Jessica Naugle McAtamney, Champion of Change

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  Information accessed from the White House Champion of Change website

Our very own Cedar Park neighbor, Jessica McAtamney, was recently honored by the The White House, as a Champion of Change.  The honor was given to Jessica and eleven other members of Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H for creating sustainable change in their communities.  Jessica Naugle Mcatamney is an agricultural educator at W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. Jessica teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science, AgroEcology, and Urban Gardening.  Jessica serves as FFA advisor to one the nation’s largest FFA chapters in which Philadelphia boasts fourteen agricultural educators who work in horticulture, animal science, natural resource management, food science and agricultural production.

Jessica helped found, coordinate, and facilitate the Henry Got Crops! Community Supported Agricultural Partnership between Saul High School, Weavers Way Cooperative, and Fairmount Park.  In writing about this project, she notes that “this fantastic CSA allows students to have a true hands on working perspective of agricultural vegetable production, compost production, and currently, a native berry/fruit tree nursery. Henry Got Crops! serves as an example of true community partnership that supports students, their learning and their own personal growth. Appropriately named by an AgroEcology student for Saul’s location on Henry Avenue, Henry Got Crops! demonstrates the challenges and successes of farming without chemicals and enables students to see the value in sustainable crop production.”

In addition to her teaching responsibilities Jessica coordinates programming for Outward Bound, the World Food Prize, Students Run Philly Style Marathon and the University of Pennsylvania’s Engineers without Borders.  She is involved in the Scientists as Teachers – Teachers as Scientists program.  She is very proud of her efforts in facilitating a comprehensive recycling effort at the high school significantly diminishing the amount of school waste entering landfills from school waste.

In commenting on her selection as a Champion of Change, Jessica writes, “I hope that I am able to empower my students in such a manner and to create more agents of change within Philadelphia communities.

We are pleased to celebrate our neighbors’ much deserved recognition for her commitment and accomplishments as an educator, AgroEcologist, mentor and community leader.

SAVE THE DATE - Block Leaders Brunch on Jan 12, 2013

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at 

SAVE THE DATE - Block Leaders Brunch

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Calvary Community Center

48th St. and Baltimore Ave.


Cedar Park Neighbors is holding a morning workshop for block captains and block leaders to discover and share resources for our community. Workshops will include: basics of block organizing, block beautification and vacant lot management.  If you are interested in attending please contact Meg Ferrigno at:  267.241.7606;

The Cedar Works Gets Ready To Open Its Doors by Sara Nissley

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  The Cedar Works, a reclaimed warehouse on the 4900 block of Pentridge Street that is being renovated into artist studios, offices, and community meeting space, opened its doors on Saturday, October 20th, for a mid-construction open house.  Potential tenants, neighbors, and community members came out to look at the space.  Many people commented on the surprising size and location of the building.

Nestled south of Baltimore Avenue between 49th and 50th streets, the triangular building’s main entrance is just a few doors down from the Pentridge Children’s Garden.  The entrance to The Cedar Works will be located off the street through a garden patio.  Four honey locust trees will be planted in the patio later this Fall.

Ken Beidler, a local potter, will be one of the first tenants of The Cedar Works.  He will manage Cedar Works Pottery Space, outfitted with a gas and electric kiln, glazes and wheels for use to other potters through a monthly membership fee.  Interested potters can contact him at  So far other studio tenants will include local painters, photographers, and a custom framer.

In addition to studio space, The Cedar Works will have a meeting/conference room that will be available for rent at two hour, half day, and full day rates.  The Philadelphia based nonprofit Training for Change will make The Cedar Works its home for Philadelphia trainings and workshops.   The Cedar Works hopes to attract other local groups or individuals looking for space to host their events.

Applications for studio space and for meeting room rentals are being accepted now.

