Clean Creek, Healthy Neighborhood
Jenkintown Creek is a small stream with a big role to play in the health of our communities. With headwaters at Abington Friends School, the Jenkintown winds its way around homes and parks through Abington and Cheltenham. It becomes the Tookany/Tacony Creek, which eventually flows into the mighty Delaware River as the Frankford Creek, where it helps to supply drinking water to 15 million people.
For many years, the almost 4-mile Jenkintown Creek has been neglected and polluted, surrounded by development. Fed by runoff, its streambanks eroded each year while harmful chemicals like motor oil and pesticides washed into its waters. In 2014, TTF stepped in to restore and protect the creek, working with schools, religious institutions, and municipalities on pollution measures that work with nature. We even work with homeowners through our StreamSmart program!
With coordination by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the support of Temple and Villanova Universities, and funding through the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Watershed Initiative, we have been able to raise almost $2 million for projects along this creek. These projects are monitored by our volunteer Streamkeepers and staff, and maintenance is coordinated by TTF in collaboration with partners and volunteers.
This restoration work has only been possible due to the commitment of these creekside property owners:
- Abington Friends School
- Abington Monthly Meeting
- Abington School District: McKinley Elementary School
- Abington Township: Alverthorpe and Ethel Jordan Parks
- Cheltenham Township: Charles D. Conklin Pool
- Manor College
- Sisters of Saint Basil the Great
Natural, Low-cost Solutions for Property Owners
Inspired by nature, TTF uses proven, cost-efficient ways to reduce pollution and flooding along Jenkintown Creek. These “green stormwater infrastructure” projects are beautiful and can increase property values. All of the solutions attract bees, birds and other wildlife that are important for our ecosystem. They include:
Rain gardens are beautiful, low-cost landscaping features filled with native plants and spongy soil. When it rains, they allow stormwater to soak slowly into the ground while filtering out harmful pollutants.
Creekside or “riparian” buffers consist of trees and native plants that protect the banks of the Jenkintown against erosion and filter polluted stormwater.
Wetland and creek creation
Wetlands are water filters! TTF constructed a new wetland alongside a creek that was removed from a concrete channel. These two features use native plants, rocks, and soil to prevent erosion, and slow and filter polluted runoff.