Francis J. Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia celebrated a new mini soccer pitch, improved basketball courts, and tennis courts today, August 10th, 2021. The City of Philadelphia is investing in their public spaces through the Rebuild Community Infrastructure initiative. Communities with high rates of drug crimes, health risks, and poverty have been prioritized in this project. Libraries, Recreation Centers, and Parks will be physically improved, see an increase in community engagement through investments of neighborhood groups, and serve as a model for diversity and economic inclusion through small local businesses. The Philadelphia Union Foundation, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, and the City are emphasizing the importance of and appreciation for soccer through Rebuild. Additionally, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is helping by setting the department on a course to create a more equitable parks and rec system.
Myers Rec Center is the first location of the Rebuild process. Roughly $350,000 was spent on this project specifically and over one million dollars will be put into 15 mini soccer pitches, and two full-size signature fields across Philadelphia. A mural by Calo Rosa “Unity Chant” is painted on the new mini pitch at Myers. The tennis courts have been renovated with new netting and fencing. The basketball courts are equipped with new backboards/rims and a new paint job. Youth soccer players from the Rec center cheered as Paul Howard, Executive director of the Philadelphia Union Foundation, and Chris Branscome, CEO Of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, cut the ribbon hanging across the new mini pitch. The kids and community members enjoyed water ice and pretzels from Pink’s Cold Treats and Ice cream from Van Leewen. A bounce house and other activities were set up for the kids as well.
More public spaces in the Southwest Community will be improved in the near future as a part of the Rebuild initiative. These spaces include:
- Blanche A. Nixon/ Cobbs Creek Library
- Cobbs Creek Environmental Center
- Cobbs Creek Park
- Cobbs Creek Recreation Center
- James Finnegan Playground
- Kingsessing Library
- Kingsessing Recreation Center
- Paschalville Library