‘Comcast Cares’ to Plant a Garden in Tacony

‘Comcast Cares’ Enough to Plant a Garden in Tacony

Northeast Times 
By Diane Prokop

The sky was as blue as the hundreds of Comcast Cares T-shirts that dotted Disston Park on April 24.

Since 2001, Comcast employees have donated close to 1.7 million hours of service to communities across the country as part of the cable giant’s annual outreach campaign.

More than 55,000 had been expected to participate in about 550 projects in 39 states during the April 24 day of service.

Comcast selected the Delaware River City Corp. as this year’s non-profit recipient, with a request for projects that would encourage solid community participation. The DRCC selected two sites for this year’s event - Pennypack On the Delaware, which received 50 trees, and Disston Park in Tacony.

About 300 Comcast employees, their families and friends lent a hand and some muscle to Disston Park for general cleanup, painting benches and fences, planting 24 trees, pruning established trees and shrubs, and creating a new walking path to the Good Food Garden, the centerpiece of the day’s efforts.

The 16-square-foot educational garden features raised beds with room for visiting students to sit. There’s also a battery-operated pump that activates for 10-minute intervals, pumping reusable water collected in rain barrels outside the garden enclosure.

Teich Garden Systems, a firm in West Chester, N.Y., built four of the garden systems for the Good Food Garden project.

“They’re very efficient, cost-effective and they can expand them later on,” said company co-founder Mark Teich.

Students from the Planet Abacus Charter School, in the former St. Leo’s School site across the street at 6600 Keystone St., will help tend the garden.

The harvested vegetables will be donated to St. Leo’s food pantry to help feed those in need in the neighborhood, according to the charter school principal, Robert Bonner.

There is often a disconnect between food children eat and where it comes from, according to Food Network Iron Chef and Philadelphia restaurateur Jose Garces, who was on hand for the garden dedication.

“(The garden) is a wonderful thing to do. It brings awareness to where the food comes from,” Garces said.

After the vegetable harvest, Garces may return to the neighborhood for a cooking demonstration “if he’s asked.”

The garden will also back up to the new Engine 38 firehouse to be built at Keystone Street and Magee Avenue. It will replace the station that stood at State Road and Longshore Avenue for 44 years before its demolition last year as part of the Cottman Avenue interchange reconstruction project on Interstate 95.

The Delaware River City Corp. - the beneficiary of the Comcast volunteers’ goodwill - strives to reconnect city neighborhoods to the Delaware River. It has been one of the agencies involved in plotting a waterfront walking trail - an eight-mile greenway that will stretch into the Northeast up to Torresdale - and Magee Avenue will be one of the connector streets once the Tacony segment of the trail is built.

Tacony Civic Association committee member Anthony Naccarato was excited about the garden, the park improvements and Comcast bringing hundreds of hands to help implement them.

“The partnership between Comcast, the neighborhood and the city has been terrific,” Naccarato said.

In addition to the Good Food Garden and the park’s beautification, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts presented DRCC CEO and former U.S. Rep. Robert Borski with a check for $25,000.

“Wow, what a great day,” Borski said.


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply