In celebration of National Trails Month and Father’s Day, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council is teaming up with Kidical Mass to host a Father’s Day free family fun ride on the Circuit! This event is perfect for families who love to get active and is a great opportunity to explore some of Southwest Philly’s great trail infrastructure by bike. The Family Fun ride will travel from Clark Park along the Circuit’s own 58th Street Greenway, ending at Bartram’s Gardens where there will be plenty of fun activities for kids, adults and parents. Participants also have the opportunity to check out Bartram’s Gardens brand new community boathouse on the Schuylkill River. Hope to see you out #onthecircuit this Father’s Day!
For more information and to register, click here.
Philadelphia is the hosting the East Coast Greenway’s State of the Greenway Summit on Friday, May 1! The Summit, held at Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row, will celebrate Philadelphia as a leader in trail development, as well as several new world-class sections of the East Coast Greenway (ECG) here in the City.
The Summit will feature special remarks from regional and national bike-ped and transportation leaders, including:
When completed, the 2,900-mile greenway, which connects with the region’s Circuit trails, will link Philadelphia to major cities throughout the eastern seaboard. In PA, a car-free, 55-mile route runs from Trenton, N.J. to Wilmington, Del., through Center City Philadelphia.
Get your tickets today! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes to the Summit and take part in a walk along the Schuylkill River Trail to a reception at the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk after the Summit. The Summit and reception are open to the public; registration is $10 for ECGA members and $20 for non-members. To learn more or purchase tickets visit greenway.org.
Summit: 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Ride/Walk to reception: 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Reception at Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society (PRPS) recently awarded Lardner’s Point Park the 2015 Green Park Award. Tom Branigan, Executive Director of the Delaware River City Corp., attended the luncheon earlier this week to accept the award. Other DRCC members in attendance were Jim Donaghy, Jim Fries, Mariann Dempsey and Patrick Starr. The luncheon was part of the PRPS 68th Annual State Conference.
The Green Park Award recognizes excellence in the public park community for those that demonstrate the integration of green and sustainable park practices based upon the following criteria: Site Location and Site Design, Water, Natural Landscaping, Materials Selection and Construction, Connect People to Nature, Operations and Maintenance, and Environmental Stewardship Messaging.
Lardner’s Point – recipient of the 2015 Green Park Award – is a major trailhead for the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway Trail, part of the Circuit. The park provides space to walk, bicycle, and relax along a very scenic stretch of the Delaware just below the iconic Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Visitors fish from the pier, picnic at handicap-accessible tables, observe wildlife, and traverse a multi-use path through native meadows.
Congratulations Lardner’s Point Park!
300 miles are now complete
The Circuit grew in 2014 through the opening of the following trails:
Eleven Ribbon Cuttings/Trail Openings
Number of Viewers/Readers Reached:
**Huffington Post Viewership: 54,657,952**
Estimated Advertising Value:
**Does not include Huffington Post advertising value**
*All readership, unique viewers and advertising equivalency numbers are estimates based on the best available data
50 Miles in Progress
Circuit Trails in the 9 county region were awarded $13.2 million in federal, state and local funding.
400 Miles to Go
We expect the following trails in the coming years to open:
Trail Update – Building and Planning the Network in Philadelphia
What are the next big trail projects in Philadelphia? What is in store for trails near your house?
Hear the answers directly from City and non-profit development organizations that plan and build Philadelphia’s trail network. Staff from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Parks & Recreation, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, and other entities will share updates on how trail projects are envisioned, prioritized and developed; which segments will be constructed next; and the vision for the citywide trail network.
Academy of Natural Sciences
5:30 – 6pm - Registration and Refreshments
6 – 7:30pm - Program
This is the fourth annual ride, and over a dozen people have been part of it since the first group left Calais, Maine in 2011. This year, four of the riders are from the Philadelphia area.
The first day’s ride, 49 miles to Wilmington, Del., includes part of the Circuit. The group will be among the first to ride along the new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, just ahead of the community celebration in the afternoon, and later in the day ride through the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
Key events during the week include a Monday morning press conference and photo event with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a big supporter of trails, a Monday afternoon rally in Perryville, Md., in support of a bike-friendly crossing over the Susquehanna River, and a Wednesday Happy Hour with Annapolis, Anne Arundel county and state officials.
“Every year we get to know our communities and landmarks better, exploring the Eastern Seaboard at a pace that allows us to connect with the rich history, culture and nature of the region. We bring tens of thousands of tourism dollars to the communities we visit and aim to spur further greenway development toward a healthy and sustainable future transportation system,” said Dennis Markatos-Soriano, the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s executive director.
About 60 million people live within 25 miles of the East Coast Greenway, which receives an estimated 10 million visits each year. Many cities along the trail have a bike-friendly designation from the League of American Bicyclists – Philadelphia is one! -- and users can follow the route to commute to work and school, or to run errands, or to head out on longer adventures.
