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