Let me finish tonight with this: I was in Philadelphia, my hometown, last night helping with a big event for the Fairmount Park Conservancy.
This is what every city should have–this effort to bring back and build up a city’s greatest asset: its public parks full of places for kids to get out of the house and have real fun,places for young couples to wander, for the old to enjoy nature in the full.
I grew up alongside one of Philadelphia’s finest: Hunting Park. I remember going there with my parents on summer nights to ride the merry-go-round, at one amazing point to see the Barnum & Bailey “Greatest Show on Earth” when it came to town.
Those days and evenings in the park are now one very good thing in neighborhoods where life can be tough for kids, where there’s a lot of unemployment and other challenges. My old neighborhood may have changed in some ways, but the need for outdoor fun–and yes, a few hours of beauty–is more vital than ever, more of a human need.
So three cheers for the Fairmount Park Conservancy, an effort I’ve been so happy to be a small part of. The people who run it, Mayor Nutter who supports it, are doing just the right thing. I loved being there last night near the site where Philadelphia hosted the National Centennial Exposition in 1876. All of that beautiful park remains. Some of it, along with the stately old buildings that remain from that epoch, looks like Versailles!
It’s a resource that my grand old city has that can’t be matched.
To learn more, visit myphillypark.com.