Philadelphia — September 14, 2017 – Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) introduced legislation Thursday requiring recreation centers and libraries to publicly post hours of operation and hours of programming at a central location inside and outside the facilities.
“Our recreation centers and libraries already offer valuable programming and resources for our communities, but often residents are simply unaware of their facility’s offerings,” Councilwoman Bass said. “This is a case in which a simple solution can improve an important issue.”
The ordinance seeks to amend Title 15 of the Philadelphia Code entitled “Parks and Recreation” to require all libraries that are part of the Free Library of Philadelphia system clearly and publicly display their hours of operation on the front exterior of their building. In addition to posting hours of operation publicly outside the facility, all recreation centers within the Department of Parks and Recreation would also be required to post hours of programming and hours of operation at a central, public location inside the entrance of the recreation center. The ordinance would also require facilities to post hours online.
Following two incidents at Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Germantown this summer, during which police were called to disperse large crowds of teenagers and young adults, Councilwoman Bass met with the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Kathryn Ott Lovell, to discuss ways to prevent similar incidences in the future. Along with discussing the possibility of expanded recreation center hours, Councilwoman Bass suggested posting hours and programming to increase community awareness.
“The incidents at Lonnie Young Recreation Center in this summer began with our young people wanting to create activities for themselves,” Councilwoman Bass said. “Could what occurred as a result of the unauthorized events at Lonnie Young been avoided if the participants were aware of all the programming their facility already has to offer?”
The ordinance would require specified facilities to post any changes in regular hours and programming 30 days prior to the change except in the event of emergency.
Councilwoman Bass chairs the Committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. From June through August, Councilwoman Bass hosted a Summer Events Series at three parks and recreation centers in the 8th District. Bass also held hearings in October to explore establishing wifi hotspot lending programs at the Free Library of Philadelphia. In March, Councilwoman Bass created the 8th District Rebuild Community Engagement Committee to involve residents in the $500 million Rebuild initiative to upgrade city parks, recreation centers and libraries.
“We are reclaiming our public spaces,” Councilwoman Bass said. “Recreation centers and libraries should be thriving, community-relevant safe havens for our neighborhoods. Posting hours of operation and programming will help increase community knowledge and awareness about their own neighborhood facilities.
# # #
Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.