2:38 PM / Tuesday March 21, 2023

17 Mar 2023

A path towards sharing public space at Clark Park

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March 17, 2023 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: The Food Trust Farmers Market at Clark Park provides nourishing food options for the community. (Photo/ The Food Trust)

Clark Park is a community hub for West Philadelphia neighbors. It is a vibrant, well-loved public space with diverse users and a committed group of park volunteers.

The rise in unpermitted vending at Clark Park puts a strain on park operations, makes less space for recreational users, creates safety hazards such as double-parked cars blocking crosswalks and trolleys, and has led to significant financial loss for longtime park partners UHURU and The Food Trust, and the vendors that are active participants in these official markets.

As a result, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce, and Councilmember Jamie Gauthier are working alongside the UHURU Market, The Food Trust, and The Friends of Clark Park to address unpermitted vending in the park. 

The initial outreach and engagement effort began on March 11, led by Parks & Rec and the Commerce Department. During this time, the City and its partners will seek to: 

  • Build relationships with unpermitted vendors.
  • Provide information about the requirements for conducting commercial activity on parkland.
  • Share upcoming enforcement dates for unpermitted vendors operating in Clark Park on market days.  

This effort will be ongoing and intended to:

  • Ensure park space is available to permitted vending partners UHURU and The Food Trust on market days;
  • Provide additional Parks & Rec staff resources at Clark Park on market days.
  • Build relationships with new members of the Clark Park vending community.
  • Connect unpermitted vendors with clear pathways to permitted vending opportunities at Clark Park and elsewhere. 
  • Connect entrepreneurs with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Business Services for support with navigating City services.
  • Provide advanced notice of any planned enforcement activity at Clark Park.

This effort is intended to welcome new park users while respecting the long-term relationship existing permit holders have at the park. A new Clark Park Seasonal Engagement Assistant is being hired to support and sustain this effort. 

Questions about Clark Park and its permitted uses? Contact: [email protected].

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