The Cedar Works plans to finish construction in early December, 2012.  For more information about rates and availability or to apply, check out The Cedar Works online at

Philadelphia 2035: University/Southwest District Planning Process Underway

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  The planning process for our Philadelphia 2035 City Planning District – University/Southwest - is now underway.  The first of several Steering Committee meetings was held on October 23, 2012 with representatives from the area’s major institutions, civic organizations and city agencies.  The University/Southwest District includes 10 neighborhoods:  Bartram, Cedar Park, Garden Court, Kingsessing, Powerlton Village, Saunders Park, Spruce Hill, University City, Walnut Hill, and West Powelton.  The Philadelphia 2035 website has information, maps and data about our district as well as information about the planning process and how to be involved:


500 Weigh In On the Future of Our Neighborhood by Ray Murphy, CPN Board Member

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  In October, a steering committee met for the first time to discuss the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan for University City and Southwest Philadelphia.

Thanks to neighbors like you, folks representing Cedar Park at this meeting were able to share the input of the five hundred people who completed a survey about the future of our neighborhood. The survey was created by CPN’s board of directors. It asked for input on questions like “Why do you live/own a business in Cedar Park?” and “How do you define diversity and what do you think is required to keep the neighborhood diverse?” The survey also asked for neighbor’s feedback on residential and commercial zoning rules that the City Planning Commission is considering within the plan.

Preliminary survey results were shared at a CPN General membership meeting on November 8. A full report on the results of the survey will be available by the end of the year.  The large number of replies to important questions about the future of Cedar Park is an indication of how much our neighbors care about the community.  We are grateful to all of our neighbors who participated in the survey.

Zoning Committee News by Maureen Tate, CPN Zoning Committee

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  We were pleased to welcome five new members to the Zoning Committee this month, bringing our total to 11, who serve on one of the most active and challenging committees of our association.  We welcome their perspective as neighbors and the additional skills they bring as lawyers, city planners and local business entrepreneurs.

Their added help comes none too soon as we try to get up to speed on the new Zoning Code and facilitate a growing number of zoning issues within our boundary.  At the first Steering Committee meeting regarding the University/Southwest District plan held on October 23, our CPN representative to the meeting was able to take a first look at the report of preliminary findings of existing conditions within our district prepared by the City Planning Commission. We were not surprised to learn that Cedar Park, of all 10 neighborhoods in our planning district, has the highest number of properties, 48% of neighborhood properties, whose land use is inconsistent with its existing zoning classification.  It is no wonder that we have had such a large number of zoning applications to consider as local properties undergo change.

Committee member, Shawn Markovich, is currently attending the Citizens Planning Institute’s Zoning Code Training series co-sponsored by the Department of Licenses & Inspections, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  The training provides an opportunity to learn the new code with City zoning professionals and experts.   Shawn will bring important knowledge back to Cedar Park regarding zoning districts, what can be built where, development standards and parking.

We are also undertaking a review and revision of our CPN Zoning Policy to reflect changes in the new zoning code and its requirements for Registered Community Organizations.  In recent months the Zoning Committee has also addressed the following issues:

- 615 S. 48th St:  Neighbors were informed of the homeowner’s application for a permit for demolition and reconstruction of a mudroom to the rear of the property.  The first hearing was continued and a hearing has now been scheduled before the ZBA for December 18, 9:30 am.

- 5103 Pentridge St.:  A community meeting was held at Wayland Baptist Church on September 26 to consider a proposed use of the property as a banquet facility as well as a meeting space for a girls mentoring program. The applicant has not yet filed for a hearing date but wanted to discuss the use with local neighbors.  Following a presentation by the applicant, local residents asked questions and raised concerns.  While there was no objection to the girls mentoring program which requires no zoning variance, neighbors expressed, both verbally and in written responses, their strong objection to a banquet hall citing concerns about noise, traffic and parking congestion, hours of operation, proximity to nearby residential properties, crowds and possible disruptive behavior that might result.  A major concern was the long term implications of a zoning change to the property that would permit future banquet halls or club facilities at this location.

