2023 Tacony Creek Park Block Parties: Bugs, Summer Joy, and a Milksnake!

Our 11th year hosting Block Parties in Tacony Creek Park was filled with colorful chalk on the trails, joy in nature, family, environmental education, edible plants in the park, and more! An exciting highlight was the unique creatures brought by the Center for Aquatic Sciences: the Vietnamese Stickbug, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, and the Venezuelan Milksnake! Tacony Creek Park welcomed 250 attendees to our Block Parties on June 13, 14, and 15.

Intriguing activities were provided for family members of all ages, and excited representatives of community organizations shared their mission, resources, and educational wisdom. These parties are all about seeing old friends, making new ones, and demonstrating this incredible natural asset — Tacony Creek Park — so that neighbors are aware of the beautiful green space in their community.

A popular activity for families and their kids was the Foraging Walks! Led by MyKyah, previous TTF Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) Fellow, participants learned about the plants in Tacony Creek Park that are edible, non-edible, dangerous and can be used for tending to wounds or bug bites. Some of these plants include Greater Burdock. Garlic Mustard, and Common Mugwort!

MyKyah shared how Mugwort smells like sage or basil; when people drink Mugwort tea, it creates memorable vivid dreams! Learn more about these plants in our TTF Watershed Foraging Guide. 

The Block Parties were also about trails and getting around sustainably. Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia shared information on biking in Philadelphia, bike safety, an interactive city bike map, and connections to the Circuit Trails.

The Circuit Trails also shared the latest info on the expanding regional trail network, hosted their fun large block Jenga game with giveaways, and provided information about Circuit Trail explorations in Philadelphia and the region. 

Clean Air Council/GoPhilly Go provided maps and materials on Philly’s recreational amenities and traffic safety, including information on city services and how to decrease air pollution in your home. They also conducted an activity in which attendees could redesign a miniature street to make it safer for pedestrians & cyclists.

Fairmount Water Works/Philadelphia Water Department/Let’s Go Outdoors displayed a captivating row house model that allowed guests to explore the difference between light showers and rainstorms, plus Green Stormwater techniques for slowing the flow of water to our creeks.

Greater Olney Library shared information and giveaways, and the Free Library of Philadelphia Wyoming Branch brought nature-related worksheet activities, library card sign-ups, flyers on upcoming library programs and the Summer Reading Program, Free Library Resources, free books, and other free library swag!

The Block Gives Back shared program info, giveaways, and team members recruited future volunteers. Legacy Land & Water Partners conducted a fishing activity that taught kids how to fish!

The Resource Pop-Up Bus provided valuable resources and information for families, including empowerment sessions.

Sierra Club shared information about safety in the outdoors. Rebecca Deegan taught children how to protect themselves against ticks and how to find them on their skin! She used a marker to draw a dot on their skin while their eyes were closed so that they could practice a full body scan to find the “tick.” The kids loved this activity! She also taught about common outdoor risks such as sunburn, ticks, blisters, and dehydration, and handed out free supplies like bandaids, bug spray, and sunscreen to keep you safe all year round.

Turning Points for Children hosted an activity of potting small plants in pots and shared resources about upcoming events and community give-backs.

TreePhilly hosted a tree art-making craft in which kids could make a leaf rubbing and learn about the wonders of nature. They also gave away free garden seeds and 25 FREE Trees people could take home and plant in their yards. 

SWEEP Philadelphia (Streets & Walkways Education and Enforcement Program) educated park-goers about sanitation enforcement and gave away free recycling bins, as they do for almost every annual Block Party. Thank you, Streets Philly!

WHYY promoted its summer reading program and provided a literacy-based activity, and Emancipet shared info on their local low-cost veterinarian care. Resolve Philly, a nonprofit challenging the media to be equitable and informed by community voices & solutions, shared info on their initiative “Shake the Table.” 

Of course, TTF hosted our classic arts and crafts table, where children painted fish and made environment/watershed-related buttons! Thank you to Julia and Akayla Morris, for hosting the art table and bringing joy to the children.

Thank you to | Gracias a all of these environmentally passionate vendors and organizations! Muchos otros proveedores y organizaciones!

Lastly, thank you to all volunteers and staff who helped make the 2023 Tacony Creek Park Block Parties possible! Special thanks to TTF Board members: Marc Cammarata and Silvina Godoy and thank you to TCP Keepers and volunteers: Frank Coyle, Sean Ongley, Thomas McHale, and Fiona Davenport.

View more Block Party photos on our Flickr album here, and stay tuned for more to be uploaded!

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