Mark & Kris Soffa

Brian Love you more: Christina

Sabrina Love you: Mom and Dad

Wally and David: Daisy, Brian and Christina

East Falls Pack Walk: Thanks for the treats, Daisy

Friends of McMichael: Congratulations on 30 years of service to East Falls!

“ For LOVED ones”: Betty Miller

Happy 30th Anniversary to the Friends of

McMichael Park: An old Parkside neighbor who appreciates all the volunteers over the years.

In honor of our retiring board members:

Paul Furlong, Susan Kretsge & David Breiner: East Falls Historical Society

Nancy: Don Donaghy

My husband Dwight

“The Love of my Life.”: Chris Martin

In memory of Jim and Betty Wilkinson: Betsy Wilkinson

Joe Leube: East Falls Historical Society

For Cathy, the love of my life…: Peter Logan

I memory of Vinni Abate: Charlene Brock

It is the Community that makes East Falls

special to me,

& all the volunteers that put in

so much of their own time

into making this a great place to live.: Gayl Henze

Andrea Vogel – I miss you girl: Cathy McCoy

Valentine B.D. Marvin Hobbs: Chris Martin

Dot and Sir Donaghy: Nancy and Don

In memory of Mike and Mary Wilkinson: Betsy Wilkinson

Tessa, my dear sister: Peter Logan

In memory of Michael Bauman: Geoff & Charlene Brock

Friends of McMichael Park: Gayl Henze

Jack Slawson, the best work buddy: Cathy McCoy

Best to All!: Tom Williams & Keith Shively

Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library: Gayl Henze

Dear Amber: Chris Martin

In memory of Ed and Sarah Byrns: Betsy Wilkinson

Ann and Bill Rodenberger: Nancy and Don

In memory of Ken Hinde: East Falls Historical Society

Peter Logan, the love of my Life.: Cathy McCoy

Friends of McMichael Park: Anonymous

Guenevere, who I miss everyday: Peter Logan

In memory of Gerry Schweiger: Geoff & Charlene Brock

Charlie, my sweet, sweet doggie

Who is my best buddy.: Love you. Mommy

East Falls Community Council: Gayl Henze

In memory of Timothy Johnsen: Betsy Wilkinson

Our Park!: Chris Martin

Dan and Kristin Donaghy: Nancy and Don Donaghy

Bumble, GOOD DOG!: Cathy McCoy

In memory of Alex Montanez: Dr. Charlene Brock

Eli, my adorable, loveable & huggable grandson

You are the joy of my life!: Love Bubbie

East Falls Village: Gayl Henze

Power Corp for their recent help: Friends of McMichael Park

My three wise men: John-david, Zachary & Sam: Alexis

Brigid, Fionn, Tug, Rory and Molly Donaghy: Nancy and Don

The Turtle, who always speaks the truth: Peter Logan

In memory of John Geoghegan: Betsy Wilkinson

In memory of Romaine Patterson: Geoff & Charlene Brock

My daughters, Danielle & Hannah

Love you with my whole heart.

Grateful for our special bond: Love, Mom

Neal, my sweet, funny & silly son-in-law.

Wonderful husband & dad: Your favorite mother-in-law

East Falls Historical Society: Gayl Henze

Julie H. C. Rocco: M.J. Fullam

In loving memory of Peter Kishinchand: Cynthia and Kumar

In memory of Mary Wilkinson Hargadon: Betsy Wilkinson

For the love of my life, Beth: Bill Epstein

East Falls Tree Tenders{ Cynthia & Kumar Kishinchand

In memory of Antea Vece: Geoff & Charlene Brock

Liz Donaghy and Jamie Mullen: Nancy & Don Donaghy

Luna and Scout, happy together: Sam and Erica

In memory of Ed and Lucille Byrns: Betsy Wilkinson

Thomas Mifflin School Staff and Students: Cynthia & Kumar Kishinchand

East Falls Presbyterian Church: Gayl Henze

Friends of McMichael Park: Bill Hoffner & Frances Bourne

in blessed memory of Stephanie: Bill Epstein

In memory of Maryanne McGlynn Leauby: Betsy Wilkinson

First Presbyterian Church Germantown: Gayl Henze

with love to Angela, Matt, Miles, Ben & Josie: Dad & Pop-pop

Dolores and Jim Mullen: Nancy and Don

In memory of Patrick Quinn: Betsy Wilkinson

Judi and Bill Morrow: Nancy and Don

The Turtle and His Friends: Cynthia & Kumar Kishinchand

St. Bridget’s Church: Gayl Henze

Gayl and Herb Henze: Nancy and Don

In memory of Michael Wilkinson: Betsy Wilkinson

AnnMarie, Adrien, Henry and Marcus Knowles: Nancy and Don

For Members of East Falls Town Watch: Anonymous

Manuela and Gerd Kulage: Nancy and Don Donaghy

Alexis & Kris, my dear friends who share

The same love & passion for preserving

& nurturing open green space. Love you both! Beth

In Memory of Joan Newhall: Joe Terry

In memory of my son, David Hayes: Gingie Hayes

“Leading Lady”: Don Donaghy

In memory of Jack Alexander: Betsy Wilkinson

In memory of Eleanor Tompkins: Louanne Stratton

In memory of my husband, Cappy Hayes: Gingie Hayes

With love to Amanda, Pepe, Gabe and Carolina: Dad & Pop-Pop

In memory of Alice Cary: Joe Terry

Friends of McMichael Park: Frankie Jueds

Finn, thank you for being the light in our lives.

