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Friends of  Race  Street  Pier     6:00  PM  at  Franklin  Fountain,  116  Market  St   03.14.2011  

Notes   Summary     Background:   While  great  parks  certainly  make  great  neighborhoods,  what  makes  a  great  park  is  great  people.    While   many  “Friends  Groups”  form  around  the  reclamation  of  a  neglected  park  site,  Race  Street  Pier  presents   a  unique  opportunity  for  a  stewardship  group  to  focus  on  positive  use  for  the  park  starting  from  the   beginning.    One  of  the  most  important  things  a  park  can  do  is  bring  exciting  events  and  build   neighborhood  interest  in  a  park  as  a  destination.       This  friends  group  would  be  charger  to  help  citizens  organize  around  the  park  to  create  energy  and  buzz   about  this  new  public  space  on  the  riverfront…..      Discussion:   The  Pennsylvania  Horticultural  Society  (PHS)  provided  a  summary  of  the  purpose  of  friends  groups  for   parks  and  set  the  context  for  why  it  is  important  to  establish  a  new  group  of  interested  citizens  for  the   Race  Street  Pier.    Below  are  some  key  points  from  the  discussion:       • To  create  energy  and  excitement  around  the  opening  of  the  new  park   • To  encourage  neighbors  and  stakeholders  to  “adopt”  and  serve  as  long  term  champions  for  the   park.   • The  design  of  the  pier  was  completed  in  2010  after  an  intensive  civic  engagement  process  led  by   PHS.   •  This  developing  friends  group  is  in  an  exciting  position  because  the  group  will  be  in  place  from   the  beginning  of  the  park  and  focused  on  creating  positive  use  instead  of  eradicating  negative   behavior.   • PHS  referenced  its  City Parks Handbook as something that will help to guide interested citizens as they form a new park group.   • This  group  can  and  should  work  with  the  Delaware  River  Waterfront  Corporation  (DRWC)  to   develop  community  centric  programming  for  the  park.  Such  programming  might  include  movie   nights,  arts  festivals,  exercise  days  on  the  pier,  game  night,  etc.   • The  DRWC  is  the  nonprofit  that  owns  the  park  and  is  charged  with  implementing  the  design  of   the  park  and  maintaining  the  park  once  it  is  open.    The  DRWC  also  has  staff  dedicated  to  


developing various  programs  along  the  riverfront  -­‐-­‐  for  the  past  few  years  the  DWRC  has  been   focused  on  producing  large-­‐scale  events  at  Penn’s  Landing  and  Festival  Pier.  In  recent  years  the   DRWC  has  started  to  develop  a  more  community  focused  approach  to  programming  and  is  now   looking  how  it  can  better  serve  community  parks.    The  Friends  of  Race  Street  Pier  have  a  unique   opportunity  to  work  with  the  DRWC  from  the  beginning  in  order  to  define  events  and  programs   that  would  benefit  the  community.   • Most  people  attending  the  meeting  indicated  that  they  had  not  been  involved  with  a  park   friends  group  before.  PHS  will  work  with  the  interested  members  to  show  how  some  of  the  best   practices  that  they  have  developed  over  the  years  might  be  applied  to  the  Race  Street  Pier.   • PHS  is  also  working  with  a  newly  developing  friends  group,  the  Friends  of  Washington  Avenue   Green  (WAG).    Many  of  the  issues  and  opportunities  presented  to  WAG  will  be  applicable  to   Race  Street  Pier.    It  might  make  sense  to  organize  a  meeting  with  both  groups  in  order  to   brainstorm  about  how  these  new  friends  groups  might  play  a  larger  role  in  waterfront  planning   efforts.     Breakout  Session:   In  addition  to  the  group  discussion,  participants  broke  into  smaller  groups  to  have  a  more  focused   discussion  of  the  possible  role  of  the  friends  group.      Following  are  some  of  the  key  takeaways:     • It  is  important  to  celebrate  the  historic  nature  of  the  park.  The  friends  group  might  find  ways  to   remind  park  users  about  the  past.   • The  park  has  the  potential  to  bring  people  together.    This  can  be  achieved  through  events,   keeping  a  listserv  of  interested  citizens,  embracing  social  media  and  keeping  it  up-­‐to-­‐date,     • It  is  important  to  develop  new  audiences  and  cater  to  diverse  audiences.    The  friends  feel  free  to   organize  events  for  families,  singles,  children,  etc.   • All  groups  loved  the  idea  of  moving  forward  with  a  movie  night.    The  groups  began  to  think   through  what  it  would  take  to  produce  a  movie  night.  The  details  are  discussed  below  under  the   tasks  of  the  programming  committee.   • One  group  liked  the  idea  of  getting  the  local  schools  involved  with  the  pier  in  creative  and  artistic   ways.  They  thought  about  initiating  a  competition  (perhaps  for  a  logo?)  and  encouraging  field   trips  to  the  pier.   • Small  concerts  were  identified  as  a  potentially  fun  way  to  program  the  pier.    Participants  focused   on  supporting  local  musicians.     • There  was  also  a  call  for  food-­‐based  events.   • Attendees  expressed  interest  in  being  a  part  of  the  DRWC’s  conversations  as  they  begin  to   establish  the  rules  for  the  new  park.       • One  group  indicated  that,  for  the  long  term,  it  would  be  important  to  begin  thinking  about   developing  a  fund  for  the  park.      

