While volunteer efforts are the most essential requirements for developing Corinthian Gardens, executing our plans also takes money. Significant dollars are required for our planting. Although we obtain as much as we can free-of-charge, we expect to spend $3,000 a year purchasing shrubbery, trees and seed. Adding shade to our natural playscape for kids will take about $2,500. Our educational efforts, which include plant signage, bulletin boards and birdhouses, are budgeted at about $2,000.

The Park Improvement Committee of the Friends of Eastern State Penitentiary Park has raised more than $50,000 in grants and contributions so far to pay for the building of Corinthian Gardens, and is hard at work to raise more. To date we have received a $10,000 grant from the Fairmount Community Development Corporation, a $7,000 grant from PECO,  $30,000 from the City of Philadelphia in the form of an “in-kind” contribution, a $5,000 grant from the Subaru of America Foundation, Inc., and a $10,000 grant from PECO Green Region Open Space Program to fund some of our future environmental educational efforts at Corinthian Gardens and the PlayPen.

The city’s “in-kind” contribution and FESPP’s own funds paid for a contractor to excavate and haul away the construction debris that constituted most of the “soil” on the site and bringing in real soil so that we can make our garden grow. The work also included erosion control measures, installing a water distribution system, and digging future garden beds to a depth of 12 inches.

We are working with the city to meet the requirements for opening the park to the public, which include locking permanent gates and acceptable ADA compliance.

You can contribute directly to Friends of Eastern State Penitentiary Park by clicking on the big red “Donate” button at the top right of this page. Or send a check payable to FESPP at FESPP, P.O. Box 56080, Philadelphia PA 19130.