Community Programs & Events
Sanitation & Recycling
SCSSD is focused on maintaining clean neighborhoods in an environmentally responsible manner. Here are some examples:
Residential Cleaning Program
The SCSSD Residential Cleaning Program started operations in August 2005. This is the most visible and costly SCSSD program. The Residential Cleaning Team includes seven employees that visit each area of the District at least twice per week, cleaning neighborhood streets and sidewalks with the goal of zero tolerance for litter. The Cleaning Team also assists neighbors with the pickup of tree leaves during the fall season. To maximize cleaning efficiency, SCSSD uses a system of 46 cleaning sub-districts and various cleaning methods and equipment. For most weeks, SCSSD focuses on the pickup of District-wide large litter every Monday and Friday, supplemented by a rotation of more detailed cleaning on the midweek days of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Meet the Cleaning Team
Dog Waste Stations
SCSSD has installed and currently maintains 12 Dog Waste Stations located along sidewalks throughout the District. The SCSSD Cleaning Team checks each station three times per week, adding small pickup bags and changing out trash can liners as needed.
Recycling Bin Distribution
SCSSD is proud to support City recycling efforts. In July 2015, SCSSD funded a project to provide every SCSSD household with a FREE heavy-duty 32-gallon recycling cart with wheels and attached lid. Each green cart was customized with the SCSSD logo, the recycle logo, and a lid decal with the household address. The SCSSD recycling carts provide residents with a more durable alternative to help increase recycling, keep recyclables contained, and help decrease neighborhood litter.
Reusable Grocery Bags
SCSSD distributes free reusable grocery bags to residents at SCSSD Community Events, such as the Annual Document Shredding Event that promotes identity theft safety and recycling.
Street trees are a valuable community asset, and SCSSD continues to invest time and funds into tree care efforts. SCSSD performs tree care work in supplement to City of Philadelphia services. Currently, there are 1,382 street trees located within the SCSSD boundaries. SCSSD maintains an extensive database on these trees, noting information such as the species, the size, the condition, and the date and type of maintenance work performed by SCSSD contractors.
In supplement to City services, SCSSD has funded six neighborhood tree-trimming projects. For each project, SCSSD hired a certified arborist and contractor to visit each street tree and perform necessary pruning work. It should be noted that street trees remain the responsibility of the City, and residents should continue to call the City hotline at 3-1-1 for all tree maintenance and/or tree removal requests.
New Tree Installations
SCSSD continues to install new street trees when requested by an SCSSD resident and approved by the City of Philadelphia. Since 2006, SCSSD has proudly planted 661 new street trees! If you are an SCSSD resident interested in getting a new street tree installed in front of your home, please complete and return the SCSSD application.
In supplement to government services, SCSSD continues to invest in a variety of streetscape improvement projects and programs to further beautify SCSSD neighborhoods. Most notably, SCSSD has “adopted” 36 public green space areas, installing decorative plantings and maintaining certain landscape elements. SCSSD works with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and private contractors to maintain the landscape improvements. SCSSD is also working on a study effort to improve the streetscape elements along the South Broad Street corridor (from Oregon Avenue to the Navy Yard), Geary Park, and various community gateway intersections.
Street and sidewalk lighting remains an area of SCSSD focus, with the goal of improving neighborhood safety and overall aesthetics. Between 2010 and 2012, SCSSD fully funded and completed the construction of a special lighting improvement project in SCSSD Community District I. The project included new pedestrian scale lights with custom bases, as well as decorative crosswalks, new traffic poles and signs, tree trimming, and the power washing of streets and sidewalks. SCSSD continues to strategically evaluate opportunities to improve lighting in other areas of the District. SCSSD is currently partnering with the City Streets Department to complete the LED conversions of all remaining street lights within SCSSD boundaries.