We miss you and we’ll always love you: Meredith and Georg

To honor my son, Christian Hayes: Gingie Hayes

In memory of Delores Buzniak: Joe Terry

Remembering Robert: Nicole and Sandra

To Bubi: Love, Eli

In memory of Joanne Timmons: Joe Terry

My darling wife, Donna, my best daughter,Gabrielle,

and my furry grandchild Cora: Robert

In loving memory of dear husband

and friend, Bill O’Callaghan: Allison O’Callaghan

In loving memory of dear parents,

Ralph & Loraine Hirst: Allison O’Callaghan

In loving memory of dear neighbors,

Leigh & Sally Marsh: Allison O’Callaghan

In loving memory of dear neighbors,

Sedric & Vicki Melidosian: Allison O’Callaghan

In loving memory of dear friend,

Tom Horne: Allison O’Callaghan

In honor of lifelong friends,

Mary Lee Horne, Roland & Mary Kriese Allison O’Callaghan

In honor of dear neighbors,

Hal & Kitty Commons: Allison O’Callaghan

Friends of McMichael Park:  Connie Gellespie 

FOMP…Thanks for all you do:  The Paganos

Turtle News – December 2019

Celebrating 2019: Another year of open green space, volunteering and making the year an important part of so many memorable gatherings. Happy 90th Birthday McMichael Park.We’re looking ahead to 2020!

Tree planting with Girl Scouts.JPG
Love Your Park – Fall 2019
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Love Your Park – Spring 2019:

We look ahead to a new decade!  The 30th anniversary  celebration of the Friends of McMichael Park. But for a moment: Imagine it is 1990 and a small flyer posted in McMichael Park states that the Turtle “needs a friend.” If interested come to our first meeting.  No internet.  No mailing. No East Falls newspaper.  And, 95 friends and neighbors showed up! All recognized that McMichael Park needed attention.  The grass was sky high.  The trash cans were overflowing.  There were sofas and car tires dumped throughout the park.  You could not see the Turtle from the street. If you dared walk through the park the needles and drug paraphernalia were everywhere.  The Friends of McMichael Park (FOMP) received their first donation of $10.00 at that meeting from David Kurtz.   A bank account was opened.  Other donations started to come in.  Volunteers came to the park with lawn mowers and pruners, rakes and shovels.  This is how the FOMP began.  The transformation of McMichael Park did not take thirty years and it did not happen over night.  Some of those initial volunteers are still committed to maintaining McMichael Park.  Watch our Facebook page as we highlight our various volunteers over the past thirty years. Join the conversation on Facebook.  FOMP Click here.

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Volunteer tree and garden bed celebrating the anniversaries of The Friends of McMichael Park and East Falls Tree Tenders. 

 
 Rewind &  Recap 2019: We planned these events:  -Pop-up-Play, Annual Pet Adoption, Movie Night of “Moana,” Story time with Falls of Schuylkill Library, Qigong, Parks on Tap, Memorial Day Celebration, Annual Community Hymn Sings, Annual Summer Free Theater, the Dog Pack of East Falls commences their walks, EF Flea Market

Fundraising and Grant Writing:  Both the Lovelights and Parks on Tap brought in over $1,700.00 for McMichael Park.  Activity Grants from Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and Program Grants from PP&R brought in an additional $2,000.00.  Pride chairs were also donated to McMichael Park by a generous neighbor. Maintenance: -Love Your Park:  Two organized service days in McMichael Park for spring and fall.  Over 30 volunteers at each.  Trees planted.  Garden beds cleared and mulched.  Spring bulbs planted. Hundreds of brown debris bags filled!

Maintenance: -Love Your Park:  Two organized service days in McMichael Park for spring and fall.  Over 30 volunteers at each.  Trees planted.  Garden beds cleared and mulched.  Spring bulbs planted. Hundreds of brown debris bags filled!

Entrance Signs & Beds:  Thanks to our FOMP volunteers who adopted the garden beds at our entrances.  Beth Gross-Eskin (Henry & Midvale) Deborah Thorp (Henry & Coulter), Rob Rabinowitz (W. Coulter & McMichael) and Christina Kistler (Winder garden at McMichael & Midvale)  

Doggie Bags:  Funded, restocked and reordered by FOMP volunteers Logan/McCoy. 

 –Continued Stormwater runoff:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/gedDr11mW2HKNsrDA  We hope to resolve this problem with funding through Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. 

Turf Work:  PP&R was able to get to 70 percent of the turf restoration in McMichael Park this past fall.   Thirty percent still to be tended which is on the Henry Avenue side of McMichael Park.  Their plan is to return in the spring 2020 and finish the aeration/seeding and top soil.  

Power Corp volunteers did an end of the year tree mulching project organized by Jason Mifflin of PP&R.

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Nature inspires curiosity
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Family Reunions
Story time with Ms Meredith in McMichael Park 2019.jpg
Summer Story Hour coordinated with the Falls of Schuylkill Library
Pet Adoption (1).jpg
Annual Pet Adoption organized with FOMP volunteer Mike Andrews and Benny!
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The annual meeting of the Friends of McMichael Park will be on Tuesday, January 7th at 6:30 pm at the Falls Presbyterian Church (lower level)Meeting is open to all.  Let us know if you can attend.  rsvp: Lexy3904@gmail.com


Happy New Year! Welcome to the ’20’s! In this age of misinformation and consternation, shouldn’t it be easier “bein’ green?”

THE FRIENDS OF MCMICHAEL PARK: MAKING A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO OUR COMMUNITY