On May 31 from 9AM-1PM the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership will be running a cleanup effort in Frankford Creek! The cleanup will take place at Hunting Park and O Street in Philadelphia
The Frankford Creek greenway will connect Tacony Creek Park's new trail to the Port Richmond Trail, and in preparation for this new community asset, TTF is partnering with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, the Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Philadelphia Water Department, and PPR to clean up a large illegal dump site. TTF will provide the dumpsters and equopment, you provide the elbow grease and enthusiasm! Because of the physical nature of this project and the materials we will be moving, all volunteers must be age 16 and up. Please wear closed toe shoes and long pants and be prepared to work!
Do you live in Philadelphia and are you interested in getting involved in your community? The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation (PPR) stewards over 10,200 acres of land throughout the city, from local neighborhood parks to diverse natural areas that serve as animal habitats for the region.
On Saturday, May 10th, PPR will celebrate LOVE Your Park Week with a kickoff service day in parks all over Philadelphia! Parks citywide will be out in full force to clean, green, and beautify their neighborhood space. This effort depends on thousands of volunteers (like you!) who want to pitch in to make a difference. Large or small groups and individuals are welcome!
Several Circuit Coalition member groups will be leading events to help clean up our parks and are looking for volunteers:
Bird Walk and Cleanup/Planting in Tacony Creek Park (7:45 AM Bird Watch, 10 AM Service, Meet at I Street and Ramona Ave.): Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) is is hosting a FREE walk to look for birds residing in Philadelphia. Donuts, coffee, and binoculars will be provided. After the stroll through the park, TTF will be leading cleanup and planting in the park in honor of LOVE Your Park Week.
Lardner's Point Park Planting/Cleanup Day (10 AM-2 PM, Corner of Milnor and Levick): The Delaware River City Corporation will be celebrating LOVE Your Park Week by organizing a cleanup and planting in Lardner's Point Park! All planting/cleanup tools will be provided, as well as snacks, water and coffee. Bring yourself and be ready to WORK!
Cynwyd Trail Workday (Meet at 8:30 AM, Barmouth Station Trailhead, Bala Cynwyd): Together Lower Merion Township and the Friends of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail sponsor the Trail Workdays to join together to beautify and maintain the Trail. Tools, supplies, gloves and refreshments will be provided for volunteers. Come out and enjoy! For more information regarding volunteer opportunities, contact the Friends at . NOTE: Signing the Lower Merion Township Waiver is required for this event. Electronic and print versions of the waiver can be found here: LMT Volunteer Waiver (print version); LMT Volunteer Waiver (electronic signup).
For more information on LOVE Your Park Week and more service opportunities visit http://loveyourpark.org/
PASTOR DERICK Scudder of Bethel Chapel Church was walking on the new Juniata Park section of Tacony Creek Park Trail when he ran into Ivis Solis.
Solis is a neighborhood resident who was taking a break from riding her daughter's purple bike so her friend Pablo Cabrera could snap a photo.
"A few years ago, this was a mess," Solis told Scudder, pointing to the trail running under the Wyoming Avenue bridge. "When I used to take my daughter here to bike ride, you'd have to jump over all the trash."
"People would throw stuff off the bridge," said Scudder, who grew up in the neighborhood and now helps the Juniata Action Committee revitalize it.
"Now this trail is clean," Solis said. "So I'm riding my daughter's bike here because my doctor said I should get some exercise."
She and Scudder agreed that the new trail, which begins at I Street and Ramona Avenue, is a sign that things are looking up in Juniata Park.
Minutes later, Scudder came to a big, ugly concrete triangle at the neighborhood's gateway junction of Castor Avenue, and Wingohocking and Cayuga streets.
A truck packed with secondhand furniture was parked on Castor. Used bureaus and chairs were spread out along the curb.
Scudder displayed a Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek Watershed plan to replace the concrete triangle with a rainwater retention garden, hopefully by next spring.
He said that the Juniata Action Committee was founded by clergy like himself, like Father Thomas Higgins and Sister Elaine George of Holy Innocents Catholic Church, as well as Juniata News editor Tom Lineman, to counter the neighborhood's negative image.
Juniata Park made news in 2011 when an enraged man killed three teenagers he believed were feuding with his stepson, and again this month when a man shot a 21-year-old woman at point-blank range after robbing her.
What doesn't make news, Scudder said, is that most of Juniata Park consists of law-abiding people living in well-kept row houses.
A major player in Juniata's revival, Scudder said, is Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which took over shuttered Parkview Hospital in 2004, turned the eyesore campus on Wyoming Avenue near Castor into green space and supports local events like last month's Juniata Fest, which featured sword-fighting by medieval re-enactors.
