Completed Projects
Schuylkill River Park

Please scroll down to go back in time.

Markward Field Project

During Fall 2010, The Friends of Schuylkill River Park, along with our partners the Department of Parks and Recreation and Markward Advisory Council, is coordinating a large-scale and much needed renovation to Markward Field. The first phase includes installation of an irrigation system, adding organic matter, tilling and re-grading the field, and installing sod. Temporary fencing has been put up to keep the community safe from construction work as well as to ensure that the more than $55,000 investment in this phase has a chance to become established prior to the spring playing season. The temporary fencing will be removed and field use will resume in approximately late April or May 2011. Until then, please help us ensure the success of this project by keeping clear of the field area. Patience will result in a better final product.

Markward Field

While phase one is fully funded, we are exploring additional improvements to include in a second phase for which we have not yet raised funds. We are also developing a long-term care plan to keep the field in top condition, which is partially funded by an annual commitment from The Philadelphia School as well as a donation from Taney Baseball.

Before FSRP After FSRP
Sattelite Photo Before Satellite Photo After

This capital phase of this project has been made possible by $20,000 contributions from each of the following...

  • At&t Foundation
  • State Senator Larry Farnese via the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

...and other substantial contributions from:

  • Friends of Schuylkill River Park
  • CSX Railroad
  • Markward Advisory Council
  • Dolfinger- McMahon Foundation

The maintenance phase of this project will be made possible by contributions from:

  • The Philadelphia School
  • Taney Baseball
  • Friends of Schuylkill River Park
  • Markward Advisory Council

We extend special appreciation to all those who have supported this project.

Tot Lot Turf Project

In 2010, the Friends of Schuylkill River Park received a grant in the amount of $6,000 from the McLean Contributionship to improve the Tot Lot (Small Children's) Playground Gardens. These improvements included installing iron fencing to protect the plantings from wandering feet, expansion of the Gardens and purchase of additional plant material.

In late Summer/Fall 2011, the Friends of Schuylkill River Park conducted an overall revitalization of the playground turf areas including 1) installing an irrigation system with rotary sprinkler heads for the turf zones and planting bed heads for the Gardens; 2) conducting much needed tree care to replace damaged trees and improve the vigor of existing ones; and 3) the most dramatic improvement, laying sod across the entire turf zone. We generally use sod in heavy traffic areas such as this because it will handle traffic much more quickly (about a month) than seed (up to 12 months before we can allow traffic). Simultaneously with this project, irrigation was installed in the hills directly in front of Schuylkill Pocket Veterans Memorial Field.

Before FSRP After FSRP

The 2011 improvements, a total of $21,000, were funded by donations from Friends of Schuylkill River Park Members. We hope you enjoy the revitalization playground landscape. Your donations at work!

FSRP Totlot FSRP Totlot

Bench Revitalization

You may have noticed that in coordination with and using funds provided by the Friends of Schuylkill River Park, volunteers have begun replacing the Park's Benches. Noted in 2008 was substantial degradation of the benches, including several that had broken boards. In response, the FSRP began planning to repair the existing benches, a project that officially began in Spring 2009. The procedure includes complete removal of all old wood and bolts. This is the most challenging portion of the project as most bolts had severe rust, which prevented unscrewing the bolts from the nuts. Instead, a grinder was used to cut through bolts - a laborious process.

Trying to unscrew rusty bolts Cutting the Old Wood off

Using a grinder to cut through the bolts

Preparing the Frames and Replacing the wood

After bolt removal, the bench frames were primed and painted using a product designed for metal surfaces. New boards were then cut to size and secured using hot zinc dipped galvanized bolts and nuts, which are the most rust resistant materials available for this application. Thus far 19 metal framed benches in the park and 6 in the Garden (using Garden funds) have been replaced - for a total of 26 benches. Additionally, we have begun replacing the wood on the concrete sided benches in the dog run. Thus far we have replaced the wood on all benches in the small dog run (3 in total) and continue to work on the benches in the large dog run (7 in total). Once the wood on all benches has had sufficient time to dry, it will be sanded and sealed with a wood preservative product.

