More changes are coming to Frank McArdle Park.
About a year ago, community members participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the park to celebrate renovations, including a new playground and basketball courts.
Now, Tony Benson, CEO of Protecting our Parks, hopes to get a mural painted on the empty wall in the park.
A native of the city himself, Benson remembers being young and not always having access to playgrounds and courts. Now, his mission is to revitalize and maintain Philadelphia’s parks.
“I was a kid, I lived in West Philly, I remember seeing my park being destroyed,” Benson said. “I know this is my purpose and I know this is what I was born to do.”
When his advocacy for McArdle finally paid off, he describes standing at the ribbon cutting and staring at a blank, freshly painted tan wall.
At that moment, he decided the wall should instead house a mural, and he got to work contacting Mural Arts.
Though they were not able to take on the project at that time, they have recently reached out to Benson and let him know that they are ready to take on the project now. They just need to know what the community wants on the wall.
Benson plans to include Frank McArdle in the center of the mural, surrounded by his family, and then, surrounded by paintings of actual people in the community. Benson wants to include people of all ages and backgrounds in the mural, especially youth.
“When you give kids hope it’s like giving a canvas to an artist,” Benson said.
However, there is still time to make alterations and suggestions to this plan. If you have any ideas for the mural, or if you want to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.