The CPN Zoning Committee generally meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7pm. If you have questions about these issues or are a CPN member interested in serving on the committee please contact the committee at:

Letter from CPN scholarship recipient Sara Ghebremariam

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  Dear Cedar Park Neighbor Community,

I am one of the many neighborhood students who have benefitted from your continuous generosity and commitment to helping give the young adults in our community the chance to get ahead.  This sense of generosity is so apparent and wonderful to see at the annual award ceremonies and the Dock Street fundraisers I have attended in the past.  My college experience thus far has been everything I hoped for and more.  Starting at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall I had no clue what was in store for me, but I am so happy that I threw myself into it completely.  After getting a taste of engineering and finding out it was not for me very quickly in freshmen year, I found my place in the arts and sciences school, more specifically in psychology and economics.  Even though classes at Penn challenge me they also excite me and for that reason summer has gone from something I wish for during the year to something I nearly dread in May.

While I have grown in the obvious academic ways, I have also taken the time to grow outside the library.  Community service has always been a large part of my life and dominated my extracurricular activities.  Since starting at Penn I made it a point to make sure that did not change about me.  I did this by joining the oldest and the largest community service organization at Penn, the Kite and Key Society.  I eventually gained a seat on the executive board of the Kite and Key Society in my sophomore year of college.  This was a great opportunity to gain leadership skills, not only with running the Overnight Hosting program but also within the society in contributing that semester’s fundraising project, a Mario Kart Tournament to raise money for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.  Further, starting in the fall of this upcoming year, I will be serving as a house events manager in the building I have called home for the last 4 years, Gregory College House.

I spent much of junior year, taking part in two independent research projects in the field of abnormal psychology with the help of research advisors at the University of Pennsylvania.  I focused my thesis on first time substance use experiences and current patterns in use in college students.  The second project focused more on how those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder recall their experiences.  Both projects were the toughest undertakings of my undergraduate career with both year-long experiences culminating in written research papers and theses defenses in front of standing faculty at Penn- also known as some of the brightest minds in the field I was studying… it was terrifying to say the least.  However, I survived and received departmental honors for my work.

I am now looking to spend this upcoming semester working on developing my background in the second interest, economics and strategy management.  After my graduation in December I hope to obtain a job in strategy consulting and it has been the CPN funding over the years that has allowed me to carry out my studies just a bit longer.  It is something for which I will always be grateful to the community.

Thank you so much for all your support and assistance throughout the year!

Sara Ghebremariam

Upcoming events at Walnut Street West Library

Upcoming events at Walnut Street West Library:

Come see the Zoo on Wheels on November 29th, 3:30- 4:30pm.

Make a wreath with Lauren Leatherbarrow on December 1st, 1:30-3:30pm. Space limited. Pre-register at or 215-685-7671. $10 suggested donation.

Holiday Concert on Wed, December 5th, 5:30pm – 7:30 pm. Sign up to perform at or 215-685-7671.

The Friends’ BIG Holiday Book Sale is December 8th, 11am-3pm.  Find spectacular deals for everyone on your gift list!

Find a calendar of events and subscribe for monthly updates at


Scholarship Corner by Laurie Friedman, CPN Scholarship Committee

This article originally ran in the November 2011 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  Since 1989, Cedar Park Neighbors (CPN) has raised money and given modest scholarships to support students from the neighborhood in their pursuit of higher education.  Unlike many restricted scholarships, Cedar Park’s scholarship offers students funds to pay for any and all school-related expenses, which could be anything from tuition and books, to something as simple as transportation to and from school.

As the Fall semester is in full swing and nearing an end, it is never too early to begin thinking about our next round of CPN Scholarships! While scholarship applications are not due until June 1, 2013, we want to remind everyone to please spread the word to neighbors who are attending a post secondary school.  To be eligible, applicants must live in Cedar Park’s boundaries and be accepted to college or a vocational school.  Applications will be available on the CPN website in January.  Questions can be sent to or you can call us at 267-531-4147.

We also want to ask everyone to please mark April 7, 2013 on your calendars for our annual scholarship fundraiser at Dock Street.  If you have any items you would be willing to donate for our silent auction, please let us know. As always, we appreciate your support!