NEXT STEPS:    


The group  began  to  define  some  key  committees  that  will  be  essential  for  getting  the  group  up  and   running  and  helping  the  DRWC  create  the  energy  and  buzz  that  will  be  so  essential  to  making  this  new   public  park  space  an  asset  to  the  city.       General  Programming:   Volunteer  Organizers:    Graham,  Andrew,  and  Michael   a. This  group  will  begin  brainstorming  about  possible  event  and  gatherings  that  would  be  well   suited  to  the  pier.   b. The  group  will  think  about  the  various  audiences  that  the  pier  should  serve   c. To  Do:    Arrange  a  casual  meeting  to  brainstorm.    Some  initial  ideas  for  events  include:  single   events,  movie  nights,  game  nights,  sky  events  (ie  star  gazing),  exercise.  Across  the  board,   participants  liked  the  idea  of  a  movie  night.  Some  initial  thinking  on  what  it  would  take   organize  a  movie  night  included:   − Get  sponsor   − How  would  this  logistically  work   − Projector  in  the  landscape?   − Determine  themes  and  content   d. To  Do:  Talk  to  neighbors,  business  owners  in  order  to  get  a  sense  of  what  people  might  be   interested  in  doing  on  the  pier.  Look  for  opportunities  to  engage  new  audiences  with  the   park.     e. Possible  Event:    Historic  Riverfront  Walking  Tour.    Old  City  resident,  Richard  S  and  the  Old   City  Civic  Association  are  interested  in  the  historic  waterfront  and  Richard  and  the  group  are   working  on  developing  a  riverfront  tour.    This  is  an  event  that  the  Friends  of  Race  Street  Pier   might  choose  to  support.    Richard  and  Ryan  B,  president  of  the  OCC,  can  serve  as  liaisons   between  the  friends  group  and  the  historic  group.         CONTACT  FOR  ADDITIONAL  GUIDANCE:   Tammy  Leigh  DeMent,  PHS   tdement@Pennhort.org     Communication:   Volunteer  Organizers:    Liv,  April,  Liz  N.  and  Jeff   A. This  group  will  begin  brainstorming  about  how  to  use  social  media  (facebook,  twitter)  in  an   effort  to  attract  people  to  the  new  park  and  keep  audiences  informed  about  what  is  happening   on  the  park.   B. Develop  a  logo  for  the  organization  –  perhaps  through  a  publicized  competition.  Might  this  be   away  to  engage  the  Creative  Corridor  in  Old  City?   C. Work  with  DRWC  to  have  input  on  signage.    The  community  will  be  an  important  player  in   helping  to  provide  key  directional  elements  of  any  signage  package.     CONTACT  FOR  ADDITIONAL  GUIDANCE:   Bridget  Keegan,  PennPraxis  


(215)898-­‐6316 bkeegan@design.upenn.edu.            

