Philadelphia, PA – In a concerted effort to enhance the well-being of families, particularly children and youth, the Piccoli Playground Rebuild Project is set to make a transformative impact on the North Philadelphia community. The third focus group, held for project updates, marked a significant milestone in this collaborative venture, made possible through the strategic partnership of community ventures, Rebuild Philadelphia, City Council Philadelphia, and Esperanza. Rafael Alvarez Febo, VP for Advocacy and Community Development, shared the newly proposed scope, while Ivana Gonzalez, Community Outreach Coordinator, recorded information, ideas, questions, and recommendations, ensuring everyone’s voice was heard—a key part of this project. Both are from Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.
The Piccoli Playground, initially a space for recreation and community gatherings, is now a project promising numerous benefits for families, children, and the youth. The primary goal is to create a safe, vibrant, and inclusive environment fostering physical activity, social interaction, and community engagement. Linda To, a project manager for Community Ventures, emphasized, «The playground has been neglected for so long. This is a big space where we can have the pool and many other things for the community.»
A key aspect of the Piccoli Playground Rebuild Project is the community’s involvement in decision-making processes. The recently conducted third focus group served as a platform for gathering valuable insights and feedback from residents.
This inclusive approach ensures that the redevelopment aligns with the needs and preferences of the community, reflecting the collective aspirations of the residents. Migdalia Rosado Lopez, a Juniata resident for 20 years, expressed: «What I want for this project is to have a safe place for the kids and myself. A place where they can enjoy themselves, have someplace to go, and prevent them from doing things that they are not supposed to be doing.»
The benefits for families, especially children and youth, are numerous. The redesigned playground will feature state-of-the-art recreational facilities, including a bike track, sports courts, and green spaces. These additions are designed to promote physical health, encourage outdoor activities, and provide a welcoming space for families to come together. Heather McClain, Community Engagement Manager from Rebuild, expressed excitement about the idea of upgrading the sports courts, having a bike track, and more. For her, it’s an opportunity for the whole family to engage in activities hosted by the recreation center’s leader.
This partnership showcases the power of collective action in driving positive change within communities.
Lili Daliessio is the Community Information Manager at Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.