FEATURES

Region’s Trail Network, The Circuit, Gets Major Boost The region’s trail network, known as the Circuit, has received a significant boost toward further trail completion, awareness-building and bettering public access to Philadelphia’s waterways with new funding from the William Penn Foundation.  The grants, totaling $8.6 million, will leverage the work of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), which are members of the Circuit Coalition.  When complete, the Circuit will include 750 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails connecting people to jobs, communities, waterways and parks in the Greater Philadelphia region. To date, more than 300 miles of the network have been built.

Announcing Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative Reimagining the City’s Gateway

Last year, the Free Library of Philadelphia welcomed more than six million visitors. Thirty percent of those visitors stopped in monthly. In a single year, those visitors generated more than 3 million reference questions, which equates to two questions for every man, woman and child who lives in the city today.  What are all of these people seeking?  Information and services, access and opportunities. Historically, libraries were a hub for learning, reading, and research. Today, they are so much more, offering resources and assistance in everything from technology training, social services, job coaching, and, yes, literacy and education.  To support this massive growth of the Free Library’s role in the fabric of the city, the Free Library of Philadelphia is partnering with the William Penn Foundation and the City of Philadelphia to announce the transformational Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative, reestablishing the Library as a central resource in every neighborhood in Philadelphia, serving as a portal to learning, public services, economic opportunity, recreation, and community engagement.

William Penn Foundation bestows $25 million on Free Library for innovations, renovations

The Free Library of Philadelphia has received the largest gift in its 120-year history: $25 million from the William Penn Foundation.

The donation is meant to transform the library into a vibrant, 21st-century institution.

William Penn Foundation Names Laura Sparks as Executive Director

The William Penn Foundation today announced it has named Laura Sparks as Executive Director, succeeding Managing Director Peter Degnan.  Mr. Degnan recently tendered his resignation effective August 31 for personal reasons, and the Foundation’s Board has accepted his decision to step down.

Philadelphia Academies, Inc. Expands Home-Grown Nationally Proven College And Career Academy Program

A program that prepares Philadelphia high school students for college and careers will expand to serve an estimated 5,000 more students across Philadelphia. The William Penn Foundation, which has partnered with Philadelphia Academies, Inc. for more than 15 years, invests in high quality educational opportunities for low-income students in Philadelphia. The Foundation granted Philadelphia Academies, Inc., a nonprofit youth development organization, $1,425,000 over the next two years to grow its successful career academy model. 

 

A Watershed Moment for the Delaware River Basin The Foundation plans to impact the Delaware basin by addressing watershed-wide issues; protecting and restoring places of ecological significance; and building the constituency for the watershed by engaging people.

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Receives $5 Million to Increase Access to the Waterfront The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) has received $5 million from the William Penn Foundation to further implement its Master Plan for the Central Delaware, which advances “public access” as the organizing principle guiding redevelopment of the waterfront. 

Philadelphia Zoo Receives $6M Grant from the William Penn Foundation to Blaze a New Trail

The Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to announce a $6 million grant from the William Penn Foundation, whose philanthropy is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region by investing in great public spaces to serve the cultural and recreational needs of the City’s expanding urban core.

Awbury Arboretum hopes $300K grant leads to sustainable future in Northwest Philly As William Penn Foundation works with nonprofits to improve some of Philadelphia's greatest community treasures, Awbury Arboretum has become an exciting new partner. A $300,000 WPF grant, approved in July, will help Awbury develop new revenue streams and form strategic partnerships to expand its reach in the community that surrounds it.