New leader for FDR Park

John Murawski (middle) poses for a photo. Photo courtesy of Friends of FDR Park.

A lifelong South Philadelphian will step into a new role to lead FDR Park.

John Murawski was named new FDR Park Director and will succeed Justin DiBerardinis, who held the position the last four years. DiBerardinis signed on as the new executive director for the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, in charge of protecting the 30-square-mile urban creek system. 

“While we are sad to see him go, we are so incredibly grateful for the time he spent with us and the significant impact he has made on our park,” the Friends of FDR Park said in a newsletter. “Our appreciation is truly beyond words.”

DiBerardinis, originally from Kensington, said he enjoyed watching the park thrive during his time there.

“For four years now I have watched this park unfold and bloom, never resting, always moving,” DiBerardinis said in a farewell letter. “An endless cycle decline and rebirth; fixing, breaking, fixing again. I have watched with joy as so many waves of people have come here, found their space, contributed to it, interpreted it, made it their own. That is one of the great beauties of FDR Park, what makes it such a quintessential Philadelphia public space; the sheer number and diversity of people who believe it truly belongs to them. That’s special, that’s rare. And they’re absolutely right. FDR Park belongs to us all.”

Murawski attended the now-closed Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School and St. John Neumann High School before earning an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from West Chester University and master’s degree in educational administration from Gwynedd Mercy University.

Murawski returned to his high school alma mater as athletic director and president of Ss. John Neumann & Maria Goretti High School. He also served as executive director of PHYSED Inc. and most recently as the assistant director of Stretegic Engagement for Philadelphia Park & Recreation. 

“I am looking forward to working with our community and our many stakeholders to ensure that we consistently deliver a park experience that is safe, fun and enjoyable for every one of our guests,” Murawski said.