Important dates  to  keep  in  mind:   •

Hard Hat  Tour  of  the  pier   Tuesday,  April  19th     This  tour  will  provide  interested  neighbors  with  a  sneak  peak  tour  of  the  pier.   If  members  of  the  programming  committee  are  interested  in  helping  to  organize  a  post-­‐tour   happy  hour    and  meet  and  greet  type  session,  they  should  contact  Bridget  Keegan  at  (215)898-­‐ 6316  or  bkeegan@design.upenn.edu.      

Grand  Opening   Wednesday,  May  11th  –  Preview  Gala.    More  detailed  information  will  be  shared  when  available.   Thursday,  May  12th  –  Ribbon  Cutting,  2pm.  More  detailed  information  will  be  shared  when   available.     If  anyone  is  interested  in  getting  more  involved  and/or  has  a  great  idea  about  possible  events  and   outreach,  definitely  reach  out  to  Tammy  Leigh  DeMent  at  tdement@Pennhort.org.    Because  the  friends   group  is  just  forming,  PHS  will  serve  as  a  key  point  of  contact  and  group  facilitator.    PHS  will  work  to  put   the  friends  group  in  touch  with  any  party,  entity,  etc.  that  will  help  the  friends  group  better  serve  this   new  waterfront  park.         •

The following  tables  highlight  some  of  the  concerns  and   goals  as  articulated  in  each  breakout  session:    

Programming Goals  –  21  DOTS  TOTAL   Film  or  movie  night  (11  dots)  

crafts and  similar  types  of  events  at  the  park  (3  dots)   Small  concerts,  jazz,  folk,  acoustic.  Possibly  involving  universities  like  XPN  (2  dots)       Historic  storytelling  tours  (2  dots),   Seasonal  attractions  and  events  (1  dot)   Fireworks  viewing(1  dot)   Sky  events  (1  dot)    

Practical concerns  -­‐17  DOTS  TOTAL  


Install directional  signage,  possibly  a  competition  to  design  the  logo  (8  dots)   Park  as  a  safe,  well  maintained,  well  lit,  connected  place  (4  dots)   Encourages  safety  and  enforcement  of  rules  (3  dots)   Power  source  for  concerts  (1  dot)   Quality  food  for  park,  more  upscale  than  Penn’s  Landing  vendors  (1  dot)   • During  the  larger  discussion  attendees  expressed  some  concerns  about  there  being  too  many   fireworks  events  on  the  waterfront.     • During  the  discussion,  attendees  indicated  that  it  is  important  that  the  park  remains  a  public   space  and  that  the  whole  park  is  not  used  for  private  events.  

Community Awareness  –  9  DOTS  TOTAL  

Create community  awareness,  ownership,  pride  of  park  (6  dots)   Meet  people,  bring  the  community  together  (2  dots)   Outreach  (1  dot)    

Fundraising and  Economic  Goals  –  7  DOTS  TOTAL  

Raise funds  to  keep  park  healthy,  clean,  a  contingency  fund  for  the  park,  maintenance  (3  dots)   Want  park  to  act  as  an  anchor  for  economic  benefit  and  to  activate  the  Race  St  corridor  (1  dot)   Explore  hitting  on  sugarhouse  for  $  (1  dot)   Use  events  to  raise  money  (1  dot)   Create  an  endowment  fund(1  dot)    

Partnerships –  6  DOTS  TOTAL   Involve  local  schools  in  creative/artistic  ways  (2  dots)     Involve  and  connect  local  business  (1  dot)   ID  partnerships  (1  dot)   Meet  up  group,  encourage  other  groups  to  meet  there  (1  dot)   Ask  gyms  etc  to  use  for  yoga  etc  (1  dot)    

Other Goals   Campaign  to  get  the  park  on  tourism  maps,  etc  ,  like  Franklin  Square  (3  dots)   Long  term  relevance  (annual  event,  becomes  part  of  the  neighborhood)(1  dot)   Right  balance  of  activity  (1  dot)   Another  connection  besides  Race  St  –  cell  phone  tours,  Market  Street?  (1  dot)   Regular  meetings  of  the  Friends  first  (1  dot)   Need  a  point  person  (1  dot)   Beautification  group  (1  dot)   Volunteer  presence  on  pier  (1  dot)        

Race Street Pier Meeting Minutes 03.14.11  

Meeting notes from the first office Friends of Race Street Pier meeting.

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