Philadelphia, September 19, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the Commission on Parks and Recreation (PaRC) will welcome three new members at its meeting tonight at 6:00 pm in Lloyd Hall, 790 Water Works Drive. PaRC was constituted in July 2009, following the passage of an amendment to the Home Rule Charter which transferred the powers and duties of the Fairmount Park Commission to a new Department of Parks and Recreation and reconstituted the Fairmount Park Commission as the Commission on Parks and Recreation.
“I would like to thank the dedicated members of the Commission on Parks and Recreation for their hard work on behalf of the City,” said Mayor Nutter. “They have truly embraced our ambitious vision: to create the nation’s premier parks and recreation system. I look forward to working with the new and returning Commission members to make this vision a reality.”
The Commission on Parks and Recreation consists of fifteen members, nine of whom are appointed by the Mayor from nominations made by City Council and six of whom serve ex-officio. The nine Mayoral appointees to the Commission include new members Matthew Perks, Andrew Denison, and Derrick Ford, who will serve as Council President Clarke’s designee. The returning members are Nancy A. Goldenberg, Debra Wolf Goldstein, Jeffrey L. Hackett, Leslie Anne Miller, Carol B. Rice, Sarah Clark Stuart, and James Bennett Straw. The ex-officio Commission members include the President of City Council and the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission or their designees, the Water Commissioner, the Streets Commissioner, the Public Property Commissioner and the Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Each highly qualified member has demonstrated skills and knowledge about park and recreation matters.
“Through the open application process, I was very pleased to see many members of the Commission returning and I look forward to working with the new members,” said Deputy Mayor and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis. “Since 2009, PaRC has not only accomplished an ambitious agenda set forth by Mayor Nutter, they have also provided continual valuable insight as we implemented the department merger.”
Mayor Nutter and Council President Clarke announced on March 30, 2012, that the application process was open for those interested in serving on the Commission. More than 80 applications were received and a series of public hearings were held in City Council in which all of the applicants provided testimony. City Council submitted a list of 25 nominations to Mayor Nutter who chose the 9 appointees.
“Each of these new and returning members has demonstrated a passion for our City’s wonderful public spaces that is infectious,” said City Council President Darrell Clarke. “City Council looks forward to working with the Commission to find creative solutions toward maintaining and improving the City’s parks and recreation facilities.”
Since its inception, PaRC has provided leadership on the numerous initiatives geared toward making Philadelphia a leader in the park and recreation field and sustain the legacy of William Penn’s “greene countrie town”. Initiatives such as working with the Nutter Administration and City Council to pass the land protection ordinance, exploring new sources of revenues for our parks and recreation system, and acknowledging the volunteer contributions to our parks and recreation system through the creation of the PaRC Star Award.
Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Chairwoman of City Council’s Committee on Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs said, “I am excited for the Commission on Parks and Recreation to continue its work advising on and assisting in our parks and recreation programs. I would like to welcome back those who are returning to the Commission, and extend a warm welcome to the three new members. These highly-qualified individuals will make great additions to an already outstanding team. I look forward to working with the Commission to continue building Philadelphia’s profile as one of the best cities in the world for our parks.”
The Commission will continue to be chaired by Nancy A. Goldenberg, Senior Vice President of Programs and Planning for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, who said, “It is an honor to be reappointed to the Commission, to continue in my role as chair, and to serve with such highly qualified and dedicated colleagues. The Commission accomplished much in its first two years, and I am confident that our achievements will continue and our service to the citizens of Philadelphia will remain unsurpassed.”
PaRC’s mission is to develop and adopt written, enforceable standards related to the use of the city’s park and recreational land and facilities, make recommendations to enhance revenue opportunities, and assist in promoting parks and recreational facilities and programs.