Summer is here, and we kicked off the season with our annual block parties in Tacony Creek Park!
Every year, we host block parties at separate gateways of Tacony Creek Park — a wonderful, 300-acre green space featuring a 3.2 mile paved trail along the Tacony Creek.
For two days, TTF “Celebrated the Park and Discovered the Creek!” with 500 friends and neighbors from Juniata, Feltonville and Olney at the Whitaker Avenue & Loudon Street Gateway, and the Tabor Road & Olney Avenue Gateway.
Everyone enjoyed free pretzels and water ice as they strolled down the trail to participate in fun activities, while learning about our creek and watershed, and the animals that depend on clean water. Families went home with free reusable bags to help reduce plastic bag use, a Healthy Trails 2016 T-shirt, and our brand new Tacony Creek Park brochures!
Here’s a look at the resources and activities featured by our partners:
- Audubon Pennsylvania led guided walks down Tacony Creek trail to share information about the plants, birds and other wildlife that live here — during the walk, a group spotted a raccoon climbing up a tree! We also had the chance to get a close look at an owl pellet to find out what these birds eat, and other fun bird activities.
- Public Health Management Corporation provided important nutritional information on how to stay healthy, as well as nearby clinics you can visit.
- A group from the Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium joined us with live starfish and horseshoe crabs and talked about how important these animals are for the environment.
- Philadelphia Water joined us with a fun hands-on activity demonstrating how a watershed works, where the rain goes, and how we can reduce pollution to keep our creeks clean. Even Water Woman made a special appearance!
- Let’s Go Outdoors had a fun fishing activity — you had to catch a toy fish from a bucket and identify the name of the fish.
- Did you know you can earn points for recycling? That’s right! Not only did the Philadelphia Streets SWEEP Department give out 75 recycling bins to community members, they also talked about how to participate in the recycling rewards program to receive discounts and coupons.
- Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory showcased a hand-built boat made by the youth from their “Boat, Build and Sail” after-school program. They also engaged neighbors with a handmade clay watershed, and the “Sewer in a Suitcase” lesson — both of which show how rain travels through our streets, into storm drains and into our creeks.
- The Philadelphia Zoo joined us with an amazing sea turtle shell, the skulls of a pelican and a great blue heron, the fur of a beaver, and a picture of a polar bear footprint.
- Rails To Trails Conservancy featured a “pop-up” bike clinic! If your bicycle needed a tune-up, Wanya and Jaymere were there to make sure everything worked properly.
- Philadelphia Parks and Recreation provided information on how you can “Find Your Path” through summer camp programs and activities.
- The Clean Air Council shared their new online mapping tool, GoPhillyGo, which helps plan your route to visit and discover places in Greater Philadelphia without using a car.
- And finally, Rita’s Ice cooled everyone down by serving lemon, cherry and mango water ice!
A heartfelt thanks to all our partners who joined us to make this a memorable event, and to our sponsor, the DOW Chemical Company Foundation — we couldn’t have done this without you!
A big thank you to “The Street Sweepers” crew from PowerCorps PHL for helping us get the word out by canvassing with 3,000 doorhangers around Tacony Creek Park!
We also want to thank staff and interns — past and present — who helped make this block party a success. Our intern Morgan had this to say about the block party:
“I was at the button making station and it was great to see the kids getting excited and having fun with coloring and putting together their own buttons. I had never visited Tacony Creek Park before. The TTF team, along with other organizations, turned the park into an enjoyable space. People were friendly and excited to learn more about their park, creek, and how to keep them clean.”
Last but not least, we want to thank YOU for celebrating the park with us! We’d love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts, comments and ideas for next year’s block parties.