We welcomed over 40 dedicated community members from over a dozen zip codes to the third and final Public Meeting for the Tacony Creek Master Plan hosted at the Scattergood Building at the historic Friends Hospital campus. These community members are invested in the future of Tacony Creek Park.
The public meeting began with an open house for attendees to walk around and view detailed maps of the Master Plan. These maps outline the Master Plan proposed improvements for implementation. While viewing the maps, attendees had the opportunity to speak with the Landscape Architect Nick Upmeyer with consultant Natural Lands and TTF staff, and to share questions and ask for more information.
We also provided a table with materials and videos to promote the two pilot projects that were part of the Master Plan, the People of the Park Signs and the Tacony Creek Park Explorer Kit. The video showed the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the People of the Park signs. Printed versions of the signs and informational blurbs were available for those who wanted to know more. For the Explorer Kits, we provided copies of our Explorer Kit blog post and had a kit on display so attendees could see the contents of the kit firsthand.
TTF Executive Director Julie Slavet welcomed attendees, and introduced the guest speakers: Migdalia Rosado Lopez, TCP Keeper, and Pete Carte, TCP Keeper and member of the Master Plan Advisory Committee. They spoke about the importance of the Master Plan and why community input is so vital to success.
The presentation then began, led by Natural Lands. Over 300 responses to the survey were received during the planning process. Ann Toole from Toole Recreation reported on the major themes identified in the survey. She discussed why people use Tacony Creek Park, the barriers that deter them from accessing the park more, and the type of improvements and programs they’d welcome.
Nick Upmeyer then reviewed the site analysis for the park, highlighting the strengths (public art and natural areas) and limitations (Combined Sewage Overflows*, areas of erosion, and lack of signage). Nick also reviewed the park’s various stewardship features such as the approximately 72.1 acres of upland forest and 22.9 of recreational fields. Nick also acknowledged the stewardship issues the park faces, such as ATV-related damage, streambank erosion, and hazard trees; these issues are addressed in the Master Plan.
The Master Plan breaks Tacony Creek Park into 4 sectors. Nick went through each section of the park and explained the various features and improvements proposed, and the reasoning behind their inclusion. Once the presentation was completed, attendees asked questions regarding the plan.
Attendees expressed support and enthusiasm, and asked how they could help bring the plan to fruition. Community leaders expressed their willingness to help. Tabor Road neighbors expressed concerns about a trail spur and a Lawncrest resident expressed a positive response to creating more links to the park from that neighborhood.
There’s a long way to go before the plan is implemented. All of the partners are committed to a robust ongoing community input process. The plan will only be a success with your participation and ideas.
To learn more about the Master Plan and stay up to date visit the Master Plan page. The Master Plan process for Tacony Creek Park kicked off with its first Advisory Committee meeting in June 2021. TTF has worked with consultant Natural Lands to develop a plan that encourages park use and strengthen connections with local communities. We held public meetings in November 2021 and June 2022 to hear from community members about Tacony Creek Park concerns and improvements.
The Master Plan is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Scattergood Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation.
Please contact us at Malcolm@ttfwatershed.org or 215-744-1853 with any ideas or questions. Tacony Creek Park needs you!
*Combined Sewer Overflows describe what happens when combined sewer systems become overwhelmed by excess stormwater and overflow into nearby streams and rivers.