Membership by Marcus Presley, Membership Chair

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  Hello there, neighbors! We're in the middle of a really exciting time for the Cedar Park neighborhood, with new businesses and restaurants popping up every month and an intensive neighborhood planning process underway. During this time, we are happy to be welcoming almost 50 new members to Cedar Park Neighbors who we met through our table at the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, and we would like to take the opportunity of our annual full neighborhood newsletter to encourage even more of you to join!

In addition to receiving a quarterly copy of this informative newsletter, joining will give you an opportunity to contribute to the community in many different ways. CPN runs a number of programs such as a food basket drive for the holiday's, a scholarship program for youth and a committee to improve our neighborhood schools. Additionally, being a part of the CPN is a great way to be involved in some important decisions about the future of our Cedar Park. CPN's Zoning Committee is constantly getting zoning requests for exciting and potentially controversial projects, and we want to make sure that we are incorporating even more neighbors into these decisions. We also have an exciting opportunity through the Philadelphia 2035 city planning process to talk about the future of Cedar Park.  Becoming a member will keep you better informed about the process, including how to lend you voice through community meetings and surveys.

The more residents join CPN, the more we will be able to represent the interests of the community, so please take the opportunity to join by visiting our website at or emailing us at to request a membership form. Also, if you are a current member, please remember to renew your subscription before it expires in December. Thanks again to all our recent members, and looking forward to seeing you all on the neighborhood!

Membership dues, along with other fundraising activities, are critical to support the valuable work being done by CPN.

With your help, CPN will continue to:

  • Deliver news through our website, Facebook, email blasts and newsletter
  • Introduce you to your neighbors and local restaurants at Meet and Greet events
  • Award scholarships to high school graduates and continuing college students and support our scholarship recipients.
  • Host the summer jazz series
  • Spread the word about local zoning issues
  • Provide representation before the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Liquor Control Board
  • Support and promote small businesses
  • Deliver holiday food baskets to neighbors
  • Solicit community input on important neighborhood planning issues
  • Fund Block Improvement Grants
  • Keep you informed about local schools and daycare centers
  • Support schools in our area
  • Represent CPN members at community meetings
  • Maintain the Park for our enjoyment
  • Provide support and resources to local block leaders

So you can see that your membership goes a long way!

If you know a new homeowner or renter on your block, send their name and address to  New neighborhood residents will receive a free CPN membership for one year.

To save trees and cut down on costs, email if you would like to receive an email copy instead of a hard copy of the newsletter.

Important Membership Reminder:  All memberships end 12/31, including those registered during one of this year’s Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls.  Please check your mailing label to verify your expiration year if you paid multiple years in advance.

Cedar Park Holiday Basket Outreach by Victoria Iannotta, Holiday Basket Co-Chair

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  As is usually the case this time of year, I find it hard to accept the unpleasant reality that summer will not make a dramatic October comeback and it’s really time to unpack the winter clothes.  The leaves are falling all around us and in the blink of an eye, the holidays will be here.   Once I get past the shock of all of that, I remember that each autumn also brings with it the opportunity to work on a very rewarding project.

For the last 18 years, the Cedar Park Neighbors Holiday Basket outreach has collaborated with churches and non-profit organizations in our community to identify those for whom the gift of a Christmas holiday meal would be welcome.  It has become a long standing tradition that Joanne Pham and I have been honored to continue. Thanks solely to donations from so many local residents and businesses, last year we were able to provide food baskets to 660 people. That number represents an increase of 80 people over the previous year.

We would like to express our deep appreciation to all of the Cedar Park residents who have contributed in the past to this initiative as well as local area business who have demonstrated outstanding support for our community, and also ask if you can support us again this year.

Please consider your neighbors in need by supporting the Holiday Basket outreach again this year. A donation of $36.00 will allow you to sponsor two deserving families this holiday season, although any amount is most welcome.

