City Parks Association

About City Parks Association

Mission Statement

"From its founding in 1888 City Parks Association has 'encouraged the establishment and maintenance of public parks and open space in the city of Philadelphia'. City Parks Association acts as a catalyst for change by advancing visionary thinking about natural resources in the urban community. City Parks Association's programs foster ongoing dialogue and collaborative action among people and communities committed to environments stewardship."


City Parks Association was chartered on May 24, 1888 for “the establishment and maintenance of public parks and open spaces throughout the City of Philadelphia.” With leadership provided by some of the City’s most prominent citizens, the Association became a driving force in the implementation of William Penn’s vision of “a Greene Countrie Towne.” It brought over one hundred new public parks into existence, including Bartram’s Garden, Stenton, League Island (now FDR), and Juniata, as well as the five large watershed parks, creating one of the largest park systems in the nation. Through education and advocacy, CPA championed the need to improve the city’s waterways, bringing to the attention of government and citizen alike, the value of clean and accessible rivers.

City Parks Association played major roles in Philadelphia’s urban planning, having 
guided the relocation of railroad routes through the City and away from the riverbanks, spearheaded the design and implementation of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, promoted the establishment of the city’s first zoning code and the creation of the City Planning Commission. 

Through targeted programs and insightful inquiry, the City Parks Association fosters ongoing dialogue and collaborative action among people committed to the stewardship of our city’s natural resources.

Board of Directors

  • Graciela Cavicchia – Principal/ Partner, Applied Urban Solutions
  • Mary Anne Hunter – Treasurer
  • Dan Garofalo -Director of Sustainability, University of Pennsylvania
  • Deenah Loeb – Executive Director
  • Christopher Perks – Philadelphia Parking Authority
  • Bob Pierson – Founder, Farm to City
  • Ursula M. Reed- Consultant
  • Philip Wallis – Executive Director, Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Advisory Board

  • Debra Wolf Goldstein, Esq., Conservation Matters, Fairmount Park Commissioner
  • Graham Finney
  • Elizabeth Miller, Executive Director, The Community Design Collaborative of AIA