Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
Programs & Assets
According to their 2015 numbers, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation has almost 1,900 assets to maintain (playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts, to name a few). In addition to these numbers are the miles and miles of trails that are also their responsibility - most contained in the Wissahickon and at PennyPack. It is amazing how much they can do with the minimal public financial resources they are provided.
The mission of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is to, "...advance the prosperity of our city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of public land and waterways as well as through safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. We help Philadelphia’s children and other residents grow by connecting them to the natural world, to each other, and to fun, physical and social opportunities." It realizes these goals primarily by caring for land and buildings that through their stewardship become our parks and primarily by developing and carrying out programs that bring these spaces alive through their extensive use by Philadelphians everywhere.
Below can give you an idea of what they have to care for and the ways they bring people into these spaces for active and passive recreation.
In total, the following amenities are managed throughout the city:
156 Recreation Centers and Playgrounds
143 Neighborhood Parks and 7 Watershed Parks
6 Older Adult Centers
223 Miles of Trails
71 Outdoor Pools and 4 Indoor Pools
404 Baseball/Softball Fields
21 Outdoor Hockey Courts
262 Football/Soccer Fields
40 Historic Sites
40 Community Gardens and Orchards
460 Basketball Courts
3 Environmental Education Centers
5 Ice Skating Rinks
277 Tennis Courts
25 KEYSPOT Computer Labs
6 18-hole Golf Courses
After School Program: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation offers nearly 100 After School
Programs throughout the city, providing safe places and structured activity for over
2,800 children five days a week during non-school hours. Programming focuses on five
wellness areas (fitness and healthy habits, environmental awareness, outdoor activities,
sports and athletics and the arts), with success measured by participant connectedness
to peers and After School staff.
Tot Rec Program: An early childhood program housed in over 30 PPR facilities, Tot Rec is
open to children between the ages of 2½ and 5-years-old. Summer Camps: City-wide,
PPR operates over 130 camps, including neighborhood camps, specialty camps like
rowing, environmental education and performing arts, and special needs camps.
Food Program: In 2013, PPR provided close to 3.2 million meals to Philadelphia residents
18 and under, serving breakfast and lunch to approximately 30,000 kids per day in the
summer and dinner to around 4,000 per day during the school year.
Urban Agriculture: Farm Philly, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation's urban agriculture
program, supports the creation and maintenance of urban agriculture projects on PPR
land, such as orchards, vegetable and fruit production, youth education gardens,
inter-generational gardens, community gardens and market farms.
Visual Arts: PPR's Visual Arts programming provides art enrichment for youths through
summer art camps, Art in the Park programs, After School Program lessons and art
Performing Arts: Provides youth with individual and collaborative hands-on experiences
in all aspects of performing arts through musical theater, dance and acting camps and
workshops throughout the year, including specialty summer camps. In addition, PPR has
its own adult theater group, the Vogue Players.
Environmental Education: Through structured programs at environmental education
centers, summer camps and public events, PPR offers opportunities to learn about our
environment and its inhabitants, and what we can do to protect them.
Outdoor Recreation: Ongoing programming such as kayaking, bicycling, disc golf and
fishing that introduces Philadelphia youth to outdoor experiences available in PPR parks
Sports and Athletics: PPR delivers its own athletic programs like baseball, soccer, rowing,
basketball, gymnastics and golf in addition to hosting many sports leagues and athletic
Programming for People with Disabilities: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation provides an
inclusive environment for all of our program participants through direct communication
between the facility supervisor, staff, parent or guardian and child to determine any
necessary accommodations. Additionally, Carousel House, a PPR facility dedicated to
providing socialization, recreational and educational services to persons with disabilities,
delivers aquatics, athletics, arts, cultural and computer programming year-round.
Older Adult Programming: In addition to daily activities provided at PPR’s six Older Adult
Centers, the department also organizes the Philadelphia Games and a summer Senior
Leadership Programs: The department’s Strength-Based (Trauma-Informed) Leadership
Program is a touring, award-winning series of social skill programs that use the arts to
build resiliency in children, youth, teens and families, as well as clinical and non-clinical