If you know of deserving families in the Cedar Park area (46th to 52nd, Larchwood to Kingsessing), please give their names, addresses and the number of people in each family to one of our participating organizations. This information can be found on the donation form included in this edition of the newsletter.

To our local vendors - your donations are especially needed. Please give generously to support your community.

Volunteers are most welcome to help us pack and distribute the baskets on December 22, 2012 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Renewal Presbyterian Church located on the corner of 47th and Cedar.

Donations can be sent, with or without a form, to:

Cedar Park Neighbors, Holiday Baskets

Calvary Community Center

4740 Baltimore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19143

Or make a donation on-line by clicking here.

Thank you so very much for your support.

President’s Message by Michael Froehlich

This article originally ran in the November 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Want to receive the newsletter delivered to your doorstep (or directly to your email inbox)?  Join CPN today at  In October, the neighbors who share the St. Bernard Community Garden learned that their garden was threatened.  They were about to lose their garden due to foreclosure.  They quickly organized and, with the help of Councilwoman Blackwell, saved their garden.

After a horrific crime one night at 48th Street and Springfield, neighbors came together to organize a neighborhood watch group to look out for each other.  They organized porch hops and monthly potlucks and frequently attended the court hearings to ensure that the voice of the immediate neighbors was heard.  This month, they celebrate their one year anniversary working together.

Earlier this year, when Mariposa Food Co-op, which has been in Cedar Park since 1971, was looking to grow, they turned to their members.   Members loaned the Co-op thousands of dollars and, on March 17, the Co-op opened in the old Belmont Trust Company building.  Today, close to 1500 people belong to Mariposa.

These three examples are not alone.  It seems like Cedar Park has always been a neighborhood where community members come together to improve their block, their neighborhood, and their city.  Cedar Park Neighbors, which celebrated its 51st anniversary this year, is happy to support neighbors helping neighbors.

This fall, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission will be developing a new plan for the “University/Southwest” District that includes Cedar Park.  (It also includes the neighborhoods of Powelton Village, University City, Saunders Park, West Powelton, Spruce Hill, Walnut Hill, Garden Court, Cedar Park, West Shore, and Kingsessing.)  This plan will be used by the City to help develop a new zoning map and determine where public resources, such as libraries and playgrounds, should be devoted.  To inform this plan, Cedar Park Neighbors just finished surveying 500 community members about what they like about Cedar Park and where they want our neighborhood to go in the future.  We’ll be releasing results of this survey soon.

For more information about the district planning process, check out  For more information about our survey, visit our website at or our Facebook page.

There’s always something good happening in Cedar Park.

The DIRT FACTORY Is Open For Business

This post--with pictures!--originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter. Didn't receive a newsletter? Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. The Dirt Factory, a project of the University City District, is a new community composting facility located at 4308 Market Street and is open for drop-off from 5-6pm every Wednesday. The Mission of the Dirt Factory is to:

  • Keep fallen leaves out of the waste stream, and in University City;
  • Provide a location for the University City community to sustainably dispose of its food scraps and other organic waste
  • Generate high quality organic compost to be used in University City gardens

The Dirt factory features the high capacity Earth Tub Compost System that will produce compost year round from neighborhood organic waste. The Dirt Factory is also a community education center, featuring residential scale composting facilities, where community members can learn more about composting at home, and gardening using compost.

Drop-Off Leaves: UCD collects bagged leaves and wood chips from the neighborhood for processing at The Dirt Factory. Do you have bagged leaves or wood chips? To arrange pickup, contact: Food scraps and other organic material: The Pedal Co-op collects compostable material from University City residents and businesses, with drop-off at The Dirt Factory. To find out more about this service, which is available for a low monthly fee, contact the Pedal Co-Op at 507-581-4421 or 507-581-4421. You can also drop off up to 5 gallons of organic food waste per week at The Dirt Factory. The facility is open for drop-off from 5-6pm every Wednesday, but please check this page to confirm those hours before dropping off. For a list of materials that are accepted for composting, please visit Pick-up Contact if you are interested in obtaining finished compost from The Dirt Factory. UCD will contact you when material becomes available.

