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 environmental stewardship.


The 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.” Its first President was Richard Vaux who, during his prior service as Mayor of Philadelphia, established Fairmount Park, organized the Fairmount Park Commission, and enabled the City to acquire the banks along the Schuylkill River.

With the leadership provided by many of the City’s most distinguished citizens, the Association became a driving force in the implementation of William Penn’s vision of “a Greene Countrie Towne.” It brought more than sixty new public parks into existence, including Bartram’s Gardens and Stenton, League Island (now FDR), Juniata, and Pennypack parks.

The City Parks Association has also been involved in the broader areas of city planning.
It guided the development of railroad routes into the City, lent project assistance to the builders of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and promoted the establishment of a zoning code and the City Planning Commission. Through symposia, public meetings, and published reports, 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

Advisory Board

About This Site


This site contains information about City Parks Association of Philadephia and topics of interest to CPA such as news articles about CPA, information about past and upcoming events and symposia, links to websites and publications about relevant topics, and contact information.


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