by Alexis Franklin
Over the past few weeks, our country, state and city have monitored the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been an unstable situation where we are learning new things each day. As of Now, the Friends of McMichael Park have planned a number of upcoming events which we sincerely hope can go on. However, cancellations may occur as this health crisis unfolds. Please stay connected to our various sites and The Friends of McMichael Park will keep everyone updated.
-Love Your Park: To date, Love Your Park week is still on as planned: May 9th -17th. Our McMichael Park is registered. How would you like to help? Send me an email and let me know what you can do. Volunteering is free! AND AVAILABLE FOR EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY! Lexy3904@gmail.com
-Not available May 9-17th? Other days can be added for various projects which we can gladly provide assignments based on your availability. There are many projects on the schedule and the Friends of McMichael Park openly and transparently allow for participation in any and all projects. Lexy3904@gmail.com
-Shakespeare Live is planned for June 2020. This summer, we are please to present a new production company, ShakespeareNJ. This summer’s performance will be something appropriate and timely; a new production especially for us of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Ceasar.” Dates are set for Tuesday June 2nd with a rain date of Thursday, June 4th. (please note this is earlier than prior years so save the date.) This Shakespeare Live performance should run approximately 70 minutes and will be followed by a post-show discussion with the cast! As we have invited everyone in the past 12 years, open air theatre, free, of course, and we encourage picnics and lawn chairs. This is the most popular of William Shakespeare’s plays and suitable for the entire family. The Friends of McMichael Park proudly sponsor our 13th summer of free theater in McMichael Park. Thanks to FOMP/Bill Hoffner for his efforts to get this production in McMichael Park.
–Parks on Tap will be returning to McMichael Park in August 2020. Parks on Tap is Philadelphia’s traveling beer garden that gives back! With a partnership between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and FCM Hospitality, Parks on Tap brings a beer garden to various parks throughout the city all summer long. Each location provides fresh food, beers on tap, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages in a festive outdoor environment with comfortable chairs, hammocks, and clean restrooms. Parks on Tap is family-friendly. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Parks on Tap kicked off in 2016 as a way to engage the Philadelphia community and give back to the neighborhood parks. A portion of all proceeds are donated to The Friends of McMichael Park to help restore and maintain our open green space.
Here are Thirteen additional ways to stay connected with McMichael Park and beyond:
1. We have a BRAND NEW blog called McMichael Park Turtle Friends – https://mcmichaelparkturtlefriends.com/ – Highlighting our 30 years of volunteering in McMichael Park. #FOMP30
2. Check out all updates on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfMcmichaelPark/Click Here
3. Or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/friendsofmcmichael/?utm_source=ig_embedClick Here
4. Take a walk: Research shows that spending 20 minutes in nature can reduce stress levels. Enjoy the fresh air in your park! (Please note that Philadelphia Public Playgrounds and basketball courts are closed as of March 25th.)
5. Take note of your favorite nearby tree. Download the iNaturalist app and start to identify the plants and wildlife in your community!
6. Accepting Proposals! Philadelphia’s community-based groups embarking on creative projects & activities that are free and open to the public are invited to apply for grants through our Creative Avenues initiative. Deadline is Friday, April10th – http://creativephl.org/ca/
7. Explore a fun, interactive map for kids on different cool trees around the world.
8. Learn about a project in Jersey City where participants tweet for the trees for the trees have no phones.
9. Learn about the life of a tree alongside the young people in your life.
10. Watch the documentary Symphony of the Soil on Kanopy (a free movie watching service for all Free Library card holders).
11. Read or listen to Ecologist David Haskell tell the story of smells from eleven trees.
13. From the Philadelphia Park Alliance/Alex Doty: Think of your favorite park. What is your favorite thing to do there? Now write it down on our new Parks and Rec Defender shield!
When you’ve printed out the shield and added your favorite park and activity (feel free to add some art), please post on social media with the hashtag #PPRDefenders. Be sure to tag Parks Alliance, City Council, your Councilperson, and anyone else you would like to know how much you love your park. You can also send any pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or text them to 267-404-3010.
When you share this, you are letting City Council know how important your parks and rec centers are to you and to your community.
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!
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.
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.
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