The tri-junction where Christian, Passayunk and Christian Streets meet is home to one of the tiniest green expanses you will see in the city. But you know what they say: good things come in small . . . park sizes. Triangle Park (the name this strip has been gifted with) in Bella Vista is maintained by an organization known as Friends of Triangle Park (FOTP) who have big prospects for this little tuft of land.
The sign posted in the middle of the park states: “Prime Development Opportunity: For Sale” as posted by Prudential Real Estate. Currently the lot is privately owned; FOTP aim to facilitate the acquisition of the space to the City of Philadelphia so that it may reach its fullest potential in becoming a city park. The organization is composed of local area residents who have come together to renew the park by removing trash and weeds, leveling the park surface with fresh dirt, fixing the cement and sidewalks that surrounds the lot, planting flowers and trees and generally beautifying the space.
Looking at the park today, it sure has come a long way from its origins, having once been the site of an Amoco Gas Station followed by its transformation into a makeshift garbage can. Due to deep underground contamination (a little souvenir from its original occupant) the space can no longer house construction or a community garden. However, this does not prevent the area from being park-safe and ready – FOTP assures that shallow-rooted vegetation is perfectly fine for planting.
This project is funded by volunteers and has already garnered the support of several notable fans, including the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and City Councilman Frank DiCicco. FOTP believe in the value of their project asserting that “the immediate benefit will be to return an unused piece of property to a valued asset for neighbors and residents of the area and the garden-like appearance will encourage all to view the area as a community asset.” If you would like to help, or receive updates on the project you can sign up for the mailing list or check out the FOTP website. —Alex Graziano