City officials are helping residents in an effort to reclaim Philadelphia Park.
On Monday night, the City Council approved the installation of new playground equipment and construction of a concrete sidewalk and curbing. The action is expected to discourage gang activity and drug dealing at the park, adjacent to Philadelphia Elementary School on Philadelphia Street near Towne Avenue.
The council's decision to spend about $53,000 to fix up the park followed meetings with a neighborhood organization, the Philadelphia Community Outreach Group, which was concerned about loud noises, broken beer bottles and recurring graffiti, said Doug Bridges, Pomona's director of parks and recreation. In the past, residents who attempted to remove graffiti have been threatened by gang members, Bridges said.
Beautifying the park "is a concerted effort of citizens saying, 'we've had enough,' and the city seeing what it can do," Bridges said. "Hopefully, with the new facilities we can turn the situation around."
The city also will sponsor recreational activities, including soccer games and arts and crafts sales, in the hopes of discouraging trouble makers at the park, he said. Similar programs are being considered at Kellogg Park and Lincoln Park. Bridges said new play equipment installed last year has brought more families to Kennedy Park near Ganesha High School.