*UPDATE 11-17-16* The tree’s down, the lot’s cleared, and Wee Care’s set up a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of new equipment and improvements.
“We are asking our friends, family, and community to contribute to this cause. Any amount would be greatly appreciated! We thank you in advance and look forward to seeing our children explore and play in the yard once again!”
To help, donate on their page or simply spread the word by sharing their campaign on Facebook and Twitter (handy links provided make it easy).
Another win for playgrounds in East Falls! After almost 4 years of legal standoff, Wee Care daycare gains back its yard on Midvale. As kids & parents celebrate, immediate plans for clean-up proceed.
When we last left Wee Care daycare — aka, the nice ladies of historic Falls of Schuylkill Baptist Church — we’d shared their frustration at what we could only describe as a “hostage situation.” The school’s kids were forbidden from their own play yard, their only secure access to fresh air & sunshine.
Worse yet, this lot next door was a hazard to cars & pedestrians, thanks to a massive dying tree that the landlord would not allow Wee Care to maintenance even though technically Wee Care owned the land.
Lawyers, man. Since 2013, this lot has been frozen in legal contention but no longer: this past Wednesday, Wee Care daycare finally won! Marion and Barbara gave us the scoop when we swung by to congratulate them.
The ladies were all smiles when we met, but things weren’t so cheerful on Wednesday when they traveled to center city only to find themselves waiting in a lobby for four hours while lawyers from both sides met in a conference room with a judge.
Plenty of time for the ladies to remember all the frivolous challenges and motions filed over the years – and to doubt whether they’d ever get a verdict.
Wednesday’s hearing began in familiar fashion. “Their lawyer brought up old points about the sale and all these technicalities from when we first went to court,” said Barbara.
But this time it didn’t work. “Our lawyer was great, he said they’ve already been settled in previous hearings — he kept referring back to those decisions. He was really determined not to leave there without that deed.”
Easier said than done. “Their lawyer just kept getting more desperate,” said Marion. “At one point she threatened to sue our lawyer, but we’re still not sure what for.”
They can laugh about it now, especially since all their plans for the playspace are back on track.
The top priority? That darned tree. “A tree surgeon is coming out, probably next week, to take it down,” said Barbara, “He’s a great guy, Andrew Gillespie.”
He’s one of many locals who’ve offered to help Wee Care in the wake of the decision. “People have been so happy about it, they’re trying to help us in any way they can,” said Marion. “They even brought us bagels yesterday to help us celebrate!”
They’re extremely touched at the community response to their victory and are eager to see the kids in the new and improved playspace. To that end, they plan to continue raising money for new playground equipment and other expenses through regular movie nights at Wee Care.
If you’d like to attend (or help with the movie nights), contact Wee Care daycare at 215-849-6717.