Hours: The Dirt Factory is open during scheduled drop-off times, and for educational and community events. Currently, the scheduled drop-off time is 5-6pm every Wednesday. Changes will be posted on the UCD webpage link:

Upcoming Events: This season, the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners will present a series of seven workshops related to composting and gardening. All workshops are free, and will feature raffles, and other giveaways. Check out upcoming workshops at the link above. Saturday, October 6, 10:00 AM: Extending the Growing Season If you love eating home grown vegetables, learn how your garden can keep producing fresh food well into the fall, and even throughout the winter! Master Gardner Lauren McEewen will discuss inexpensive tools, such as reusing plastic soda bottles and old vinyl windows, as well as the more advanced techniques that will keep your vegetable garden going all year long.

Calling All Block Leaders!

This post--with pictures!--originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter. Didn't receive a newsletter? Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. Whether you are a registered block captain with the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee or if you are the main person who gathers the block for meetings, block parties or cleanups or if you are just interested in getting more involved with your block, we need you! Contact us at and in the subject line reference “block leader”. We will be sure to make contact and tell you what we have in store for block leaders. Come on, get involved!


This post--with pictures!--originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Didn't receive a newsletter?  Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is pleased to announce the next in our ongoing series of workshops for owners, and aspiring owners, of historic homes. Attendees will have a great opportunity to learn about the best practices for the restoration and maintenance of older and historic homes. Workshops are FREE and open to the public, but reservations are required.

To reserve a space, or for more information, please contact:

Melissa Jest, Neighborhood Preservation Program Coordinator

215-546-1146 x6;

SPONSORED BY:  Sherwin Williams, The Mark Group, Danner Windows, and Limeworks US in collaboration with: The Woodlands and Roxborough Development Corporation

“HANDS ON” Demonstration Workshops at the Woodlands, 40th St. andWoodland Avenue

Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet the conservation staff of the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust who will present these popular demonstration workshops!

Masonry and Pointing - Wednesday, September 19, at 6:30 PM

Historic Wood Windows -        Wednesday, September 26, at 6:30 PM

Plaster -                                   Wednesday, October 3, at 6:30 PM

Roofing -                                  Wednesday, October 10, at 6:30 PM

In Memoriam – Rosa Basley Thomas

This post originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Didn't receive a newsletter?  Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. As our newsletter is going to press Cedar Park Neighbors was saddened to learn of the recent death of Rosa Basley Thomas, a long time member and community leader from the 5000 block of Walton Avenue. Rosa died at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital on Friday, August 3, 2012 after a brief period of illness.

Rosa Basley was born in Macon, Georgia on December 4, 1941 and was one of 10 children. Her family moved to Philadelphia when Rosa was four years old. She graduated in 1960 from West Philadelphia High School and, shortly after graduation, enlisted into the United States Air Force from which she received an honorable discharge. She married Freddie Thomas, Jr. in 1961 and was blessed with a daughter, Lisa Michelle. In 1964, Rosa enrolled into Drexel University’s Engineering Night School Program and in 1966 joined the Philadelphia School Board as an accountant and later worked in their engineering department as an Administrative Assistant. She worked for the School Board for more than 20 years.

In addition to work, Rosa had many other passions. She was an accomplished clothing designer, with a large following who sought her out to design and make wedding and prom gowns, dresses, suits and coats and other items for special occasions. An avid gardener, Rosa not only cared for her own garden but encouraged other beautification activities among her neighbors.

Rosa was a resident of the 5000 block of Walton Avenue for 35+ years. She was an energetic advocate for her block and served as Block Captain for over 20 years and was considered the “go to” person and the party person. As a Block Captain she coordinated block meetings, clean-ups, parties, tree planting and other greening projects. Because of her effective block leadership she was the keynote speaker at CPN’s 2005 Block Leaders Conference. She was always interested to do her part to see our community move forward in a positive way. Rosa also served as a member of the CPN Board of Directors from 2007 – 2009. We have lost a wonderful neighbor who inspired and encouraged many with her hopeful spirit and enduring commitment to community building.

