Turtle News…October/2020 Issue

by Alexis Franklin, Coordinator/FOMP

Our City continues to be in a “modified” green phase…
And Covid-19 cases in Philadelphia continue to rise…

LYPSolo with Turtle


The Friends of McMichael Park decided to continue with Love Your Park Solo as part of our fall clean-up for 2020. This seemed to be the best way to keep our group safe and practice social distancing. Lindsey Walker from the Fairmount Park Conservancy offered bags and bulbs to those who are interested in planting, raking or mulching. Please contact Alexis Franklin (Lexy3904@gmail.com), and we will do our best to get these supplies to you at a time that you can independently commit.

Some clean-up work has already started at the corner garden bed of Henry and Midvale Avenues with the help of our FOMP volunteer Beth Gross -Eskin. Other work is being done by the William Penn Charter students, including Turtle sweeping and tree mulching. All volunteer hours will be registered as part of our LYP Solo commitment.

McMichael Park has been home to many activities and events this past month. Music with Gina on Wednesday mornings, Yoga Workouts on Thursday, Weekly BootCamp, Meditation, outdoor classroom for Penn Charter students, a Ruth Bader Ginsburg vigil, pick up football games and picnics. Fun!!!!

Before and After photos of the Anniversary Tree. Please use arrows to slide side to side for full view.

Trees in Shock — Playground “Permit-less”

The Anniversary Redbud planted in 2019 along with three other trees were transplanted to make way for the playground. The construction company in charge of building the playground did all transplanting. The company was also responsible for watering the four trees.

According to PP&R, all four trees are currently “in shock.” Please see the above before and after photographs. All tree transplanting locations were decided by PP&R. The relocated trees look “very stressed,” exacerbated by construction fencing that butts directly up against two of the transplanted trees.

According to Jason Mifflin of PP&R, “It can take them a while to bounce back and they need time to recover. It can sometimes take a tree a few years to fully recover. We can reassess how they are doing in the late spring/2021 and determine if any will need to be replaced at that point or just allowed more time to recover.” 

Despite construction already underway on the playground, according to both Philadelphia City Hall and Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, there is currently no permit on record for construction of the playground in McMichael Park. Additionally, there is currently no information or signage posted on site, as per city rules and regulations.

According to local labor union officials in Philadelphia, the playground is currently being built by a non-union, non-local construction company based in Phoenixville, PA.

Currently, no “Caution” or “No Trespassing” signs are posted around the playground, and even with fencing erected, it is still relatively easy for individuals to enter the construction site. Please use common sense and exercise caution. A porta potty is on site, but is not for public use.

For all further information, please contact John Keiser, PP&R Project Manager for the playground at the following e-mail: John.Keiser@phila.gov


Turtle News: September 2020 Back to School in McMichael Park- Signs of Positivity

by Alexis Franklin

The Friends of McMichael Park were unable to offer any of our planned events this year, but as students head back to school, McMichael Park will be activated with an educational twist. It has been a challenging year and no one can put a pin in this pandemic. Now is the time when a new school year begins and students are being asked to adjust to a new normal.

Jefferson University Cleans Up McMichael Park

On August 21st, The Friends of McMichael Park hosted ten incoming Jefferson University students lead by team leader/senior Alaina McIlhenney. The students — all wearing face masks, and armed with bags, gloves and trash grabbers — traversed the park and picked up trash and stockpiled branches at various corners. It was a hot Friday afternoon but for two hours the students enjoyed the open green space as they got to know one another. Fun fact: Several of the students walked over from the Ravenhill campus where they had just moved in. They had a laugh when they heard they were housed in the old classroom of FOMP Coordinator, Alexis Franklin where she attended high school. Thanks to Louise McShane for her organizing efforts mobilizing the new students into the neighborhood.

Middle and High School Students from William Penn Charter Join In

The William Penn Charter School students will return for a new semester the first week in September, and are planning to hold outdoor classrooms in McMichael Park on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. This will include meditation and yoga classes to be held in the open meadow. On Friday afternoons the group will offer a community service hour, where students will bring rakes and shovels to McMichael Park for regular cleanup. FOMP will supply bags and gloves, while students keep McMichael Park looking good and green. Thanks to Tom Rickards from Penn Charter for partnering with the Friends of McMichael Park.

Don’t Forget the Little Ones

“Music with Gina” will begin early September on Wednesday mornings. Some may remember Gina when she performed with her band at Love Your Park in May/2018. FOMP volunteer Geoff Brock recommends Gina, saying, “She’s such a talented, positive, cheerful performer and has the kids in motion and memorizing the songs.” Something tells us that Geoff is the biggest kid in the class. Gina requested McMichael Park, and saying, “It would be awesome to be more free and have lots and lots of space to keep everyone at least six feet apart on their blankets.” FOMP agrees that McMichael Park is an awesome green space. Music with babies/toddlers and their caregivers. Bring a blanket, instrument, and scarf! Class begins at 10:00 AM every Wednesday.

Web Site: www.musicwithgina.com 

Instagram: @musicwithgina

Facebook: Music with Gina

Signs of Positivity….Appreciate the outdoor signs that were funded by a group of neighbors to honor the Friends of McMichael Park as part of its 30th Year Anniversary.

Stay up to date with the Friends of McMichael Park:

Facebook: FriendsOfMcmichaelPark

Instagram: friendsofmcmichael

From Philadelphia Parks and Recreation – Wednesday, September 9th at 6:00 PM
Dear Park Friends, 

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy Stewardship Team is excited to invite you to our second online Park Friends Network Meeting on Wednesday, September 9th at 6:00 PM!
To join the meeting, please follow these steps: Click here to register for the meeting. Enter your name (as it will be seen on the screen), and email address. You will then receive a confirmation email with the meeting link. On the day of the meeting just click on that meeting link to join. Note: If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download their software (or App if you are joining via smartphone). 
The agenda will cover several important topics, including: COVID-19 Update, Love Your Park Fall Service Day, Parks & Rec Operations Update, and PFN Park Field Trips (formerly known as PFN Bus Tour)