Name: Yvonne Stephens
Occupation: Private duty nurse
How long have you lived in Bridesburg?
Born and raised and most of my adult life! Moved out for 9 years with my daughter and husband to Somerton and couldn’t wait to come back.
Our own little Mayberry, Bridesburg!
Favorite street/place in Bridesburg:
4400 Garden Street, where I was born and 4500 Thompson Street where I live now.
I love volunteering and giving back so spend most of my time doing that. I also love to camp and Fish with my family. I’m also a mummer with the Hog Island Comics
Favorite Bridesburg event/tradition:
Memorial Day Parade, and am so proud to be a part of it. I started when I was younger in the band with St. John Cantius. I also love that the parade goes down my street, folks hang out on my front porch and have a great time.
Most looking forward to with the new park:
There is so much to look forward to, and I get very emotional about it. Growing up here, I’ve always heard the park would be built, and “this will be happening”. But there’s been doubters. I grew up with the park site in my backyard, as my mom’s house backs up to where the park will be. And I can really say it WILL be happening. To see the property in this way, from the river’s edge to the meadow is just breathtaking.
What got you interested in this park work?
As soon as I heard about the project, I was excited to be a part of it. I’m a go-getter, a do-er, and I speak out. I want to get the best for our community.
What kind of work/volunteering before lead you to this role?
I’m currently the VP of the Bridesburg Community Action Alliance; President of Franklintowne HS’s Home & School (last year though as my son is a senior!) and I do the Public Relations for Stars and Stripes, Bars and Pipes. Additionally, I also volunteer with Bike MS: City to Shore and fundraise for the Walk to Defeat ALS.
What excites you most about the work you’re doing?
The group from Riverfront North has been amazing to be a part of. We’ve seen so many inspirational things in Akron, at the Discovery Center and Bartram’s Garden that will help us create a great space in Bridesburg.
What is something specific you are looking forward to seeing in the park/in the community because of the park?
First I’m just looking forward to having some greenspace to walk, bike ride, meet new people in our neighbors, all while seeing the views and connecting to the riverfront. But I’m also looking forward to having entertainment options and offering different programs for the different groups. I’m particularly concerned and advocate for our older residents who don’t necessarily have as much programming and who have been here for so long hearing about this park being built. There’s a lot of dog owners/lovers in our community too and I’m looking forward to having some additional greenspace to walk our dogs.
What’s your favorite part of Bridesburg?
The family feel, it’s like a bubble and there’s safety here. We spend time together, bring our televisions outside to watch World Series or Flyers games. The kids are outside all the time playing spring and hanging out together. The Rec Center and the Boys and Girls Club always have activities, many options to get involved with. We have community here.