Ground broken for Smith Playground revitalization

Ralph Brooks Park saw a transformation, which was unveiled at the end of August, with improvements including things like new sidewalks, an improved basketball backboard, a community garden shed, a mural from Steve Powers and more. Thanks to the success of that project, another park will be seeing some changes.


Now it’s Smith Playground’s turn to be transformed thanks to Connor Barwin, the linebacker for the Eagles, and his foundation called Make the World Better Project who are working to revitalize this 7.5 acre site. Ground was broken on Monday, December 28, for the project at 24th and Jackson.


In June, $300,000 was raised at a benefit concert held at Union Transfer. That money, in addition to funding from stakeholders including Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office, the Philadelphia Water Department, Philly Rising and Parks and Recreation, Smith Playground will be revitalized for better use by the community. While they’ve raised a great deal of money to this point, they’re still seeking an additional $225,000 to complete the project as planned.

Making Philadelphia better! #mtwb #barwinwpmoychallenge

A photo posted by Make The World Better FDN Inc (@mtwb_project) on

Changes being planned for Smith Playground include remodeling the recreation center, structures with solar panels, new surfacing for the football field, a fitness trail and more. The purpose of this project at Smith Playground is to begin encouraging healthy lifestyles here. With these improvements, Parks and Recreation should be able to double the amount of programming offered here. They even plan to build a kitchen to introduce cooking and nutritional classes.