Park Advocacy

The Parks Alliance has historically organized campaigns to advance and influence sound policies and practices that support thriving parks and recreation centers.  Our parks and recreation advocacy aims to build an increasingly powerful and diverse constituency to address systemic challenges, including the expansion and diversification of park and recreation funding. The Parks Alliance highlights the value of parks and recreation within the social, economic and environmental fabric of Philadelphia and the region, to ensure that parks are at the forefront of Philadelphia’s public interest agenda.  

Over 100 park and recreation advocates pack City Council Budget hearing    for Department of Parks and Recreation  on April 8, 2013 .

Over 100 park and recreation advocates pack City Council Budget hearing for Department of Parks and Recreation on April 8, 2013 .


Past Issues

Mayoral Forum 2015

On April 22, 2015 the Philadelphia Parks Alliance and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance collaborated on a mayoral forum. All primary candidates were invited and Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver, Anthony Williams, Nelson Diaz, Lynne Abraham, and Melissa Murray Bailey attended. The candidates discussed their policy agendas for parks, recreation, and culture as well as their plans to fund these initiatives. Below is a video of the entire mayoral forum.



In mid July, City Council and Mayor Nutter approved an additional $500,000 increase in operating funding for the Department of Parks and Recreation. This is in addition to the $500,000 increase for parks and recreation programming in FY2015 that was proposed by Mayor Nutter and approved by City Council on June 19, 2014-- for a grand total of $1,000,000 for Parks & Recreation in FY 2015!

Learn more about our FY 2015 Budget Campaign!

CLOSE THE GAP FY 2014 Budget Campaign
In spring 2013 the Parks Alliance and hundreds of park and recreation advocates from all over Philadelphia called on the Mayor and City Council to close the gap in promised funding by increasing the Department of Parks and Recreation's FY 2014 Budget by $5 Million. Learn more about our FY2014 Budget Campaign

Restore $8M campaign VICTORY!
Together we did it! On November 29th, City Council unanimously approved a mid-year Transfer Ordinance increasing the Department of Parks and Recreation’s FY 2013 operating budget by $2.675 million. This is a momentous step in addressing decades of underfunding and deferred maintenance of Philadelphia’s parks and recreation! The Parks Alliance applauds Mayor Nutter, Council President Clarke and all members of Council for working together to make this critical investment. Learn more about the Restore $8 Million Campaign!

Legislation to Protect Parkland Achieved!
The Parks Alliance led the call for legislation mandating the Commission on Parks and Recreation (Commission) to - for the first time ever - create standards for the protection and use of parkland, and worked with key stakeholders, government officials, citizens and experts for the creation of a land protection ordinance that reflects best thinking and practices.  This included more than $20,000 in pro-bono legal work donated to the Alliance for this project. In January 2011, after a public process, the Commission approved an ordinance that was then introduced in City Council for review, additional public comment, minor amendment and final passage. It was signed into law by Mayor Nutter in April 2011. The Parks Alliance continues to monitor early implementation of the Open Lands Protection Ordinance and related policy decisions


Historic Charter Reform to Create the New Department of Parks and Recreation Approved!
The Parks Alliance led the campaign that in November 2008 resulted in 73% of voters approving the historic Charter Referendum to reform the city’s park and recreation system. This referendum was born out of several years of rigorous study and dialogue that included park users and residents from all over the city, community and business organizations, national experts and government officials. Since then the Parks Alliance has been working to ensure the success of this reform: visionary and accountable leadership, strong land use policies, expanded and diversified investment and a growing base of citizens organized and focused on parks and recreation.