While the construction of high-quality, accessible and fun play spaces is at the core of MTWB’s programmatic work, these projects most importantly serve as vehicles for intensive engagement and community building opportunities. Our engagement initiatives run through all phases of a project, from initial site selection and conceptual design, through construction, reactivation, programming and maintenance. MTWB works with numerous partners to cultivate playground and neighborhood stewards, secure community buy-in, and strengthen the health and wellness of the surrounding community.
Youth Project Team
Our Youth Project Team program was designed to involve youth in all phases of a park revitalization project. Students will engage in hands-on activities with professionals involved with the park design and construction. Through a partnership with Public Workshop, youth also have the opportunity to learn basic building and carpentry skills as they work to address immediate needs at the playground, generally around signage, seating and storage. The goal of our Youth Project Team is to build a culture of youth leadership and long-term stewardship at the park.
Community meetings, clean-ups, and larger public events allow MTWB and partners to have consistent communication with neighbors and stakeholders around each park, and to build and sustain excitement and momentum with each project. These events also help strengthen the community by connecting neighbors, and building ownership over the space. Larger events like Groundbreakings and Ribbon Cuttings are exciting moments for all to celebrate the start and finish of construction while informing community members of resources and programs available to them through the playground or Rec Center.
Capacity and Technical Support
All active parks and playgrounds in Philadelphia have the ability to form an Advisory Council or Friends Group. MTWB provides support to formalize or strengthen those groups at our park sites, helping them to realize their purpose of being a voice for the community, supporting operations, fundraising and advocating for their home playground.
Operations and Maintenance
MTWB works with Parks & Recreation, playground staff and other local stakeholders to develop a maintenance plan for each park site post-construction. We will engage programs such as Work Ready, Soak It Up Adoption and our own MTWB Street Team to supplement the maintenance work of Parks & Rec staff and local volunteers. These steps ensure the long-term usership and success of our park sites.