Typically, the springtime in the City of Brotherly Love is filled with energetic outdoor festivals and nature-filled activities, including the annual celebration of Philly Love Your Park Week. This year, circumstances have obviously changed, but the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation have found a way to commemorate the occasion safely in the face of the current pandemic.
Love Your Park @ Home kicks off this Saturday, May 9, and will run until May 17. Each day of the celebratory occasion will be themed and chock full of free park-themed activities for the whole family.
To start off, the first day of Love Your Park @ Home will be centered around Nature for its theme, and Philadelphians can join in on a free introduction to forest therapy with Wild Philadelphia at 11 a.m. to celebrate. Then, May 10 will hold a Family theme, and to coincide with Mother’s Day, a free virtual greenhouse yoga class with Fairmount Park Conservancy will kick off at 1 p.m. for all moms and family members to join in on. May 11 will focus on Park Pride for its theme, and Philadelphians are urged to connect with their local Park Friends Group for their neighborhood park by becoming a member, sending them an email, or following them on social media on that day.
The week continues on with a slew of more fun-filled activities including free visual tours of all of the public art that Philly parks have to offer with the Association for Public Art (May 12, Arts); an opportunity to write a love letter to your neighborhood park using the hashtag #loveyourpark on social media (May 13, Community); a chance to tour the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park during a virtual bike tour led by the Conservancy’s Historic Houses Program Coordinator John Sigmund and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Site Manager for Historic Houses Justina Barrett (May 14, History); an opportunity to share a link to your playlist listing your top park-themed songs (May 15, Play); an occasion to work up a sweat at home with exercise videos led by We Walk PHL (May 16, Wellness); and lastly to finish off, a chance to learn how to make a native plant container garden for your home with Bartram’s Garden (May 17, Gardening and Greening.)
According to the release, in addition to all of the free activities, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s virtual programming series “Parks & Rec @ Home” will air daily with Love Your Park @ Home-themed videos from Monday, May 11 through Friday, May 15. New programs will be shared at 3 p.m. every afternoon on the Parks & Rec’s Facebook page (facebook.com/PhilaParkandRec) and daily schedules and links to virtual events will be shared during Love Your Park @ Home at loveyourpark.org and via email and social media through @loveyourpark on Facebook and Twitter.
There are also a few ways that Philadelphians can show their support for Philly Parks as well. Mainstay Independent Brewing Company is offering the popular brew, the Love Your Park Pale Ale during Love Your Park @ Home. The beer typically was sold exclusively at the traveling community beer garden known as Parks on Tap (a partnership of Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and FCM Hospitality), but this year, Philadelphians can get their hands on the brew through the beer delivery service Biermi.com. This beer is not only tasty, it also gives back to the community with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Philly’s parks.
If beer isn’t what you’re looking for however, Philadelphians can also purchase a limited edition 11×17 inch “Philly Parks Need Friends” poster for $20 at widerawake.com/love-your-park. Those with a printer can also download the special Love Your Park screen print online as well for a cost. Half of the proceeds raised will go directly to support the Love Your Park program.
Those interested can also donate themselves to help keep Philly’s parks beautiful and functioning, so when the day comes we can all enjoy the spaces together again. According to the release, donations to the Fairmount Park Conservancy will go to support its mission to bring parks to life, by improving and stewarding Philadelphia’s parks, enhancing their historic and cultural assets, and supporting the communities they serve. Donations can be made through myphillypark.org.
For more information on Love Your Park @ Home, visit loveyourpark.org