Fall Update on Mifflin Square Redevelopment Efforts

As we continue to work to bring the concept plan announced last year to life, we’ve got some exciting updates to share about Mifflin Square Park and some important opportunities coming up soon for engagement!

Summer Announcement of Funding Support

This July we were excited to welcome State Senator Farnese and State Representative Fiedler to Mifflin Square to announce $70,000 in funding to support to continued operation of the SoPhiE Food Truck, closing our fundraising gap on the installation of decorative pavers in the new plaza being created at 6th and Ritner, and to better fund park programming and events. You can see some great images from this event here and even see coverage that this announcement received in the South Philly Review here. This programming funding has allowed SEAMAAC and the Friends to purchase more games to have regularly at the park (giant jenga, giant connect four, cornhole, etc.) as an easy way to activate the space. 


Events and Programming

Partly with the support of this funding and thanks to community organizations at large, the park has this summer been home to some great events. This has included World Refugee Day in June, the Mutter Museum’s Health Fair on September 7th, and International Peace Day on September 21st. 
To respond to one of the clear comments raised in the Concept Plan of the need for more frequent programming, every Friday through the end of October there are events at the park as a part of Fall Fridays at Mifflin Square. Check out the flyer below for more information and check out the Facebook event here. From game nights to soccer clinics to Halloween events, there will be plenty going on in the park this fall. As always, the Friends of Mifflin Square also meet every first Tuesday of the month at 6pm in the park, please do join if you are interested or if you know of interested neighbors!

Schematic Design Work Underway!

Lastly, work is now underway on the Schematic Design process. This process will take the community vision of the concept plan and work to start turning that into detailed documents that can be used for construction. For this work a team has been put together that will oversee the process: 

  • HECTOR (Damon and Jae) of Newark, New Jersey who led the concept planning process will be the overall project managers for this phase, working to ensure that the intent and vision of the Concept Design are well-interpreted and sensitively developed into schematic designs. 
  • Ground Reconsidered of Philadelphia will work as collaborating landscape architect, working closely with HECTOR to develop the design. GR has extensive experience working on Philadelphia parks projects. 
  • KS Engineers, PC of Philadelphia will work as consulting civil engineer, working to provide topographic surveying and needed civil engineering. 
  • International Consultants, Inc. of Philadelphia will provide a schematic-design-level cost estimate of the final design. 

The surveying team was out in the park just this last week!

The plan now is to have a final schematic design set complete in early March of 2020 that could then be carried through to final construction documents and actual park reconstruction through the Rebuild program. There will be several engagement meetings and input sessions later this year and early in 2020, so stay tuned for those events and meetings!

Some early construction phases will be taking place before any overall park rebuild thanks to the Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City Clean Waters program, including the new 6th and Ritner plaza, the new rain garden at 5th and Wolf, and rebuilt entrances at all 4 corners of the park. 

International Day of Peace takes over Mifflin Square Park – South Philly Review

South Philadelphians received free health screenings while absorbing sights and sounds from across the globe at Mifflin Square Park on Saturday afternoon. 

Commemorating the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Peace, several regional organizations, ranging from Jefferson Health to SEAMAAC, collaborated this past weekend to localize the worldwide event in South Philly. 

For the first time since its inception, Peace Day Philly, a United Nations-affiliated nonprofit, hosted one of its annual Peace Day events at Mifflin Square Park, located between 5th and 6th streets and Wolf and Ritner streets. Read more…

Listen: Making Room for Everyone – Philadelphia Neighborhoods Podcast

Built in the 1890s, Mifflin Square Park used to be full of energy and brought together the culturally diverse neighborhood surrounding the park. But in recent years, there has been an increase in violence and tension in the space.

Mifflin Square is currently in the middle of a six-year revitalization plan. This project, Making Room for Everyone, was created hopes of rebuilding and modernizing the space while bringing back community engagement, cultural acceptance and safety to the park. While the project has made some positive progress in engaging neighbors, there are still those who are unaware of the plan. Residents hope the project will live up to its name of truly making space for all in the neighborhood.

https://philadelphianeighborhoods.com/2019/07/26/podcast-making-room-for-everyone-rebuilding-south-phillys-mifflin-square-park/

Local elected officials invest $70,000 into SEAMAAC projects – South Philly Review

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South Philadelphia residents gathered at Mifflin Square Park on Saturday afternoon for free blood, glucose and other medical screenings with volunteers from Thomas Jefferson University.

But, the health-focused event expanded beyond vital signs.

The community spent the day celebrating ongoing efforts to improve the welfare of the Whitman park, as Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition Inc. received two grants totaling $70,000 from Sen. Larry Farnese and Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, made possible through the state Department of Community and Economic Development. SEAMAAC, a more than 30-year-old Philadelphia-based nonprofit working to empower immigrants, refugees and marginalized communities, plans to allocate $50,000 from Farnese’s office to its SoPhiE food truck, which features immigrant chefs.

Read more…