EKNA fundraising for Letterly Green improvements

The organization is hoping to raise an additional $30,000

Green spaces in an urban environment, such as Letterly Green, located at 2057 E. Letterly St., are often hard to come by. For this reason, neighbors in East Kensington and the East Kensington Neighbors Association have worked to preserve this space, and are hoping to secure additional funds to make additional improvements.

As it is one of the oldest and biggest open green spaces left in East Kensington, the EKNA has planned a number of upgrades to the site. For example, it wishes to improve upon the existing sidewalks, fences and soil. Adding to the landscape, it also hopes to add a path, trees, plants and benches to add to the space’s functionality and scenery, while investing in its future.

According to EKNA president Nic Esposito, Latterly Green is an important green space within the community largely due to its position; uniquely placed within a neighborhood, but close to Frankford Avenue and area businesses. It is also one of the few spaces in the neighborhood that is completely public, rather than being a privately-owned space which would make preservation more difficult.

“Since [it is] publicly owned, EKNA was able to work with the Councilman’s Office and Parks and Rec and Public Property to have the space reserved as Green Space for the future,” Esposito said. “EKNA made a commitment with the current board to give preference to investing money on spaces that had a path to preservation. Although we support many spaces that are not fully preserved, we are very excited to make a major investment in this space.”

He added that, although usage of Letterly Green has been steady over the years, every time he goes by the space he sees kids from surrounding blocks using it as a place to simply run around in and have fun. That being said, Esposito noted that it is difficult to use a space that is not fully developed as a park and that lacks the amenities one would normally find in a park. Thus, the EKNA wanted to maintain is open grassy space for kids and families, while adding to its offerings.

Letterly Green

“EKNA already had almost $30,000 from a grant allotment from the Cedar Hill Foundation to spend on the space,” Esposito explained. “The money we are raising through the campaign will help us with the final push of money for the physical improvements as well as planting material, benches, lighting and signage/pavers that will bring a nice aesthetic to the park as well as acknowledge our donors.”

Although the EKNA will gladly accept donations of any amount, it and the Friends of Letterly Green presently established six different levels of donations. Included in these fiscal options are an $125 individual donation, which will result on the donor’s name being placed on a small paver brick within the green space. Next, a $250 business or organizational donation will also result in the donor’s information on a small paver brick.

At the $500 level, a donor will receive his or her name on a large paver brick (text only), and for $650 they will be eligible to have a name and logo (individual, business or organization) on a large paver brick to be placed within Letterly Green. Additional marquee options include a $1,000 donation for a name and/or logo to be displayed on park signage, or $2,000 for a name to be secured on a bench plaque.

“The [goal of] $30,000 on Razoo will match the $30,000 which the EKNA already has for a total of $60,000 [to be spent on the project,]” Esposito said. “We hope to start on the physical improvements by this fall with final construction and planting material installation happening this spring.”

Ultimately, the EKNA hopes these changes will enable Letterly Green to become an increasingly fun and useful open space and “green oasis” as it continues to serve the community. It asks that individuals, companies and organizations continue to keep its goals in mind as the end of the year approaches, and reminds community members that these donations are tax deductible.

“Sometimes to fully realize the green space dream of a neighborhood, the neighbors have to step up and invest in their community,” Esposito said. “I think our neighborhood is very lucky to have an organization like EKNA that can solidly lead this project and work with the city to ensure the development and continued maintenance of the space to protect that neighborhood investment.”

Furthermore, the EKNA added it is always happy to share how funds are used, and the organization will keep track of its expenditures for the sake of accountability and transparency. For more information, email info@ekna.org, and someone from its board will be in touch.

“I’d just like to say to anyone who contributes thank you very much and we hope you get many great memories and experiences out of enjoying Letterly Green over the years,” Esposito concluded.

To donate, visit: https://www.razoo.com/story/Letterlygreen.