PHILADELPHIA, PA (Dec. 7, 2017) – Representatives from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the City of Philadelphia gathered on December 7, 2017 with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc., the Circuit Trails and community members to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Tacony Creek Trail Phase 2 in Tacony Creek Park.
The 0.3-mile segment represents a long-awaited, safe connection between the north and south sections of the 300-acre Tacony Creek Park, which has long been divided by the dangerous multi-lane Roosevelt Boulevard. The trail segment creates a vital link between Phase 1 of the lower trail, completed in 2013, and the upper portion of the trail, completed in the 1970s. When complete, the full Tacony Creek Trail will span 3.2 miles.
“I am excited to break ground on this trail connector in Tacony Creek Park, which will provide a safe and accessible link between the upper and lower portions of this vast and marvelous park,” said Aparna Palantino, Deputy Commissioner for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. “This trail link will truly transform the park for our users, while also creating key connections and providing more access within our regional network of Circuit Trails,” she said.
Image courtesy of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department
The Tacony Creek Park is the largest open greenspace for residents in surrounding neighborhoods. However, for years fully accessing the park has required crossing the highly-trafficked, multi-lane Roosevelt Boulevard. With the Tacony Creek Trail Phase 2, critical non-highway access will finally be available as the trail segment follows its namesake creek through the park, under the Roosevelt Boulevard overpass, creating a safer path to the park for the community.
“Tacony Creek Park is at the center of some of the most ethnically diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and Roosevelt Boulevard is a serious barrier that creates division and limits access for these communities. To have a safe way to travel within the park is priceless for our neighbors, who will use this newly connected route to commute to work or enjoy time outdoors. We are so thrilled to see this project come to fruition,” said Julie Slavet, Executive Director of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc.
The completion of this trail link will also close a key gap in the Circuit Trails, a regional network of trails that when complete, will span more than 750 miles throughout the greater Philadelphia region.
“This small but mighty trail segment is a prime example of just how important developing and further connecting our robust trail network is for this region,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia and Chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition. “Thanks to this connection, trail users can now travel on the Circuit from as near as neighboring communities and as far as Montgomery County to enjoy the historic beauty of Tacony Creek Park and beyond. Progress like this is truly a testament to the hard work of trail advocates and supporters across the region,” she said.
Additionally, once connected to the Frankford Creek Greenway, the Tacony Creek Park Trail will ultimately link trail users to Philadelphia’s segments of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile trail system connecting cities from Maine to Florida. The Frankford Creek Greenway is a four-phase project; construction on the first phase began in 2017.
The Tacony Creek Park Trail Phase 2 was managed by the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. The Philadelphia Water Department, Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection were key partners in this work.
About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of public land and waterways as well as through safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR helps Philadelphia’s children and other residents grow by connecting them to the natural world, to each other, and to fun, physical and social opportunities. For more information, find Philadelphia Parks & Recreation online at www.phila.gov/parksandrecreation and follow @philaparkandrec on social media.
About the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF): The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF)’s mission is to improve its 30-square mile watershed by collaborating with our municipalities and leading our communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy. With the support of the Philadelphia Water Department and in collaboration with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, TTF has provided effective outreach, education, program, and stewardship opportunities with numerous partners to bring visitors and resources to Tacony Creek Park since 2011. Accomplishments include a Tacony Creek Park & Trail Map, regular nature, bird, and history walks, block parties, clean-ups and plantings, and the Creekmobile, a mobile environmental education center. TCP Keepers, the Park friends group, was established in 2016. The group hosts regular clean-ups and event, and features information and resources on TCPKeepers.org, its website.
About the Circuit Trails: Greater Philadelphia is the proud home of the Circuit Trails, a vast regional trail network of hundreds of miles of multi-use trails that is growing in size each year. One of America’s largest trail networks, the Circuit currently includes more than 320 miles of completed multi-use trails with a vision of more than 750 miles of interconnected trails across the nine-county region in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Nearly 65 nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies are working together as part of the Circuit Trails Coalition to advance the completion of the trail network. A premiere regional amenity, the Circuit Trails connect our people to our local communities, providing endless opportunities for recreation and commuting. So whether you bike it, walk it, run it or paddle alongside it, the point is — just enjoy it. Learn more at www.circuittrails.org and connect with the Circuit Trails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out what is happening #onthecircuit.