The creation of the East Coast Greenway has spurred officials at the state, county and local levels to create safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists along the route as well as to connect to other trails, leveraging their value.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Durham, N.C. that is coordinating the development of this greenway, has been organizing week-long rides along the route since 2011. The first Week-a-Year ride was from the Canadian border to Portland, Maine, and the goal is to finish in Key West in 2019.
Anyone interested in the 2015 ride can email the East Coast Greenway Alliance at [email protected]. More information about the East Coast Greenway is at www.greenway.org.
TIGER is a critical competitive federal grant program that helped build the Connector Bridge, the Schuylkill Banks boarkwalk, the SRT segment in Shawmont, the Port Richmond Trail, the SRT at Bartrams Garden, Walnut Street Bridge, 58th Street Greenway, and bike lanes in Camden. Now, the House Republicans want to ban biking/walking and transit projects from being eligible from TIGER funding.
If it weren't for TIGER, the Circuit would be back in the dark ages.
Tell your Congressman what you think of this brilliant idea by sending a quick email via our friends at Rails to Trails Conservancy.
And click through the photos of the progress being made on the Boardwalk since last summer to appreciate the magnificence of TIGER!
The Baxter Trail , a segment of the North Delaware, was advertised for bids today. The let date (the date when bids are opened) is June 19. Before the end of the summer, hopefully a contractor will be selected, a contract executed, and a "Notice to Proceed" will be issued. Congratulations to the Streets Department, Parks and Recreation & the Delaware River City Corporation for getting the East Coast Greenway and the Circuit's next trail segment off the ground!
The PA Chapter of the East Coast Greenway (ECG) Alliance is sponsoring a ride to explore the East Coast Greenway by bicycle on Saturday May 10th, 2014.
To join, you must reserve your ride-ticket in advance. The ride will travel from Wilmington DE to Schuylkill Banks in Philadelphia. Riders will take a special SEPTA train car, departing 30th Street Station at 9.38am (you must arrive by 9:15am to allow loading of your bicycle), arriving in Wilmington at 10:21am. The group will follow the East Coast Greenway on its scenic route up the Brandywine Valley and then over to the Delaware River. It will then follow on-road sections of the ECG, learning of the improvements under way both for the ECG and in the communities it links along the Delaware River waterfront in New Castle and Delaware Counties. Riders will then then pay a visit to John Heinz National Wildlife Preserve, following the beautiful preserve trails with a great chance to see all the spring birds. Finally the route passes through historic Bartram's Garden, the nation's oldest arboretum before joining new sections of the ECG along the Schuylkill River Trail. The ride will end across the river from 30th Street Station on the Schuylkill Banks Trail.
Provide your own picnic lunch, required.
· Fee, cost of Train Ticket, $5.00 each.
· Other fees: For non-ECG members the cost is $20.00. For ECG member the cost is free.
· Ride is limited to 30 people.
Mayor Michael Nutter, State Senator Michael Stack, State Rep. John Taylor, Deputy Mayor Mike DiBerardinis, and former Congressman Bob Borski and other dignitaries joined board members and staff of the Delaware River City Corporation to cut the ribbon on the new 1.6 mile long Port Richmond Trail.
The trail, which is part of the East Coast Greenway, is the newest addition to the Delaware River greenway that is being constructed piece by piece by Bucks Countyk, DRCC, and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. It was constructed with TIGER funds that the City of Philadelphia and Camden won in 2010.
Press coverage was great and we tip our hats to Tom Branigan and others at DRCC for working so hard for bringing this project to fruition. Thanks also to Parks and Recreation, the Streets Department and the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities.
Completed Port Richmond Trail Returns the River to its Neighbors (Philly.com and Plan Philly)
Riverfront Path Opens in Phila. (Philadelphia Inquirer & CBS3)
Tomorrow, the Delaware River City Corporation and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 1.6 mile of the new Port Richmond Riverfront trail at Delaware and Allegheny Aves. This trail is part of the East Coast Greenway and was one of the 10 segments that received TIGER funding in 2010. Mayor Nutter and other dignataries will be in attendance.
Where: Pulaski Park, Delaware & Allegheny Avenues
When: October 29th at 2pm
Don't miss these two events to launch new Circuit tail segments in Delaware and Philadelphia counties!
Darby Creek Trail Dedication - Sunday, October 20 - 2pm; Merry Place
Port Richmond Trail Ribbon Cutting - Tuesday, October 29 - 2pm; Pulaski Park at Delaware & Allegheny Avenues
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.
From the Eyes on the Street blog of Planphilly.com (August 30, 2013)
As part of a summer “Staycation” series, Eyes on the Street is profiling outdoor getaways that Philadelphians can explore without having to go too far.