Another big plus, said Sister Elaine George, is the Bottom Dollar Food store on Castor Avenue near Luzerne, a site where she led many cleanups when it was "an abandoned gas station where people dumped mattresses, tires and construction debris."
"We will always have a positive attitude toward helping Juniata Park because we are clergy," she said. "We see the silver lining. We can do this. We will do this."
On Thursday, September 26th, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Board approved 13 projects for funding from the final phase of the Regional Trail Program, which was created and funded by a $10 million grant from the William Penn Foundation.
The Regional Trail Program aims to provide funding for targeted, priority trail design, construction and planning projects that will promote a truly connected, regional network of multi-use trails (the Circuit) with Philadelphia and Camden as its hub.
Phase III of the program provided capital funding for trail design and construction projects. Approximately $4 million was available for Phase III grants. Individual grant awards are capped at $500,000 and all projects require a 20 percent match. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in March and 31 proposals were submitted by the deadline in mid-April. The proposals were evaluated by a Selection Committee composed of Foundation representatives, PennDOT and NJDOT, DVRPC staff, and regional trail funders and advocates.
Based on Committee review and subsequent follow-up, the following 13 projects were recommended for funding and approved on Thursday by the DVRPC Board.
Total grant request amount for all 13 Phase III projects is $3,988,608. The total match amount is $9,318,081 and the total cost of all the projects is $13,306,149.
Phase III represents the final amount of funding available from this program. Future funding depends on the DVRPC board. This is why the Circuit Coalition currently is running the Circuit Committment campaign, seeking a decision from the DVRPC Board to replenish the fund with $10 Milion over a three year period.
Three organizations joined the ranks of the Circuit Coalition this summer. The Coalition welcomed the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership (otherwise known as TTF), the Scattergood Foundation and the Philadelphia Parks Alliance. TTF and the Scattergood Foundation are both working to activate and extend the Tacony Creek Trail in Philadelphia and Tookany Creek Trail in Montgomery County. TTF held six block parties over the summer and the Scattergood Foundation organized a 5K run and ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Dept this past April. The Philadelphia Parks Alliance is a city-wide organization concerned with all aspects of the City's parks. Their board chair is Bob Thomas, the region's leading trail architect and historian and a recent recipient of the Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award
We welcome more organizations to join us. Would you like your non-profit organization to join the Circuit Coalition as a member? Or your municipality (or agency) as a partner? Please read here how to join.
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Brandywine Tour - September 1st
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Cooper River - September 7th
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Scenic Schuylkill Century - September 8th
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Chester Valley Trail - September 21st
Circuit Commitment Campaign Talk at TTF Meeting - September 24th
Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Bucks County - September 28th
Delaware River Heritage Trail Ribbon Cutting - September 8th
Delaware River Heritage Ride - September 8th
Cynwyd Heritage Trail Planting Prep - September 14th
Discover the Hidden River at Gray's Ferry Crescent - September 20-22nd
Millennium Bridge Lighting Ceremony on Schuylkill Banks - September 26th
Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Moonrise Kingdom - September 5th
Secrets of the Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - September 5th
Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tours - September 5th-28th
Schuylkill Riverboat Tour to Bartram's Garden - September 8th
Basic Schuylkill River Kayak Tours - September 8th
Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Rocky - September 12th
Schuylkill Riverboat to Bartram's Garden - September 14th
Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 21st
Moonlight Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 21st
Secrets of the Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - September 21st
Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 28th
Early Bird Rate for Cycles & Cemeteries Ride - September 5th
Delaware River Heritage Trail Ride - September 8th
Cycles and Cemeteries Ride - September 21st
West Laurel Hill Woof Walk - September 21st
Get Your Tail on the Trail - September 28th
2013 Philly Fun Fishing Fest - September 7th
Trust 5K Walk/Run on the D&L - September 7th
Dance on Falls Bridge - September 7th
Friends of Schuylkill Bank Soiree - September 14th
2013 Pennsylvania Greenways and Trail Summit - September 15-17th
Cobbs Creek Trail pre-proposal RFP meeting - September 12th
The first trail funded by the DVRPC/William Penn Foundation’s Regional Trails Fund trail is complete! The one mile Tacony Creek Trail will be dedicated prior to the inaugural Tacony Trail 5K on Saturday, 4/27 at 8:30 a.m. The dedication will take place on the grounds of the Friends Hospital. Friends Hospital is on land managed by the Scattergood Foundation, a major partner on the Tacony Creek Trail—a portion of which runs along an easement granted by the Foundation. Speakers include Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis, Joe Pyle of the Scattergood Foundation, Chris Linn of DVRPC and Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bicycle Coalition.
Friends Hospital is located on the Roosevelt Boulevard (U.S. Route 1) at the intersection of Adams Avenue in Philadelphia. All activities will take place on the grounds of the hospital, with the Community Day and Concert concentrated on the front lawn. Our dedication ceremony will be in front of the mailing building. A room is reserved for participants just inside the main entrance.
