Feet First Philly and Clean Air Council partnered with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health for the third year, to provide our Public Space Enhancement Mini-grant opportunity. We are excited to announce this year’s winners.

In the past two years we funded 15 projects collectively (7 the first year and 8 the second year). This year we received over 40 applications, and will be funding 11 projects. These projects are located in different neighborhoods across the city.

ACHIEVEability: This project is located in West Philadelphia and will install corridor identifying flags adjacent to the 60th Street El stop. These flags will add to the improvement of 60th Street, making this commercial corridor a destination to live, learn, work, play, and shop.

Cobbs Creek Ambassadors: The Ambassadors will improve their current communication methods to more effectively reach their audience after years of growth. They are extending their coverage along the trail by increasing the number of ambassadors from 11 to 16. Our funding will help to develop a website, signage along the trail, and other communications materials so they can reach their audience and organize stewardship activities more efficiently.

Community Alliance for Development: This project will improve a garden area to make it a clean and pleasant space with seating for the public. Flowers and vegetables will be planted in the garden for all to enjoy. 

Friends of Morris Park: This project will focus on regular, quarterly clean ups and ongoing trail maintenance in the area of 66th Street and Sherwood Avenue. Cleaning of the park area will help to improve the beauty and safety of this green space. 

Friends of the Wissahickon: This project seeks to address the need for safe pedestrian connection to the Wissahickon Valley Park (WVP) for residents of the Germantown area, in Northwest Philadelphia. This project includes the construction of new sidewalks and a raised crosswalk.

Mantua Enrichment Committee: This is a beautification project in the Mantua neighborhood. Planters will be installed along the 34th Street corridor from Mantua Avenue to Spring Garden Street. These planters will add beauty to the area but also improve safety.

Mt Vernon Manor CDC: This project aims to improve safety and access to the Mantua Urban Peace Garden. The funding will cover insurance, light improvement, and fencing repair. There will also be public programming at the garden which will provide various benefits to all residents. 

Nicetown-Tioga Improvement Team: This project is focused at connecting the Healing and Unity Gardens in North Philadelphia and improving these spaces. Funding will help to improve walkability and wheelability, along with hosting various family-friendly programming.

Overbrook West Neighbors, Inc: This organization will create a formal walking group at the Tustin Playground in Overbrook, West Philadelphia. This project will engage and benefit residents of the neighborhood, especially seniors who usually gravitate towards this recreational center to enjoy walking and other forms of exercise.

Spring Garden CDC: This is a lighting project that will replace and add to the street tree mini-lights along Fairmount Avenue between 15th Street and Broad Street. Lights will be year round and will improve safety for pedestrians by improving visibility.

Village Event Park: This project is located at 27th and York Streets, encompassing 8 vacant lot parcels which will be converted into a community event park space. Specific funding will be used to create bulletin boards to announce upcoming events.

Quotes from Recipients

Village Event Park: “The Clean Air Council/Feet First Philly team is helping me accomplish goals for my organization. The support from this team, especially Titania, has been immensely helpful. Titania stays connected with you, helps with resources and reminds you that her and the team are there whenever you have questions. Applying for the Feet First Philly grant was one of the best decisions I have made for my organization. Feet First Philly believed in the community’s vision; Village Event Park will be the first outdoor amenitized park within our community. With Feet First Philly I feel more than a grantee, I feel like I have gained a long-term support system.” – Dr Odessa Tate

Spring Garden CDC: We are thrilled to have received a Feet First Philly grant which will allow us to expand our efforts to light up our community’s commercial corridors. The project will illuminate a dark stretch of sidewalk that discourages walking the area at night and will help deter crime. It will bring joy to those who pass by, complement our nearby colorful holiday lighting, and help provide cheerful, safe venues for residents, visitors, and families to stroll the area year-round, and enjoy the sights facilitated by this project. – Patricia Freeland

Mt Vernon Manor CDC: This mini-grant is providing us with crucial resources for expanding the safety and accessibility of our Mantua Urban Peace Garden. In partnership with Feet First Philly, we will ensure that the Mantua Urban Peace Garden is protected from liability, that community members have safe nighttime gardening options, and that the space remains physically and aesthetically welcoming to all. With renewed and restored infrastructure for public programming, the Garden will be better positioned to service our community long-term and to train the next generation of Garden leaders. – Emma Kahn

Friends of the Wissahickon: Friends of the Wissahickon is thrilled to receive this grant from Feet First Philly. And the endorsement by an organization so dedicated to pedestrian safety and access is an added bonus! We’re excited for the great work ahead to improve pedestrian access on Harvey Street. – Pauline Berkowitz

Nicetown-Tioga Improvement Team RCO: The repair and revitalization of the Healing & Unity Gardens will allow residents of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to reconnect and work towards a shared goal of neighborhood renewal. We’ll reclaim these sites as the spaces of walkability, wheelability, rest, and respite they were always meant to be. Then, we’ll be able to resume all of our free, family-friendly programming. – The Nicetown-Tioga Improvement Team RCO (NTIT)

This program was funded in part by the PA Department of Health’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.