Summer is winding down, and overbearing humidity and heat waves will soon give way to the crisp kind of fall weather that draws people outside, away from their air conditioners and into the fresh air. While the Schuylkill River Trail, Kelly Drive, and MLK Drive might fill up on a nice fall Saturday or Sunday, Cobbs Creek Trail provides a paved, off-road bike and pedestrian trail that fewer people know about.
The smooth, paved trail rolls along Cobbs Creek Park, following the Cobbs Creek Parkway for most of its route. As a parkside trail, the Cobbs Creek Trail has plenty of shade and natural beauty. Steve Taylor, Community Liaison at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said the trail can feel 10 degrees cooler than bike lanes in the city.
"I would certainly recommend it as a place to go and relax on the weekends," said Jeannette Brugger, a planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission who managed the Philadelphia Trail Master Plan. "You can easily make a day trip out of it," she said.
Today the trail extends from around 63rd Street Station at 63rd and Market streets, south along Cobbs Creek Parkway to 70th Street. In that span the trail passes the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center,Laura Sims SkateHouse in Cobbs Creek Park (an ice skating rink with both adult and youth hockey programs), Mount Moriah Cemetery, multiple playgrounds, tennis courts and areas to sit just off the trail in Cobbs Creek Park.
"It's a pretty straight forward trip," said Rob Armstrong, preservation and capital projects manager at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. "It's paved. It's very easy to ride, [and] it's safe."
"There's a really nice, unpaved part of Cobbs Creek Trail that is through the woods," Brugger said. "It's a beautiful path and people don't know much about it."
In total there are about two miles of unpaved trails through Cobbs Creek Park. Some are better maintained than others though, and Armstrong cautioned that most of trails are not appropriate for road bikes. Sections of those trails provide quiet hiking areas along the creek itself and access to a variety of wildlife that Barbara McCabe, director of stewardship at Parks & Rec, said most people probably are not aware of.
"I don't think people realize how easily they can escape the city by getting onto that trail," McCabe said. "When you're out there, you really feel you are not in an urban setting."
One prize feature of the Cobbs Creek Trail is that it is a unique connector with potential to link the city with outlying towns in Delaware County, just across the creek.
"There's a foot bridge over the creek, and you're in Delaware County, which you don't really think of being able to walk to," Brugger said.
The Cobbs Creek Trail is part of the East Coast Greenway, an in-the-works recreational trail that will extend from Maine to Florida, and it links with several city bike lanes, like those on Market and Spruce streets. It also ties into the recently opened 58th Street Greenway, which links the Cobbs Creek Trail to Bartram's Garden and provides access to the rest of the city by way of the Grays Ferry Bridge.
"When you get on the trail, you're not going to be in a vacuum, you'll be able to make key connections," Brugger said.
These connections help support Cobbs Creek Trail as a day trip destination, and there are plans in the works that could take a day trip along the trail to the next level. The Clean Air Council and Parks & Rec are in the process of planning theCobbs Creek Connector Project. If all goes as intended, this will extend Cobbs Creek Trail from its current dead end around 70th Street and Cobbs Creek Parkway to the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, which boasts 10 miles of its own bicycle and hiking trails in addition to plenty of day trip worthy nature and wildlife access.
The first phase of that extension is already through the preliminary feasibility stage. Now Parks & Rec and the Clean Air Council are heading toward final design and hope to begin construction as soon as possible. Armstrong said the connector project is a priority for the city.
"I think it'll add to the region's growing trail network," said Nick Rogers, transportation coordinator at the Clean Air Council. "There are trails like this being built all over the place, and the more smaller projects that get built and integrated, the better resource this is going to be to everyone in the region."
"It was started with the goal to get people into the park, using the trail and just seeing how beautiful it is," McCabe said.
Any funding the 5K raises will go toward programming in the park. "We'd like to build a better program base to get people out into the park and realize what a beautiful asset it is," McCabe said.
Parks & Rec has been working in phases to engage the community around the park. The first phase of building community engagement was working with local police to make sure citizens concerned with safety, illicit activity or dumping in the park could raise those concerns and have them addressed by police. Now in the second phase of community engagement, Parks & Rec is working with the Friends of Cobbs Creek to develop programming like the 5K and a potential movie night.
"I think the more events take place, we'll see more of a rise in engagement," said Felicia Parker-Cox, community organizer for the Office of the Deputy Mayor and Parks & Rec.
For those interested in exploring the Cobbs Creek Trail for the first time, the 5K might be an ideal opportunity.
"Safety is always a concern of people in any trail, so having these type of organized events [people] feel a little more at ease going into the trail because you're out there with a lot of other people," McCabe said.