Directly following the Healthy Trails 5K is a FREE Community Day that will be held on the lawn of the Friends Hospital. The Community Day will feature local businesses, health organizations, and community groups to celebrate the members of the community.
Register for the 5K here
Biking from Center City: Take the Market Fankford L to the Margaret & Orthodox transit stop. Bike up Arrott Street towards Griscom St., follow to Adams Avenue, take a slight left on Roosevelt Boulevard. The address is 4641 Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA, 19124
William Penn Foundation plans grants for arts, environment
December 20, 2012. The William Penn Foundation will announce more than $3.2 million in grants Wednesday to fund a modern arts home on the Delaware waterfront, expand a successful early literacy program, and encourage appreciation of the environment - by getting out in it.
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe will get $1.5 million; the Children's Literacy Initiative will get $1 million; and four environmental stewardship groups will share $715,000.
The grants signal implementation of the foundation's new 10-year strategic vision, which focuses on closing the achievement gap for low-income children, protecting the region's water quality, and making its creative community more vibrant.
The plan was developed during the tenure of president Jeremy Nowak, who abruptly left his position in November. Officials cited "differences in approach regarding implementation."
Helen Davis Picher, the foundation's director of evaluation and planning, was named interim president.
The following is an excerpt from the article.
The environmental grants have twin components of stewardship and physical activity outdoors.They center on the region's expanding trail network. Dubbed "the circuit," it is a planned 750 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails. So far, 250 miles are complete; 50 more are in progress. (See connectthecircuit.org.)
Outward Bound Philadelphia will get $165,000 to integrate water-quality education into its youth programs, chiefly multiday backpacking expeditions on the trails.
"Once you're out experiencing it firsthand, you recognize its value," executive director Katie Newsom Pastuszek said.
The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, which owns the land encompassing Friends Hospital, will get $82,500 to develop educational programs along a new portion of the Tacony Creek Trail, part of which runs through the hospital's 100-acre campus. Scattergood president Joseph Pyle said the money would fund a staffer to help the community "use the green space to improve health."
The YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties will get $110,000 to expand CYCLE - a youth biking program developed with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Youths will learn about watershed issues in classrooms, and then they and their families will mount bicycles, riding to wetlands along the Delaware.
"Let's go wade in the water; let's see what it looks like in the real world," said Curtis Myers, the YMCA's Camden County expansion executive.
The foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, has assets of nearly $2 billion. It distributes $80 million in grants annually.
There are a number of trails under construction that are going to make an appearance soon.
Connector Bridge -- The installation of railings on the prefabricated truss bridge and approach ramps is underway on the Schuylkill River Parks Connector Bridge project over the CSX tracks between Spruce and Locust Streets. Work continues on the restoration of the Schuylkill River Park and Schuylkill Banks. The City hopes to have an opening ceremony in October, possibly in conjunction with Schuylkill River Park's Fall Festival. Some delays in the procurement of light fixtures may impact a complete opening of the bridge on that day. SRDC will have more information about the opening ceremony in its August newsletter.
Shawmont to Port Royal Avenue -- Construction of the portion of trail from Port Royal Avenue to Montgomery County line is complete. Work continues on the section from Shawmont to Port Royal along Nixon Street, including paving and completion of a retaining wall along the trail parallel to Nixon Street. Work is expected to be completed in Fall 2012.
Walnut Street Bridge Gateway - The Walnut Street Bridge project is moving along smoothly. Decorative granite pavers were installed on the south sidewalk and the new pedestrian lights have been erected. Some of the “expressway-like” overhead signs have been replaced with smaller signs that are more in keeping with the scale of the bridge, and the rest will be replaced soon. The south sidewalk is finished, so the contractor has switched traffic patterns and is doing similar work on north sidewalk. When this project is completed in September, vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians should all enjoy a safer, and cheerier, crossing of the river.
Cynwyd Station & Cynwyd Trailhead -- Two projects are nearing completion and there is an October 28th date set for a ribbon cutting for both.
58th Street Greenway -- The trail is being paved this summer. Trees, lighting, and pedestrian signage will be installed early this fall and a ribbon cutting to follow. Programming to celebrate the greenway is already underway through the Get Active 58th! program.
Camden Greenway -- Three projects are under construction that will significantly enhance the Camden Greenway: Pearl Street (next to the Ben Franklin Bridge), MLK Boulevard Waterfront Connection, and Pine Street Connector
Tacony Creek - Trail construction of Phase 1 (I & Ramona to Whitaker Avenue) is underway as of July 2012.
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
Port Richmond Section of the East Coast Greenway
Penn Street Trail
Realignment of the Delaware Riverfront Trail between Pier 70 and Washington Avenue