Tony Benson knows the value of a clean park in his neighborhood.
The Holme Circle resident used to volunteer with individuals with autism, and they made frequent trips to parks. Benson said he shed 100 pounds in a matter of months during his volunteer work. But while he was volunteering, he noticed there was glass on the ground and “ancient” playground equipment at Frank McArdle Park.
“Not only should the park be updated and beautiful, but it should also be inclusive to people with disabilities,” he said.
Not one to sit around and wait, Benson created a 501c3 Protect Our Parks, with the goal of helping beautify and upgrade the parks in the community. His first goal is getting upgrades to Frank McArdle Park by bringing a dog park to the area.
A petition Benson created to bring a dog park to the park drew more than 1,000 signatures within two weeks. He hopes the petition will catch the eye of elected officials who can help bring about those changes. He said a local pet store said it would donate poop stations if the park happened.
“Parks and playgrounds are the heart of the community,” he said. “If you don’t take care of that, the community dies.”
View the petition at change.org/p/philadelphia-city-council-dog-park-for-frank-mcardle-park.