Char­ity to pro­vide $100M for city parks, li­braries

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

PHILADEL­PHIA >> A Philadel­phia char­ity said Sunday it will con­tribute $100 mil­lion to help Mayor Jim Kenney ren­o­vate city parks, li­braries, recre­ation cen­ters and play­grounds.

The Wil­liam Penn Foun­da­tion the money com­mit­ted to the mayor’s “Re­build­ing Com­mu­nity In­fra­struc­ture Ini­tia­tive” is the largest sin­gle grant in the foun­da­tion’s his­tory.

Janet Haas, chair­woman of the board of direc­tors, said the grant un­der­scores the foun­da­tion’s fo­cus on “gen­er­at­ing new ap­proaches for in­vest­ing in un­der-re­sourced com­mu­ni­ties” and al­lows it to par­tic­i­pate in bring­ing com­mu­ni­ties to­gether “through the cre­ative use of pub­lic space.”

“In our cur­rent cli­mate, pub­lic spa­ces are now more im­por­tant than ever,” Haas said in a state­ment. “Th­ese are the places where we come to know our neigh­bors and the city around us, where we learn from each other, talk and en­gage with one another, and build trust and a sense of com­mu­nity.”

The Re­build pro­gram an­nounced ear­lier this year en­vi­sions the city sell­ing $300 mil­lion in bonds, and se­cur­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in ad­di­tional fund­ing from the state and fed­eral govern­ments and phil­an­thropic foun­da­tions for im­prove­ments in neigh­bor­hoods around the city.

The Wil­liam Penn Foun­da­tion in July ap­proved an ini­tial grant of $4.8 mil­lion for startup costs and ini­tial im­ple­men­ta­tion.

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