Hunting Park: Community Urges Youth Engagement

Melissa Theron selling Girl Scout cookies with her daughter.
Melissa Theron and her daughter sold Girl Scout cookies on Hunting Park Avenue.

Despite the many positive changes happening in Hunting Park, community outreach proves to be a recurring issue in the neighborhood. Despite the many different organizations created to better the area, not everyone is aware of them.

Melissa Theron, a 15-year resident of Hunting Park, noticed the steady shift in her community over time.

“We love the revitalization in the park, so we’re really happy about that,” she said. “The community wants the neighborhood to be better and to look better, so a lot of cleanups take place.”

Despite the active revitalization of the park, Theron still noticed a lack of active, positive outreach for youth in the area and looked elsewhere to find involvement for her daughter.

“There aren’t enough activities in our community, the [Girl Scouts] troop we’re in now isn’t in our neighborhood, it’s in another neighborhood that I have to drive to,” she said. “I didn’t feel that my daughter was getting anything out of her old troop here in Hunting Park.”

Longtime resident Lana Stevens said she feels similarly about youth involvement in Hunting Park.

“Every so often I just go out and pick up trash that I see laying along the street,” Stevens said. “I just wish they’d have a class or teach some of these kids not to treat their neighborhood like this and to take an active involvement.”

With the Lenfest Center and the Hunting Park Recreational Center being just two of several community centers in Hunting Park, increased efforts may be needed to encourage active involvement and further engage youth.


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