SCSSD initiated a banners program in 2008 that expanded to approximately 100 locations. The decorative banners were installed seasonally and promoted the SCSSD slogan of “Neighbors & Teams, Together We Win!”. Unfortunately, this program is currently suspended as SCSSD researches alternative banner designs and hardware setups to address the problems of pole and banner damage resulting from the area’s high wind loads.
It is no secret that traffic congestion, parking, and pedestrian safety are top concerns for neighbors surrounding the Philadelphia Sports Complex. SCSSD continues to invest time and effort into transportation improvement initiatives of community benefit. And while there is no single simple solution to correct area traffic problems, SCSSD is making best efforts to help improve the situation step by step, piece by piece, project by project. Here are some examples:
Transportation Improvement Study
In 2006, SCSSD funded and completed a comprehensive Transportation Improvement Study. Study recommendations focus on (1) Neighborhood Traffic Calming and (2) Improved Interstate Access. SCSSD continues to use this study in pursuing short-term and long-term transportation solutions. Within this study, SCSSD proposed a new I-76 westbound ramp at 7th Street. During the 2013 casino license hearings, SCSSD testified and introduced this project concept. In late 2014, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) awarded the casino license and included an Order that Stadium Casino shall fully fund the design and construction of the subject multimillion dollar ramp.
Sports Complex Sign Project Donation
In 2006, SCSSD donated $50,000 to the Sports Complex Sign Improvement Project. This $1.1 million City of Philadelphia project was constructed in 2006-07 and includes overhead signs to better direct event patrons from the interstates to parking lots, and then from parking lots directly back to the interstate ramps, steering clear of adjacent residential neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Traffic-Calming Islands
In April 2008, SCSSD constructed four traffic-calming islands along 20th Street at Hartranft Street and at Geary Street. Decorative plantings were included to further beautify the neighborhood. After evaluating the positive impact of these islands, SCSSD has since installed an additional six islands along Packer Avenue at 17th Street, 18th Street, and at 19th Street.
“Yield to Pedestrian” Signs
In 2015, SCSSD donated 19 “Yield to Pedestrian” portable signs to the City.
SCSSD is actively engaged in efforts to improve public safety. Here are some examples:
Emergency Kit Distribution
In September 2008, SCSSD offered a free Emergency Preparedness Starter Kit to every SCSSD household. SCSSD funded this $150,000 effort in hopes that every SCSSD family becomes better prepared for an emergency that might necessitate shelter-in-place or evacuation. SCSSD has since distributed 4,200 kits.
SCSSD works with the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management on evacuation planning. In 2007, the City convened stakeholder working groups that met weekly, identifying evacuation zones and routes for emergency vehicles, pedestrians, mass transit, and private vehicles. A unique tactical evacuation plan was also developed specifically for the Sports Complex area. SCSSD is a proud participant in these ongoing efforts, including the most recent 2016 Sports Complex Evacuation Plan update.
Ready Philadelphia Emergency Alert System
SCSSD encourages every resident to sign up for the Ready Philadelphia Emergency Alert System offered by the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management. This system sends emergency email or text messages to your cell phone or other email-enabled devices.
South Philadelphia Refineries – Community Advisory Panel
In May 2007, SCSSD was approved for membership on the Philadelphia Energy Solution’s (formerly Sunoco) South/Southwest Philadelphia Community Advisory Panel (CAP). CAPs serve as a way to improve dialogue between plants and local community leaders through regular meetings that allow leaders to share their concerns and ask questions of plant management. In 2019, a large explosion and fire occurred onsite, resulting in the refinery shutting down operations and declaring bankruptcy. In 2020, the PES refinery site was sold to Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP), who are planning to develop the site to become a commercial hub for e-commerce, life science, and logistics leaders, titled the Bellwether District.
Between 2010 and 2013, SCSSD awarded four grants totaling $21,400 to the civic association in Community District III to enhance neighborhood security around the “Supersite” athletic fields.
Another area of SCSSD focus is recreation. Here are some examples:
Neighborhood Youth Athletics
SCSSD has donated over $57,000 to neighborhood youth athletic teams located within SCSSD boundaries. The SCSSD funding helps with league fees, equipment, playing field facility improvements, and uniforms.
