Monday, October 5, 2009

Fisher Park

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
-Anne Frank

Our next spot of interest is a recreational area, Fisher Park, located in Olney. This dilapidated park in Northern Philadelphia is in desperate need of a clean-up. While the park was probably once a nice place to go to play sports or exercise, it is now reduced to an eyesore and a place to leave waste and trash.

Fisher’s Park was designed and created by Joseph Wharton, and donated to the city of Philadelphia in 1908. It was a “Christmas gift” to the city. The park includes basketball courts, tennis courts, a baseball field, a football field, and a swimming pool. It is apparent, however, that these facilities have not been properly maintained since it was generously given to the city.

Fisher Park is very dirty and unkempt. The park and its surrounding area are covered in litter, which ranges from small paper products to large items such as old tires and garbage bins. The basketball and tennis courts lack nets that are necessary to play and are in general dirty with trash strewn about them. The baseball field is barely recognizable because of the overgrown grass and weeds that have overtaken in infield.

Probably the worst part of Fisher Park is the swimming pool, which seems as though it has not been used it ages. It is extremely dirty and contains lots of trash. There is filthy water that sits stagnant at the bottom of the pool collecting grime. Adding even more to the poor quality of the park is the loud railroad that runs directly behind it. The park and the tracks are separated merely by a flimsy fence. It is certainly an unsafe area for children.

It becomes obvious that Fisher Park is a place unfit for leisure and recreation. It is not only unpleasing to look at, it is a safety hazard. There are various places around the park that have sharp, jagged, and corroded edges that could hurt someone, or even worse, infect them. Much of the sports equipment, for instance the football goalpost, is near collapse, which creates a hazardous situation for players.

The community of Olney would benefit greatly from an initiative to restore Fisher Park. At the very least, a clean-up of the park would reduce the risks and safety concerns that currently exist. If time and money were invested into the cleaning and continued maintenance of this valuable recreational area, it would become an asset to the community instead of an eyesore filled with trash. The Olney area will certainly get greater utility out of a clean, well kept park, as well. A polished park would give children an incentive to participate in recreational activities and could aid in keeping youth off of the streets. Older residents would have a place in their community to use at their leisure and interact with others from the area. Thus, re-establishing Fisher Park as a community hub would serve to strengthen the relationships among inhabitants of the area. Revitalizing Fisher Park is an excellent step for Philadelphians to take in order to improve the overall aesthetic and homelike vibe that the city emanates.

Blog written by Monica Schmidt
Photos by Andrew Gerdes

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