Parks & Rec in Bella Vista

10th & Carpenter Streets

Bardascino Park, created on the former site of a community hospital in the early 1970s is a shady neighborhood oasis with a bocce court. The Friends of Bardascino Park formed in 1991, and in 1999 the group became a part of the Parks Revitalization Project, a collaborative partnership between the Department of Recreation and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society‘s Philadelphia Green.  The Summer Bocce League, as of 2009, has 32 teams: parent-child teams, women, men, no restrictions!  The Friends also host free summer concerts at Bardascino Park, KidFest, World Cup watching parties, and other events. 

8th & Fitzwater Streets


FB: www.facebook.c om/8thandFitzwater/

Cianfrani Park, located at the corner of Eighth and Fitzwater Streets, was created on the site of a demolished school, the Ringgold Grammar School.  In 2018, the group celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the park, reflecting on its history.  Local residents, organized as The Friends of Cianfrani Park actively maintain and plan for the park with the financial help of local businesses and government officials.  The group hosts a flea market fundraiser in the fall, the popular June concert series showcasing local talent, and other events. With its lush plantings and tall shady trees, this city-owned park is a favorite escape. 


723 Catharine Street


FB: Friends of Palumbo Park on Facebook


Not to be confused with Palumbo Rec Center, Palumbo Park is a pocket-sized city-owned park located adjacent to Fleisher Art Memorial. It’s named in honor of the late Frank Palumbo, restaurateur, local celebrity, humanitarian and power broker. A Friends of Palumbo Park group recently organized to support the park and plan new benches, pavers, landscaping, fencing, and a new mural.  The Friends group and has received grants from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) to help maintain and improve the park.

Between 6th and 7th Streets, south of Lombard Street
FB: Friends of Starr Garden Park on Facebook
Starr Garden is located at the nexus of Bella Vista, Wash Sq West, Queen Village, and Society Hill.   Historically, it has appeared on maps within Bella Vista.   It is the oldest playground in Philadelphia, and features a recreation center, two playgrounds, a large field, a picnic area, a basketball court, a fountain, murals and a sculpture.  Established trees allow for partial shade.
10th and Fitzwater Streets
Phone: 215-686-1783
Palumbo Recreation Center is an incredible resource for Bella Vista residents, offering recreation opportunities for young and old alike. It features a safe, well-maintained playground, baseball diamond, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, and fields for soccer and other outdoor activities.
The center is home to staff-led, city-subsidized afterschool and summer camp programs for children ages 6-12. Non-staff instructors use the rec center to offer additional programming. The rec center is also the current home of BVNA’s Zoning and General meetings.
10th & Kimball Streets
Not a public park, but a community asset just the same, Bel Arbor Community Garden is a quarter acre that provides 25 individual garden plots, a small orchard area, a perennial grasses and wildflower meadow, and a woods/thicket area. The area once comprised the rear portion of a large tract of land on the 1000 block of Washington Avenue that was left vacant after a six-story factory burned down in 1993. Determined neighborhood efforts led to the founding of a tree farm and a community garden on the lot. In 1999, the owner of the property donated the land on which both the garden/tree farm were located to the Neighborhood Gardens Association (NGA), a private, non-profit land trust dedicated to helping preserve community gardens. Open to the public whenever gardeners are present, the Bel Arbor garden has a very long wait list for any available plots, with priority given to residents within a five-block radius.

Enjoy our neighborhood parks and want to ensure they remain green, clean, in good repair, and a welcoming place for the community?  All Friends-Of groups welcome and encourage volunteer involvement!  To see how you can help in keeping our park looking beautiful, contact the respective Friends through the web site or social media.

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