William Penn Foundation to Donate $100 Million to Philly’s Public Spaces

It's the largest grant in the foundation's history.

Dickinson Square Park | M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Dickinson Square Park | M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

A local nonprofit is lending a big hand to public spaces in Philadelphia.

The William Penn Foundation will donate $100 million — the largest grant in the foundation’s history — to the city’s parks, libraries, recreation centers, trails and playgrounds.

The money will cover one-fifth of the funding proposed for Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuilding Community Infrastructure Initiative, or Rebuild, a seven-year, $500 million effort to foster economic growth and renovate Philly’s public spaces. The grant is almost four times bigger than any grant previously offered by the nonprofit, according to the Inquirer.

Officials say the goal of Rebuild is to promote “equity and fairness across Philadelphia” by allocating resources toward “distressed or struggling neighborhoods where concentrated poverty, elevated crime rates and heightened health risks are impacting the lives of local residents,” according to the initiative’s website. The city has, compared to other major cities, spent significantly less on park and recreation services in the past.

There are more than 400 “potential Rebuild sites” across the city, including parks, libraries, recreation centers and playgrounds. To find a site near you, visit this map, which will update over time as design and construction progress unfolds at various locations.

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