Derek is building a catapult

Cutting the new wood

Drilling holes for the new bolts

Planting Trees

FSRP funded the planting of 8 new trees in Spring, 2009. The trees were planted by Steve Pascavitch and his crew from Awbury Arboretum. CCRA has generously agreed to contribute towards all of these trees.

Two dead Norway maple trees on Pine Street were replaced with serviceberry trees.

We replaced 2 dead trees on 25th Street with new locust trees.

We added a locust tree in an empty pit where there was no tree.

The dead redbud tree in the conversation area was replaced with another redbud.

The dangerous linden tree, at 25th and Delancey, was replaced with another linden.

The big willow in front of the dog run was replaced with a flowering cherry tree.

Markward Taney Playground

On Saturday, October 21st, 2006, the Markward Taney Playground Committee and Friends of Schuylkill River Park celebrated the opening of the new Taney Playground located at Taney and Pine Streets. The event marked the culmination of several years of lobbying and fundraising to create a safe, fun and visually appealing recreation area in the place of a formerly outdated playground. The playground is heavily used by neighborhood schools and families as well as children from more distant parts of the City through day camps, after school programs and sports leagues. Even visitors to Philadelphia take advantage of the playground’s unique and central location along the Schuylkill River in Center City as it is the closest playground to Center City hotels.

The rebuilding of Taney Playground has been a grassroots, community-wide effort. “Many friends, neighbors, and members of our Philadelphia community joined together to make the renovation of Taney Playground a reality,” said Lauren Wylonis, M.D, founder of the Markward Taney Playground Committee. In addition to scores of donations from individuals and businesses in the neighborhood, major funding was committed by both the State ($60,000) and City ($100,000) thanks to the efforts of Senator Vincent Fumo, State Representative Babette Josephs, Councilwoman Anna Verna, and Governor Ed Rendell.

The effort to rebuild Taney Playground was spearheaded by Dr. Wylonis in September of 2003. A local resident whose twins used the playground, Dr. Wylonis believed the thousands of children who used the playground as their backyard deserved better. She was appalled by its dangerous and deteriorating condition, from rusted and exposed bolts to broken equipment that posed serious safety hazards to children. The playground – with its poor lighting and lack of maintenance - had also become a magnet for vagrants, vandals and drug dealing.

Dr. Wylonis formed the Markward Taney Playground Committee under the auspices of the Friends of Schuylkill River Park. She recruited other residents in the neighborhood to help her fundraise, lobby and generally raise awareness about the playground’s poor condition. In September 2005, Councilwoman Anna Verna committed $100,000 to the capital budget of the playground, allowing the committee to finally begin to move forward with a major redesign and rebuilding. In the following months, numerous charettes, an open house and a town meeting were held to solicit and incorporate feedback from community stakeholders in the design process.

The new playground features a bright purple and yellow elevated walkway system with four slides and monkey bars, accessed through stairs, ladders and a climbing wall. Bright red park benches, some in the form of zoo animals, provide seating. A toddler play area replicates the equipment for older children on a smaller scale. Special rubber surfacing is under all the equipment, with swings abutting both play areas.

Fundraising efforts will continue in order to allow for landscaping and further playground amenities, as well as ongoing upkeep of the playground.

View the Plan

Planting the Playground at SIYP 2007

2006 Masterplan

In 2006, the Friends of Schuylkill River Park Board commissioned a landscape architect, Sara Schuh, to create a Master Plan for our park. Park users participated in several charrettes and task force meetings which provided a lot of input. The plans are a scaffolding to direct us. They are sketches and suggestions, not final plans. We don't have the money to implement many of the major changes yet, and construction must be done with approval from The Fairmount Park Commission. The plans suggest our direction as we refine and improve our park.


Read the Report in Adobe Reader

View some drawings:

Plan Drawing

Another perspective

FSRP · PO Box 30246 · PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 ·