By Robin Irizarry, Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator
First impressions are everything – that’s why TTF is improving the neighborhood gateways, or entrances, to Tacony Creek Park. This year we have brought significant improvements to the Olney Ave and Tabor Road Gateway thanks to the help from generous funders and the dedication of community volunteers. The Tabor Road Gateway has been transformed for community members and visitors alike to enjoy!
Before improvements to the Tabor Road Gateway, the area was frequented as an entrance for illegal dumping. Trucks and cars would freely drive down the trail and dump piles of construction debris, mattresses, tires, and other trash in Tacony Creek Park. Illegal dumping is not only unsightly, it’s also unsafe for families visiting the park and spoils wildlife habitat. A yellow entry gate and yellow bollard, paired with boulders and new trees, now help to ensure that unauthorized vehicles can’t enter the park.
Tabor Road Gateway improvement projects were made possible through a Fed Ex grant administered by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to improve pedestrian safety and the Philadelphia Committee of the Garden Club of America to help beautify and enhance the entryway.
We could not have been accomplished this work without the help of many incredible volunteers. Park friends from the Tacony Creek Park Keepers, AAA, CSAA Insurance Group, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, and Pixel Parlor all joined in over the course of a year to improve the park for the community and visitors. Together, we were able to cut back and remove bags of invasive vines and tangles of dead branches that crowded the entry. Big thanks to Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Water Department, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation for doing some of that heavy lifting! We planted a dozen trees and shrubs and hundreds of native perennial plants.
The Tabor Road Gateway is now a welcoming entrance to enjoy the park’s trails, nature, and wildlife. We want to help ensure that the parks entryways remain as inviting as possible, while continuing to make them a less appealing space for illegal dumping.
If you witness illegal dumping in or near the park, report it so that it can be addressed as soon as possible. Download the free Philly 311 app to report incidents of dumping, or other unsafe park conditions, right from your cell phone. You can also dial 3-1-1 to call-in illegal dumping.
Interested in being part of efforts to improve Tacony Creek Park? Contact Doryan@ttfwatershed.org or 215.744.1853.