Lending Brotherly Love to a Beloved City Park

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NBC Nightly News
Brian Williams/Ron Allen
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a man leads the charge to reclaim the city park he loved as a boy for a new generation of children.



"Lending Brotherly Love to a Beloved City Park ." Ron Allen, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 14 Oct. 2010. NBC Learn. Web. 20 April 2019.


Allen, R. (Reporter), & Williams, B. (Anchor). (2010, October 14). Lending Brotherly Love to a Beloved City Park . [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=51082


"Lending Brotherly Love to a Beloved City Park " NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 10/14/2010. Accessed Sat Apr 20 2019 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=51082


Lending Brotherly Love to a Beloved City Park


Finally tonight, a story about making a difference in the City of Brotherly Love. The folks who live in one neighborhood in North Philly want something that a lot of folks who live in middle class suburbs take totally for granted every day of the year, places where kids go to play.

Tonight NBC's Ron Allen has the story of how against some tough odds the people of Hunting Park are taking back what should be already the heart of their community.

RON ALLEN reporting:

Leroy Fisher has dreamed of this day.

Mr. LEROY FISHER: Anyone need dirt?

ALLEN: An army of volunteers in his neighborhood park, Hunting Park, building a new playground. Finally.

Mr. FISHER: I don't know how to contain myself when I think about what this park can possibly be.

ALLEN: Hunting Park has fallen on hard times. The ball field's in poor shape and difficult to play on. Weeds taking over the tennis courts.

Violent crime plagues the neighborhood, making the park a no-go zone, especially at night.

To really appreciate what a playground means in this neighborhood, consider this, Hunting Park is one of the largest in the city of Philadelphia, some 87 acres. And right now, there are only four swings in this entire park. But Fisher knows the park's proud history, when decades back the circus came to town, horses trotted around the track. Fisher's mother remembers family picnics that went well after dark.

Ms. JOANN TAYLOR (Fisher's Mother): You have kids. You felt safe. You didn't mind--you don't--you didn't care if they ran up the hill or whatever.

Mr. FISHER: I want to bring that back. I would wallow in the negativity, but that doesn't propel me any further.

ALLEN: A few years back, his enthusiasm began spreading. Coach Fisher and other dads started sports leagues. Residents got organized, started holding park cleanups and planting gardens. All of that caught the attention of a nonprofit run by the city's park system, which devised a massive $20 million overhaul plan.

Ms. MEG HOLSCHER (Fairmount Park Conservancy): The goal is to assist this community in reclaiming the park for everything that is positive in a community.

ALLEN: Philadelphia baseball star Ryan Howard donated money to start rebuilding the playing fields, and volunteers quickly turned this piece of barren land into a playground.

Mr. FISHER: When I think about all the children, that they're safe and they're participating in something special, there you--well, hey--you can see, it really--I really feel it inside.

ALLEN: Fisher knows progress comes in small steps. Like those his nephew Cedric takes.

Mr. FISHER: We're going to the playground.

ALLEN: And he's determined to see Hunting Park become what it used to be. Ron Allen, NBC News, Philadelphia.