Recreation Community Initiative


Community dinner at Olney Recreation Center, September, 2016.

Community dinner at Olney Recreation Center, September, 2016.


To learn more about the recreation centers with whom we work, click the button to the right.

The Philadelphia Parks Alliance supports and advocates for Philadelphia’s playgrounds, community centers, and recreation centers through our Recreation Community Initiative. We work to build capacity for Recreation Advisory Councils (RACs) and to reignite the conversation between communities and their local recreation centers. 

The goals of the Recreation Community Initiative include:

  • Supporting and expanding recreation center programming, 
  • Building RAC capacities and skillsets,
  • Re-engaging community members in previously unengaged areas, 
  • And collecting data on recreation center facilities, programming, and usage.

By achieving these goals, recreation centers throughout Philadelphia will be sustainable, thriving public spaces.

Are you connected with a recreation center in Philadelphia and want to work with us? Contact us.

Towey Playground, September, 2016

Towey Playground, September, 2016


Overall, we are communicating with every recreation center in Philadelphia to learn more about each facility, programming, and community engagement.

In order to support a recreation center in any capacity, the Parks Alliance’s first step is to meet with the recreation center’s staff and RAC members. We want to learn what the center currently has and what the center needs, in terms of facilities, staff, programming, supplies, and community engagement.

We partner to build the center’s online presence, create event posters, recruit volunteers, and more. We also research and suggest third-party partner organizations and other available resources that may help with rec center goals, thus building RAC capacities and skillsets for on-going, independent growth.

If staff and RAC members express that they want to grow their membership, we host a series of public meetings to bring community members into the recreation center. Here we learn not just what the community wants in terms of facilities, programming, etc., but also what they can contribute to these new projects at the recreation center.

In conjunction with the staff and RAC members, the Parks Alliance facilitates a series of subcommittee meetings through which community volunteers and others enact outcomes discussed at the previous public meetings. We believe this to be the starting point of a strong recreation center with sustainable programming.

Throughout these processes, the Parks Alliance gathers data, ranging from the state of a center’s basketball courts to the state of their RAC. This data allows us to advocate on a larger scale for the changes and improvements throughout Philadelphia’s recreation system. 

Ultimately, we look forward to strengthening Philadelphia’s public spaces.

For more information, please contact us.