Saturday, May 22, 2010
In the late nineteenth century, when most of Philadelphia was still a swamp, Allegheny Square was created on the previously useless land. Now called Campbell Square Park, the three-acre public square serves the community as a place to gather and enjoy whatever nature can still be found in the city. The park, which sits at the corner of Allegheny Ave. and Belgrade St., is surrounded by three large churches. Each church is of a different culture—the Irish Nativity BVM, the Polish St. Adalbert and the German Our Lady Help of Christians. Campbell Square is the one place where these cultures come together and cherish their community. Resident Thomas McIlhenny spends around 12 hours a week at the park, feeding the squirrels and reminiscing with friends. “I go out and get them peanuts,” he says. “And they’re good Philly peanuts too!”
Friends of Campbell Square Park, which was founded in 1959, is a neighborhood organization that meets each month to plan park events for the summer. They also convene regularly for “Gardening & Maintenance Monday,” where volunteers are asked to help keep the park looking its best. 14-year-old Allie Nungesser loves the park because it is so well maintained. “Everyone comes out ever so often and takes care of it,” she says.
According to Marge Murat, the park is a popular place for the Polish residents to catch up with family and friends, especially in the evening. “They call this ‘Little Poland,’” says Marge, who often hangs out in the park with her friend Denise and their children. Aside from being a great place for outdoor activities and socializing, Campbell Square gives residents a piece of the environment to appreciate and take care of.
By Samantha Richcrick and Nicole Saylor, Group 8, Port Richmond
Posted by Nicole at 10:41 PM