Community Center Feasibility Study
SCSSD completed a Community Center Feasibility Study in 2006 based on the idea of constructing a community center within SCSSD boundaries for the exclusive use of SCSSD residents and their guests. SCSSD used results from the 2004 Community Needs Survey to determine the features and recreational programs most desirable to SCSSD residents. SCSSD evaluated the associated construction and operating costs and determined that it is not possible for SCSSD to fund such a center by itself. SCSSD continues to investigate possible partnering and funding opportunities, but SCSSD is not planning to build a community center by itself at this time.
SCSSD is proud to provide donations to other non-profit organizations in the District. Here are some examples:
School Donations Program
In 2004, SCSSD established the School Donations Program to benefit the area schools located within SCSSD boundaries. SCSSD has since provided $303,000 in funding to the schools for special projects and programs that otherwise would not be possible. Examples include: computer LCD projectors, interactive smart boards, new classroom windows, an educational guitar program, classroom PA system, security door access system, educational butterfly garden, athletic equipment, graduation yearbooks, new lunch room chairs, basketball backboards, chess supplies, bike racks, classroom maps and shelter-in-place emergency supplies.
Hero Thrill Show
In proud support of the local police officers and firefighters that protect SCSSD residents, SCSSD has donated $58,000 to the annual Hero Thrill Show charity. Event proceeds are used to provide scholarships to the children of police officers and firefighters who have been disabled or fatally wounded in the line of duty.
SCSSD is based on an important principle of the teams and neighbors working together on common goals of community benefit. SCSSD is proud to strengthen that partnership by participating in annual charity carnivals and donations. Each year, SCSSD makes a donation to the charitable cause of most importance to each of our partner sports venue operators, including the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival, the Phillies Phestival, and the Eagles Charitable Foundation.
Supersite Fence Donation
In 2008, SCSSD completed a $300,000 donation to the School District of Philadelphia for the installation of decorative security fencing around the Southern-Bok athletic fields, located at 10th and Bigler Streets, in SCSSD Community District III. In 2007, the School District invested over $7 million to improve this “Supersite.” SCSSD funded the fence for the benefit of the adjacent community, to further beautify the neighborhood and minimize trespassing security problems of the past.
Research & Planning
An early SCSSD focus was strategic planning. Before spending the bulk of valued community improvement funding, SCSSD considered all proposed programs, completed test “pilot” projects, surveyed residents for feedback, and only then developed an informed longer-term strategic plan. SCSSD also expended considerable effort in completing the tasks necessary to establish and operate a new corporation, including everything from creating a logo to establishing mailing lists. Starting in 2003, this work included a Community Needs Survey completed in November 2004, a Community Center Feasibility Study completed in September 2005, legal and environmental consulting with neighbors for the Veterans Stadium demolition and berm construction, various GIS mapping of the District, and area development tracking, just to name a few topics. Below are two recent examples of ongoing SCSSD research and planning:
SCSSD exists to serve community needs. Understanding these needs and their associated priorities is critical to the ongoing success of SCSSD. SCSSD’s Community Directors recognize the importance of community input and approved a neighborhood survey that was completed in 2004-05. Over 4,200 surveys were mailed to residents. SCSSD compiled survey feedback, read all written comments, and has used the results to guide decision-making on projects and programs that residents have prioritized as most important to their neighborhood. Here are some of the 2004-05 survey results:
- 25% of the SCSSD households responded.
- 79% of respondents expressed “satisfaction” with their neighborhood.
- Neighbors were most satisfied with: Neighborhood Safety.
- Neighbors were least satisfied with: Traffic, Landscaping, Lighting, Tree Care, and Sidewalk Cleanliness.
- The top three neighborhood improvements neighbors wanted SCSSD to focus on were: Sidewalk Cleaning, Traffic-Calming, and Lighting Upgrades.
