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Our Neighborhood

Looking for information on local schools and parks? Want to know more about ways to improve our neighborhood? Keep reading! 

Education

Our neighborhood is home to the following schools:

 

Fanny Jackson Coppin School, K-8 + Pre-K

1213 S. 12th Street

(215) 400-7970

Principal Kelly Espinosa: kespinosa@philasd.org

Home and School Association: coppinhsa@gmail.com

 

Eliza Butler Kirkbride School, K-8 + Pre-K

1501 S. 7th Street

(215) 400-7980

Principal Rebecca Julien: rjulien@philasd.org

Friends of Kirkbride: southphillykirkbride@gmail.com 

 

Vare Washington Elementary School, K-8

1198 S. 5th Street

(215) 400-8120

Principal Barnes: aldbarnes@philasd.org

Friends of Vare Washington: friendsofvarewashington@gmail.com

Christopher Columbus Charter School, K-8

South Campus: 1242 S. 13th Street 

(215) 389-6000

Chief Executive Officer: Nathan Blodgett

To check which school your child would be assigned to based on home address visit the School District of Philadelphia's school finder here.

 

All three of these K-8 schools feed into Horace Furnace High School.

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Parks 

We are fortunate to have four parks within our neighborhood boundaries. You can help by volunteering at one of the parks or participating in the Love Your Park cleanup days which happen quarterly.

Find more info about Love Your Park volunteer opportunities here

Columbus Square Park

This vibrant neighborhood park features a playground with water features, a dog park, a community center, picnic tables, and walking paths. For more information on amenities and events, visit www.mycolumbussquarepark.org.

Interested in volunteering? Contact the Friends of Columbus Square

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Gold Star Park

Gold Star Park is a compact neighborhood park featuring a children's playground and track, mature trees, and several grassy areas. The Friends of Gold Star Park sponsors frequent community events throughout the year.

Capitolo Playground

Capitolo Playground is a 4-acre neighborhood park that includes a recreation center, basketball courts, a baseball diamond, a playground with water features, a community garden, and multiple soccer fields.

Paolone Park

Located on a narrow triangle of land between Sears and Medina Streets and lined with houses, this pocket park is the legacy of Democratic committee person Louis Paolone. It is filled with vibrant greenery maintained by neighbors and is known for its Halloween trick-or-treating tradition.

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Beautification and Clean Streets

 Maintaining the beauty of our streets and shared spaces, and encouraging and insisting on city maintenance is and major part of how we advocate for our neighborhood. Over the years volunteers like you have engaged in many initiatives towards those goals. We're alwaysing interested in new ideas as well. Reach out to beautification@passyunk.org to get involved or for any general beautification questions or cleanstreets@passyunk to get involved with our advocacy for cleaner streets.

Beautification

Tree Plantings 

Having a tree planted in front of your home is one of the easiest ways you can help improve our neighborhood.

We partner with Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) to make your block greener and healthier. PHS will work with you in handling tree permits, cutting sidewalk pits, and getting the tree to Passyunk Square. Then your volunteer neighbors will help plant with trained Tree Tenders. 

If you want a street tree of your own as part of these neighborhood tree plantings - where residents come together to make our neighborhood more beautiful, healthy, and sustainable each spring and fall - complete an application here. You can also reach out to beautification@passyunk.org for information about yard trees, other ways to get a street tree, and other tree care-related questions and guidance.

Did you know? Passyunk Square has planted over 1,000 trees throughout the area.

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Need a Tree?

Shared Spaces

COMMUNITY GARDENS

Capitolo Community Garden 

Located at 10th and Federal Streets inside Capitolo Playground, Capitolo Community Garden was created on an unused and unmaintained section of the park. You can read the full history of the garden on their website at capitologarden.org (including the fact that the whole park used to be a graveyard!) The garden has been awarded several honors over the years by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. To inquire about getting on the wait list for a plot, or other info, please email capitologarden@gmail.com. or visit their website at www.capitologarden.org

South Philadelphia Older Adult Center (SPOAC) Community Garden

Located behind the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center (SPOAC) at 1340 Passyunk Avenue. Gardeners tend their plants, gather in the gazebo and maintain the wonderful attractive landscape throughout the garden.  For information on joining the waiting list for a plot in this garden email us at beautification@passyunk.org and we'll put you in touch with the garden leadership.

The front garden of SPOAC is maintained in partnership with the Penn State Master Garden program. Neighbors are treated to a seasonally changing permaculture garden as they stroll down Passyunk Avenue.

