Meet our Amazing FOMP Volunteer: Virginia Hayes

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy…when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Anonymous

I started volunteering in McMichael Park when the Millennium Grove was established along with Two Kousa Dogwoods as part of the “Gift for All Seasons” program. The day after the trees were planted a motorcycle driver lost control of his bike and jump the curb and hit one of the brand new trees. I knew the trees were going to need help. I tend to the tree pits, watered and mulched them for years and now…. it is twenty years later and the trees are thriving.

I am not always able to officially participate in the service days. I do more cleaning up in the park after windy days and storms as needed. I will be over there cleaning up the dogwoods this spring. I am more inclined to take care of things as I see the need.

I’ve lived park side since 1979 and have loved having such a beautiful view from my front patio. Our boys and their friends spent hours in the park playing volleyball and football, and enjoying the freedom of open space.I grew up in a small town where having access to green areas is a common asset.

For me to have such an opportunity in the city, is truly a gift. I hope it remains just as it is.

Turtle News: IT’S A WRAP!

by Alexis Franklin

Love Your Park @Home 2020 — McMichael Park saluted the 30th Anniversary Celebration of The Friends of McMichael Park with a nine-day Love-fest. Our daily videos, self taped by our volunteers were one-of-a-kind and ones to remember. Unique, AND different!

All of us learned so much … Cuts … Edits … Lighting … Sound … Retakes … iMovie!

We appreciate those Friends and volunteers who got involved and glad our stay at home readers got a big kick out of the videos too.

Audience reach was more than 1,000 on some days, and we’ve received many supportive comments from our readers. Peter and Cathy certainly missed their “Monty Python” calling. And there were sightings of Mark Anthony at the Acme. Christina took us back for some Park history related to the War Memorial and then she and husband Brian brought us a glimmer of hope as we look ahead to Parks on Tap … maybe? Robert and Beth reminded us of how easy it is to adopt a garden bed, and how simple it is to work independently in our current situation. Our gifted reader Jay Fogarty — grandson of 30 year volunteer Betty Miller — mesmerized us with his voices for “The Lorax.” Yes, Danny Devito, you should be concerned. If you missed the dailies then take a look at the links below and see what everyone is talking about.

McMichael Park, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy all have certainly been elevated this past week. We’ve all noted more people using McMichael Park, and all of the Park patrons should be commended on the social distancing practice and creative play in McMichael Park during this time. Yoga, family picnics, sidewalk chalk designs and much more.

McMichael Park as is … is certainly a joy to all at this time.

The City of Philadelphia budget for fiscal year 2021 has been recommended by Mayor Jim Kenney, and is awaiting a vote from the City Council. The proposal includes a massive 20 percent cut to PP&R’s annual budget. Click here to read the proposed budget.

Commissioner Kathryn Ott-Lovell has asked Friends Groups around the city to do “more.” Volunteering will be the only way that the Park system can and will survive. Children need to be fed. Pools will be closed indefinitely. Recreation Centers and public libraries will have limited hours, if they open at all. Seasonal maintenance associates will be drastically cut. The new normal will require more time, talent and energy from its volunteers and Friends’ groups.

The Friends of McMichael Park stand ready to support the City of Philadelphia and PP&R in any way it can, as this determined and diligent group has done for the past 30 years.

As we look ahead, planning will need to be creative.

Our McMichael Park series celebrating Love Your Park @Home 2020 week is a step in that creative process.

FOMP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfMcmichaelPark

FOMP Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/friendsofmcmichael/

Nancy asks that you stay six feet apart