In June Mt. Airy USA launched a crowdsourcing campaign via online platform Indiegogo to raise money for the installation of permanent tables and furniture in Lovett Park. It took residents and businesses three weeks to eclipse the $6,000 goal to raise $6,192. An additional $600 was donated in checks and cash.

 

"This was a fun way to gain momentum for the park project," said Elizabeth Moselle, director of commercial revitalization and the business association of Mt. Airy at Mt. Airy USA.

The money will go towards paving, lighting and trash cans in addition to furniture for the park adjacent to Lovett Memorial Library, according to Moselle. 

Community involvement

Close to 100 residents and businesses donated.

Elise Rivers, owner of Community Acupuncture of Mt. Airy (CAMA) on Germantown Avenue, offered to double donations up to $2,500 for the park. According to Rivers, approximately $500 was donated that noted her match offer. She ended up making a total contribution of $3,000.

"All green space is valuable. My business is about healing. There's a transformative power and healing in green spaces," said Rivers, who has been in Mt. Airy for nine years.

In 2011, MAUSA and Lovett Memorial Library, in partnership with the Trolley Car Diner, debuted the outdoor movie event, Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy, on Friday evenings in the summer. Last year, the group began pairing the screenings with Dining Under the Stars, an event that brings out different gourmet food trucks to the park each week. 

By the end of last summer, the temporary furniture used to accomodate event-goers had fallen apart. MAUSA hopes that a revitalized space with permanent furnishings will connect different ends of Germantown Avenue.

"The ultimate plan we developed took into consideration all of the physical improvements that could be made to the Germantown Avenue corridor to transform it into one long vibrant corridor, with activity throughout," said Moselle. 

There's room for the library to benefit, too.

"From the library standpoint, we will have a fully landscaped area that will enliven park space and drive people from the community to the library," said Joe Benford, Chief of Extensions at the Free Library of Philadelphia and Project Director for 21st Century Library Initiative.

"Absolutely nothing but good can come of this," he continued.

Expanded services at Lovett

Benford revealed that Lovett will be open six days a week beginning in the fall, "further serving to energize that space." An antennae on the outside of the building has been set up so people using the park will have access to free Wi-Fi.

Lovett is one of eight libraries chosen to be a prototype in a citywide initiative to modernize the library system.