Cliveden Park: Our Tree of Life

Produced by: 
District Community Action Council with Scribe Video Center

Individual Film Price:

College/Corporation/Gov't Agency DVD | $49.95
K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD | $49.95
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply DVD | $20.00

Precious Places Compilation Price:

This video is available for purchase as part of a Precious Places Community History Project Vol.1 compilation DVD.
Higher Education Institutions DVD | $139.00
K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD | $79.00
Home Video DVD License – Restrictions Apply DVD | $20.00


Scribe Video Center Program:

The Precious Places Community History Project is a community oral history project inviting members of the Philadelphia region's many neighborhoods to document the buildings, public spaces, parks, landmarks and other sites that hold the memories of our communities and define where we live. Precious Places teaches the video production process to participating groups, fostering projects authored by those who intimately know the featured neighborhoods.


Videomaking Consultant: Filmon Mebrahtu
Humanities Consultant: Vincent Williams
Post Production: Filmon Mebrahtu


Film Summary:

Historic Cliveden Park sits in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, a few blocks from the site of the Battle of Germantown during the Revolutionary War. And in the park sits an enormous oak tree estimated at over two hundred years old that neighbors call their "tree of life." Across generations, the park has been a place where residents of East Mt. Airy, through their care and upkeep of this green space, show their love for their community and each other.

Cliveden Park: Our Tree of Life shows the recent revival of Cliveden as the neighborhood has increasingly adopted stewardship of their park. Friends of Cliveden Park, which grew out of a youth group called Kids Care, works to maintain the park and offers youth programs featuring music instruction and environmentally conscious activities such as "park patrol." Jazz musician and community icon Byard Lancaster uses the metaphor of the Tree of Life to introduce the viewer to his neighborhood: the tree symbolizes "we are eternity." Says Lancaster, "We just love the idea about Philadelphia being built around Fairmount Park." The park's grassy, gently rolling expanses punctuated by large trees are well-loved by area residents. "What we don't realize sometimes," says a resident named Wadsworth Casselle, "is that there is gold in our backyard." Cliveden Park symbolizes the value of parkland to the vitality of the urban neighborhoods that claim them as their shared heritage.



December 26, 2018 | "New Museum of Black Civilizations in Senegal has strong Philly ties" by Bobbi Booker, The Philadelphia Tribune


Public Screenings, Broadcasts and Festivals: 

November 11, 2007 | Broadcast on WHYY-TV
January 30, 2011 | Broadcast on WHYY-TV
March 3, 2011 | "Precious Places" display at Slought
December 26, 2018 | Cliveden Park: Our Tree of Life is on permanent display at the Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal