Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin gathered with Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and several community leaders in South Philadelphia on Tuesday to unveil the newly renovated Ralph Brooks Park. The project was partially funded by Barwin's Make the World Better Foundation, which held a benefit concert at Union Transfer in 2014 to raise funds for the project.
Per an official release, the project was also funded by Parks and Recreation, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Urban Roots, Philly Rising, the Mural Arts Program, the 25th Foundation and Philadelphia Water. Partners on the project included I.AM.SP, Department of Public Property, Ruggiero & Plante Associates LLC, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.
"I am honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside some of our city’s most distinguished leaders in the hopes of providing a safe and fun recreational site for our youth," said Barwin. "Ralph Brooks Park now stands as a special place in the neighborhood and one that will surely strengthen the surrounding communities. Philadelphia is my home and I take great pride in seeing it flourish.
"I want to thank everyone who played a role in revitalizing this park and for contributing to a project that aims to uplift the residents of this great city."
Improvements to the park include new playground features like a new backboard for the basketball hoop, new sidewalks and bleachers, as well as a stormwater infrastructure, community gardens and murals by Philadelphia native Steve Powers.
Barwin is no stranger to community service in Philadelphia. Since signing with the Eagles in 2013, the Prowl Bowl linebacker has been involved in numerous charitable events. He has held two benefit concerts at Union Transfer to raise money for his foundation. The funds raised at those events, combined with matched donation by Barwin himself, raised $470,000 for Ralph Brooks Park and the Smith Playground Revitalization Project.
The seven-year veteran is also a spokesperson for SEPTA and NRG Energy. Earlier in the offseason, he surprised fans by helping to install solar paneling on their roof. He also visited victims of the Amtrak crash in May.
Culture continues to be a defining theme for the Eagles, and since arriving in Philadelphia, Barwin has consistently been one of the leading proponents of giving back to the community.