Take a walk on the South Side...

SOSNA: The South of South Neighborhood Association
1711 South Street, Philadelphia PA 19146 (215) 732-8446 phone (215) 732-2016 (fax)
sosna@southofsouth.org -- Serving Southwest Center City

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Open Space: Going, Going...SAVED?
The Friends of Open Space -- and 22nd & Montrose

This could be our park...Park View I
The space on South 22nd Street is "park-ready" -- cleaned and greened.

Park View II
Views from the park include the city skyline and the spire of the Frank Furness-designed Shiloh Baptist Church.

Come get your hands dirty (figuratively) so that you can get your hands dirty (literally) planning and creating the only publicly-accessible community park in the SOSNA service area.

Of the sites identified as possibilities in the neighborhood's new Five Year Plan, the one at 22nd and Montrose is the site we have the best chance of securing for public use. Much of the land is already owned by the City, and we hope that there may be ways to acquire the few lots that are still privately owned.

But we have to do it ourselves. (Read the details below). That means we have to identify the issues, work with City departments, raise funds, lay pavers, and plant trees. But it will all be worth it when we relax on park benches sipping coffee or enjoying our take-out from the new restaurants opening on the South 22nd Street corridor.

Want to be part of the green team? Just fill out the form! You'll be invited to our first organizational meeting and kept informed of our progress.

Go to the form | More about neighborhood greening

The Details

Because of budget constraints, representatives from SOSNA's open space committee have been advised that it is unlikely that either the Fairmount Park Commission or the Department of Recreation will be willing to assume ownership of any new open space or responsibility for its upkeep (including liability insurance).

We are also advised by Council President Anna C. Verna's office that the most likely course for open space in the SOSNA service area is for the City to gain complete site control and set aside the parcels from 917-931 South 22nd Street (the space from Montrose to Carpenter Streets) and to structure the ownership so that the land can be developed if the community ever lacks the will to maintain it. The private and/or nonprofit sectors will have to provide funds or volunteers for planning, landscaping, and ongoing maintenance. SOSNA is uniquely positioned as a potential institutional sponsor of such a project; its 501(c)(3) designation will permit it to receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations for this purpose.

The timeline for securing site control of the parcels makes a Spring 2006 start date for construction or landscaping most probable. Now is not too early to begin planning a volunteer effort to attract potential site maintainers, fund-raisers, and donors. Any approach to foundations or major donors for funding to support this effort will have to include a demonstration that such planning has taken place and that the applicant has a plan for sustainability.

Accordingly, at its May 25, 2005 meeting the SOSNA Board passed a resolution empowering the open space committee, in consultation with the chair, to convene a working group of Board members and interested community residents and stakeholders to form a "Friends of Open Space" group for which SOSNA would act as administrative agent. On behalf of this group, the chair of SOSNA has approached The Community Design Collaborative of AIA/Philadelphia for land use plans and a cost estimate, and Board has authorized the establishment of a restricted fund for open space, to which donations and grants can be applied.

Go to the form | More about neighborhood greening

For a look at some of the green spaces created by volunteers in our neighborhood, visit this link at SouthPhillyBlocks.


SOSNA is the Neighborhood Advisory Committee for the area from South Street to Washington Avenue, Broad Street West to the Schuylkill River, funded by the Office of Housing and Community Development to provide citizen input into their redevelopment process in our community. SOSNA is a registered nonprofit corporation exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Site contents copyright SOSNA except where indicated.