PHILADELPHIA, PA – June 22, 2012 – More than a dozen work teams--equipped with sponges, hammers, paint brushes and shovels, as well as concrete mixers, power washers, hydraulic paint sprayers and enormous piles of mulch and landscaping stones--fanned out across the 87-acre Hunting Park in North Philadelphia on Friday, June 15 in a mass effort to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of this important community resource. The teams, made up of more than 200 Liberty Property Trust employees and vendors, orchestrated an extraordinary make-over of the recreation center, gymnasium, concession stand, basketball courts and surrounding landscape as part of the 9th Annual Liberty Property Trust Bill Rouse Day of Caring.
Participants spent much of the day on construction, painting, landscaping and renovation projects. The company, with help from supportive vendors, donated the labor and materials for dozens of projects such as replacing every light bulb in the recreation center, repairing basketball court backboards, pouring concrete pads, refinishing floors, installing doors, replacing and repairing rotted and damaged wood, installing bathroom fixtures, and planting dozens of trees, bushes and flowering plants. Cleaning, litter removal, painting, weeding, raking, caulking and refinishing were just some of the accomplished tasks.
“The scope of this project was enormous; it was the largest project we have done in the Delaware Valley to date and we could not have accomplished all this without help from our vendors,” said Rob Fenza, chief operating officer of Liberty. “Our work on Friday was the culmination months of planning and more than a week of on-site prep-work. It’s been an exciting process because we knew this was a place we all could really make a difference. Bill Rouse would have loved it, and we think it’s a fitting tribute on what would have been Bill’s 70th birthday.”
Liberty’s efforts are in partnership with the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s $20 million master-plan to revitalize Hunting Park, which unites the towns of Hunting Park, Nicetown/Tioga and Logan. Led by the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the local park stewardship group Hunting Park United has mobilized to restore the park to its original glory, to realize its potential as an anchor for healthy eating and active living in the community.
“Liberty’s efforts are crucial to this phase of the Hunting Park Revitalization Project,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, executive director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy. “While Phase One of the revitalization is optimistic, it is in no way all-encompassing. These upgrades and improvements to the Hunting Park Recreation Center would not have taken place for many years if it weren’t for Liberty’s generosity and commitment to making a difference in their community through the Bill Rouse Day of Caring. We’re so grateful for their help in creating positive change in Philadelphia’s parks.”
On Bill Rouse Day of Caring, Liberty closes its offices nationwide for a full day so that teams of employees can work on local community service projects in memory of the company’s founder, Willard G. Rouse III. Bill Rouse was as committed to community service and involvement as he was to real estate development. When he passed away in 2003, Liberty employees sought a way to honor his memory and launched the annual Bill Rouse Day of Caring, traditionally held each year on the Friday closest to his birthday on June 19.
With hundreds of employees located in Philadelphia, Malvern and Horsham, PA and in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, the Delaware Valley project is the company’s largest.
Vendors who helped to make the day possible included: The Arthur Jackson Company of Upper Darby, PA; Sullivan Asko Roofing of Pennsburg, PA; Belcher Roofing of Montgomeryville, PA; The Brickman Group of Gaithersburg, MD; Brogan Landscaping of Exton, PA; Budget Maintenance of Pottstown, PA; Centeno Landscaping of Levittown, PA; Delaware Valley Paving of Valley Forge, PA; Eastern Janitorial Services of Kenilworth, NJ; Jody Snyder Construction of Phoenixville, PA; Russ Kelly Inc. of Mt. Laurel, NJ; Schnoll & Sons Painting of Philadelphia; Shearon Environmental Design of Plymouth Meeting, PA; and Sherwin-Williams Co.
Once a part of the James Logan estate (Logan was William Penn’s secretary and built a house that still stands in the park), Hunting Park took its name from a race track for trotting horses at that location in1810. The first trotting track in the country, it was converted into a park in 1856 and later became one of the first neighborhood parks to be included in the Fairmount Park system. Over the years, Hunting Park grew from 45 original acres to its present 87 acres and throughout its history has accommodated a popular carousel, an artificial lake used for boating and fishing, and a minor league baseball team. John Phillip Sousa is rumored to have performed on the band shell.
For more information about Hunting Park and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, visit www.fairmountparkconservancy.org.
Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LRY) is a leader in commercial real estate, serving customers in the United States and United Kingdom, through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties. Liberty's 77 million square foot portfolio includes 650 properties providing office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities to 1,700 tenants. The company’s headquarters is in Malvern, PA.
Media Contact: Robbie Tarpley Raffish, a.s.a.p.r., 410-430-9705
General Information: Jeanne Leonard, Liberty Property Trust, 610-648-1704