East Mt. Airy residents prevail as abandoned site becomes public park

"Philadelphia now has six more acres of public parkland, thanks to an effort kick-started by residents nearly 20 years ago. The wild plot in East Mt. Airy, long used as a dumping site, has languished for decades. It was privately owned, but became public earlier this month after a deal brokered by the city's Department of Parks and Recreation. "It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I share with you that the city's acquisition of the Wissahickon East parcel is complete. It is officially ours," Mark Focht, the department's first deputy commissioner, said in a statement sent out to nearby residents."