STEP OF THE MONTH

Our neighbors take pride in the curb appeal of their homes! We regularly highlight the best of this work by honoring homeowners with the designation “Step of the Month.” Neighbors and our lead volunteer scouter submit nominations and then Facebook and Instagram users vote for the winner. We hope this is a way neighbors can be inspired to beautify their street front. If you would like to nominate a step – email stepofthemonth@passyunk.org

PERCY STREET PROJECT

Through partnership with artist and neighbor David Guinn and lighting designer Drew Billau. PSCA helped to facilitate an innovative and unique mural installation on the winding, tucked away 1300 block of Percy Street. The idea was to bring beauty to an alley that was often dark and not well traveled. The Percy Street Project has since developed into a plan for the whole block, with new murals, a neighborhood steering committee and parties and events on the street. Follow along with all the activity on Percy Street on Instagram.

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Looking for a Garden Plot?

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Know a Beautiful Step?

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Join the

Percy Street

Team

Public Art and Other Ideas
Promoting art in our area is an inexpensive, creative, and lively way to improve the aesthetic appeal of our neighborhood, and we have undertaken a variety of projects that aim to do just that.

Renowned artist Isaiah Zagar's signature style of mosaic work has livened up the streetscape, and you can also see examples in our neighborhood on some businesses including Black & Brew (1523 E. Passyunk Ave) and Kun-Yang Lin Dancers (1316 S. 9th st), as well as on walls at 10th & Dickinson and 7th & Reed Streets.

The Philadelphia Mural Arts organization, a world-renowned organization known for creating amazing public art pieces in Philadelphia, has made significant contributions to the Passyunk Square community including a tribute to local Philadelphia musicians at 9th & Wharton Streets in the alley beside Insomnia Cookies, as well as at Capitolo Playground in tribute to the park's many local volunteers.

We’re always looking for ideas for other types of public art and other ideas to beautify our area, whether it’s decorative bike racks, creative lighting, or whatever you think might add to the neighborhood ambiance. Email us at  beautification@passyunk.org.
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Tell Us

Your Ideas

Maintenance

Beyond joining your local park group, our Tree Tenders group, or a special projects team, every neighbor can help out by taking care of their trash and their front patch of sidewalk. Below are some tips that can help.

Trash & Recycling Pick-up Information
  • Make sure your trash is completed closed and tied up. Trash left for more than a day, or trash that is improperly set out is a leading cause of trash blowing through our streets. 

  • Trash should be placed out between 7 p.m. the night before and 7 a.m. the day of collection.

    • Find your trash day here.

    • Please also remember that after a bank holiday, trash service will be delayed by a day.

    • ​Trash and recycling are collected once a week on the same day.

  • You do not need a city-issued bin for recycling. Use any sturdy plastic or metal container and mark it with the word "recycling."
  • If you want a blue bin, you can pick one up from a city sanitation yard. A list of locations can be found here. Occasionally, PSCA will have bins available for pick up in the neighborhood. Keep an eye on our newsletter and social channels for these opportunities.
    • All recycling can go in one bin (no need to separate).

Additional Resources

Minimize Your Curbside Trash and Recycling 

The less you take to the curbside, the better for the environment and the cleanliness of our streets. Consider participating in local "Buy Nothing" swap groups, engaging a composting service and taking advantage of special recycling programs. Trash trucks cannot handle many larger items so please verify your item will be picked up by the city before you take it to the curb. The city maintains a list of green haulers you can hire to take care of largers items.

Additional Resources

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Help Us Clean Up!

Neighborhood Cleanups

The City and the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC) helps neighbors organize to keep their blocks clean. Twice a year the city organizes city-wide clean-ups and will provide groups who register with brooms, bags, gloves, and other items to assist with block clean-up. Keep an eye on our newsletter and social media to learn about these events.

PMBC also organizes approximately 6,300 block captains around the city to help connect neighbors with city resources, including resources to organize your own cleanings anytime. To learn more visit http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/pmbc/block-captain, or to sign up to become a block captain, call 215-685-3981. PSCA can also occasionally help with tools and supplies for your clean-ups.

Email cleanstreets@passyunk.org to learn more about opportunities to get involved and get guidance on setting up a clean-up on your block.

Additional Resources

We live in a kind and welcoming community, but it is always important to practice safety and contribute to keeping our area clean and safe.

For emergencies, dial 911.

Dial 988 to reach the National Mental Health Crisis Line. 

 

If you see or suspect something dangerous that is not an emergency (abandoned cars, streetlights that are out, potholes, etc.), you can either call 311 or submit a tip.

Pro tip: Record your Service Request number to track the status online and follow up if needed. Neighbors can use the same Service Request number to report an issue and expedite the request. The more people that report a single issue, the more attention it gets from the city.

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