Author: Colin Hennessy
How does the song go? “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot?” Well, not at Penn. We took 24 acres of concrete and asphalt and transformed it into a vast urban park. New sporting fields and walking paths combine to create a lush oasis on the eastern boarder of campus, an oasis this Penn employee cannot wait to visit – regularly.
I had the opportunity to take a tour of the still-under-construction park today and was thrilled with what I saw and learned. In addition to the vast amounts of new green grass and over 500 expertly-selected trees (thanks to our friends at the Morris Arboretum), the park has been constructed with sustainability and green land use in mind. Subterranean rain water collection cisterns will feed irrigation for the freshly planted trees and grasses, while accessible paths and access bridges allow easy admission to all members of the Penn community.
When I last wrote about Penn Park in April, the ground was still cold and the progress seemed sluggish. However, following my tour today I am very excited about the massive park that is literally coming out of the ground just a few strides from my office.
I invite you to come back to campus when Penn Park is complete in September, and take part in this beautiful redevelopment project that was built, in large part, because of generous alumni support. You can play tennis, bike around the park, or simply sit and daydream in the grass while enjoying a view of the beautiful Center City skyline. I promise you that Penn Park not disappoint.