Searching for an unusual gift for someone special, a one-of-a-kind way to recognize a friend, or a unique way to memorialize a loved one? Consider adopting a park bench!

The Center City District’s ‘Adopt-a-Bench’ program provides the unique opportunity for recognition in one of two signature parks – John F. Collins Park, and the Rail Park. Donors are acknowledged by a bronze plaque on the selected bench, engraved with a personalized inscription. Funds from donations help endow the maintenance of these parks.

John F. Collins Park is a small quiet oasis in the heart of Center City’s business and retail district. It was designed by the late John F. Collins and renovated by the Center City District in 2011. The park’s gentle fountain, wood benches, native landscaping and lighting create a retreat-like atmosphere for workers, residents, and visitors seeking a peaceful setting amid a bustling downtown. Handsome curved benches are still available for adoption near the Chestnut Street entrance of John F. Collins Park.

Benches are also available for adoption at the Rail Park, our city’s newest elevated public park, now open to the public as of June 2018. The Rail Park benches on the south end of the park feature panoramic views of Center City’s skyline. Donors receive a plaque on the selected bench, engraved with a personalized inscription and is maintained for ten years. Thousands of visitors spend time in our beautiful Center City parks. Your donation will help endow the maintenance of our benches and landscape.

Interested in adopting a bench? Bench availability is limited, so don’t miss out on this unique opportunity. To adopt a bench, contact Katie Andrews at 215.440.5529 or email or download the Adopt-A-Bench Form today!

To learn more about how you can support these CCDF projects, please contact:
Katie Andrews
Director of Development
Center City District Foundation

505679906773581597 505679906773581597 collins curved full
img 6440 copy web

Plant! Philadelphia  

With your support, the CCD can sustain William Penn’s vision of a “greene countrie towne.” Today, street trees not only are challenged by summer droughts, winter snow, pests and diseases, but also by 21st century challenges: pollution, construction trucks, stapled posters and bicycle locks. There are more than 2,600 street trees within the boundaries of the Center City District and for two decades, we have maintained over 780 of them from Vine Street to South Street, river to river. Approximately 60 are in need of replacement each year. You can help replace damaged trees, sustain routine pruning, watering, fertilization and pest management on healthy trees and plant new ones to expand Center City’s canopy of thriving trees.  

20170521 ccd phl 090


The Philadelphia region is famous for more than 30 public gardens, arboreta and historical landscapes, earning it the moniker America’s Garden Capital. But cold winters can make it challenging to attract people to these outdoor spaces.

Yet many cold-winter cities have created successful, outdoor celebrations: St. Paul has a Winter Carnival and Montreal, a Fete des Neiges. In Philadelphia, and ice skating at Dilworth Park attracted 50,000 skaters in 2014, its inaugural year. In 2015, we added a holiday market. To build on the success at Dilworth Park, the CCD and Greater Philadelphia Gardens (GPG), with support from the William Penn Foundation, came together to launch a Wintergarden in the 2016-2017 winter season in the heart of the city. Longwood Gardens, Morris Arboretum, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and others created a beautiful, interactive Wintergarden with day and evening programming. Colorful lights accented trees on the park’s perimeter and America’s Garden Capital Maze activated the southern lawn. Nearby was the skating rink and café, where fire pits beckoned adults and children to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa, cider or a glass of mulled wine.

The CCD and GPG hosted regular programs on Saturday mornings and Tuesdays at noon through February 25, 2017, including craft demonstrations, winter plant workshops, special happy hours and other activities.  Over 223,000 visited the Maze in 2016, which will return this coming winter season.

For a special feature on the America's Garden Capital Maze, visit

rcp 161111 0213