In 2011, SCSSD completed a second community survey to secure updated statistics on neighborhood satisfaction and improvement priorities. The survey findings serve as a report card for the past and empower SCSSD to strategically plan for the future, ensuring that SCSSD funds are directed to the efforts of greatest benefit for served communities. Here are some of the 2011 survey results:
- 26% of the SCSSD households responded.
- Since the 2004 survey, SCSSD has initiated projects and programs for all of the priority areas identified by respondents. The issues that were major concerns in 2004 remain major concerns in 2011, but every category of neighborhood satisfaction showed significant positive improvement. Stated differently, residents feel much better in 2011, than they did in 2004 about every topic included in the survey.
- Residents also responded to this survey with nearly 2,000 written comments and suggestions.
- 58% of respondents have access to the internet.
- 87% of respondents feel that SCSSD efforts are improving the neighborhoods.
In 2016, SCSSD completed a third community survey to once again secure updated statistics on neighborhood satisfaction and improvement priorities. Here are the survey findings.
To better understand the demographics of served neighborhoods, SCSSD completed the analysis and mapping of 2020 census data for the SCSSD area. This served as an update to the prior mapping completed for the years 2010 and 2000 censuses. Such updates empower SCSSD to make more informed strategic planning decisions, targeting future services at the most current demographics.
Some notable points for the SCSSD area are as follows:
- The 2020 population is 9,346. The year 2010 population was 8,956. The year 2000 population was 9,065. The SCSSD population has increased by 390 (+4%) in the last decade.
- With respect to the age of SCSSD residents:
— 16% (1,500) are minors under 18
— 60% (5,563) are between 19 and 64
— 24% (2,283) are seniors 65 & over
- With respect to the sex and race of SCSSD residents:
— 52% are female and 48% are male
— 85% are white
— 77% of the properties within SCSSD are owner occupied
SCSSD is proud to host free community events exclusively for SCSSD residents. Through 2019, SCSSD has hosted and sponsored over 62 separate community events. Approximately 31,900 residents have participated in these events, an average of 514 residents per event.
- The first event was a Heat Relief Party in July 2005, when SCSSD distributed over 500 fans to senior residents.
- Also in 2005, SCSSD hosted the first Children’s Halloween Party, now an annual event held outdoors at the American Swedish Historical Museum in FDR Park. Event participation has grown over the years. Most recently, a total of 1,239 residents attended the 15th annual party in 2019.
- In 2007, SCSSD initiated the very popular Document Shredding Event for Identity Theft Safety typically held in April of each year on the Saturday following Tax Day. Due to the popularity of the shredding event, in 2016 SCSSD added a second “Mini” Shredding Event in the fall. To date, the SCSSD shredding events have successfully recycled 69.4 tons of paper (the equivalent of saving 1,178 trees) and collected 10.6 tons of electronics for responsible recycling, with over 8,082 residents attending.
- In response to feedback received from Community Surveys, SCSSD has increased the number of community events and partnering sponsorships. These increased event offerings included a Family Fun Day event and two free Dinner & Movie Nights at Xfinity Live!, a free vehicle VIN etching event, and a special Super Bowl LII trophy photo opportunity for District residents. SCSSD event sponsorships have included movie nights and outdoor concerts in Marconi Plaza Park, free bike and boat rentals in FDR Park, the Packer Park Civic Association Holiday Events, and the Friends of Marconi Plaza Tree Lighting ceremonies.
In 2006, SCSSD established the “Autocall” phone notification system, free to SCSSD residents. This valuable tool allows SCSSD to send pre-recorded voice messages to the telephone numbers of enrolled SCSSD residents. It is a cost-effective way for SCSSD to send urgent news to neighbors in a quick and efficient manner. If you are an SCSSD resident and you would like to add your phone number(s) to the Autocall system, please call the SCSSD offices at 215.271.1701. Please note that all phone numbers are kept private and will not be shared with any third party.