PHILADELPHIA, PA — On Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney and Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (3rd District) joined City of Philadelphia officials and local community members to celebrate the opening of the renovated Miles Mack Playground and the completion of $2.3 million in site updates led by the Rebuild initiative, the City’s historic investment in public spaces.
The renovated playground and rec center will feature refurbished basketball courts, accessibility updates, a fitness loop, sprayground, new picnic area, and a renovated rec center with new finishes and ADA accessible restrooms.
In the process of planning and completing these updates, Rebuild and the City of Philadelphia worked hand-in-hand with the surrounding Mantua community. The playground and rec center have a special significance to the neighborhood and bear the name of Miles Mack, a coach, mentor and community leader who tragically passed away while protecting his young athletes. Together, the City and community developed a dynamic, multigenerational place to play, learn, and grow – honoring and reflecting Mack’s legacy. Mural Arts Philadelphia also updated the rec center’s mural honoring the life of Miles Mack.
“We can all take inspiration from community leaders like Miles Mack, who dedicated his life to community and the wellbeing of young people,” said Mayor James Kenney. “Miles Mack gave his life to protect the children in his care. We keep his vision and legacy alive by investing in neighborhood facilities like Miles Mack Playground, and providing resources and spaces where community members of all ages can come together, play, and thrive in a safe environment.”
“It’s so exciting that our first Rebuild site in the 3rd District is now complete. The Miles Mack enhancements are a testament to what’s possible through just and deserving investments in community spaces around our city,” said City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier. “I’m grateful to Mayor Kenney and to Parks and Rec for their commitment to the Mantua community.”
Totaling over $2.3M, in investment the project updates include:
- An updated recreation building with improvements made to accommodate future programming needs
- Playground renovations focused on intergenerational activities and play options that encourage physical activity
- Dynamic climbing structures for children
- A series of pull up bars for youth and adults
- An intergenerational swing that allows caregivers to enjoy face to face playtime with younger children
- Universally accessible sprayground
- A brand new fitness loop complete with an adult fitness area
- Brand new, ADA accessible picnic area
- Refurbished basketball courts
- The addition of new trees and updated landscaping to the playground and picnic area
“We hope the beautiful new Miles Mack Playground and Recreation Center serves as a tribute to Miles Mack and the joy his coaching young people brought to this community,” said Kira Strong. “His legacy of service lives on through the incredibly strong and dedicated Mack family’s commitment to service and community.”
“It is a true honor to play a role in memorializing Miles Mack, a community activist and basketball coach whose memory still inspires members of the Mantua neighborhood and the City of Philadelphia,” said Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “Mack was tragically taken from us while awarding trophies to youth in his basketball league and used his body as a shield to protect one of the players. He was a hero then and remains a hero to this day.”
“Miles Mack Playground is a cornerstone for this community, and that foundation is made stronger by the incredible renovations to the Miles Mack Playground,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner. “We hope the transformational improvements can inspire the next generation of community leaders like Miles Mack and ensure programs for young people and families continue to thrive.”
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