Cedar Park Neighbors extends our heartfelt sympathies to Rosa’s family in this time of sorrow and loss.


Cedar Park Welcomes Seeds Gallery

This post--with pictures!--originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter. Didn't receive a newsletter? Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. By Monica Allison, CPN Vice President

Saturday August 11, 2012 marked the fruition of a dream. The Seeds Gallery located at 5011 Baltimore Ave opened its doors with four artists featured. The opening exhibit featured works by Charles Barbin, Artist/Public Murals Designer, Robert Brahin, Documentary Photographer, Russell Brodie, West Philly artist and Jeremy Fahringer, West Philly artist. Upon my arrival, I was happy to see families both inside and outside of the Gallery. The Gallery was inviting and relaxed. The food was good as well as the choices of wines. The mission of the Seeds Gallery is to create a networking forum for local artists and to help seed them into the community. The aim is to seed local artists by helping to create exposure for their work, develop their business skills and present their work to clients. They will help foster relationships between artists and their client base and assist with transactions.

The Seeds Gallery is not a traditional gallery; but you need to go and check it out. The Seeds Gallery intends to not only have showings of local artists, but they are also working to educate artists in business practices.

The Cedar Park area is full of unsigned, but noteworthy artists who could take advantage of the offerings of The Seeds Gallery and its staff. We are excited to have them in our community. For more information regarding The Seeds Gallery, contact: Nori James, Executive Director, Seeds Gallery 267.289.2705

Cedar Park Zoning News

This post originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter. Didn't receive a newsletter? Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. Maureen Tate, CPN Zoning Committee

The CPN Zoning Committee took a brief respite in August after a very active year and to rest up for what will surely be another. The new City of Philadelphia Zoning Code went into effect on August 22. While the new code will resolve much confusion and ambiguity in the old code, the new code will likely present initial challenges as all parties make adjustments to new processes. The new code calls for the establishment of Registered Community Organizations (RCO’s) to represent community concerns before the ZBA. RCO’s were required to meet particular criteria and make a formal application to the Philadelphia Planning Commission. CPN met the criteria and was approved as an RCO to represent our community on zoning matters within our established boundaries.

The following issues have been considered by the CPN Zoning Committee in recent months.

  • 4925 Pentridge St. --  An application to convert a large former industrial building into individual studio/workshop spaces was granted by the ZBA. CPN entered a letter of support.
  • 5027 Baltimore Ave. -- Application for a take-out certificate for proposed gourmet hot dog/sandwich business with 4 dwelling units in an existing structure was granted by the ZBA. CPN entered a letter of no objection.
  • 4907 Catharine --  An application for a take-out certificate for a counter service vegetarian café with smoothie bar was granted by the ZBA. CPN filed a letter of no objection.
  • 5114 Hazel Ave -- A hearing before the ZBA on an application for a conversion from single family to a triplex was scheduled for July 18. Following notice of objection by many neighbors and a letter of objection by Cedar Park Neighbors, the applicant sought and was granted a continuance until September 19 at 5:00 pm. CPN is seeking to clarify the applicant’s intent and will attend the continuance hearing.
  • 5016 Walton --  An application for legalization of a two family dwelling was granted by the ZBA. CPN filed a letter of no objection.
  • 5103 Pentridge St.  --  CPN received notice of intent regarding an application for a use permit for a banquet hall that will also serve as meeting facility for girls mentoring program. There is no hearing scheduled at this time. The Zoning Committee will work with neighbors to schedule a meeting so the applicant can present about the proposed use to local residents.

Note: The CPN Zoning Committee generally meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7pm. (Sept. meeting will be held Wed., 9/19) If you have questions about any of these issues or are a CPN member interested in serving on the committee please contact the committee at: