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Lardner's Point Park Groundbreaking


The Delaware River City Corporation is announcing the creation of a riverfront park on 4.5 acres of land immediately south of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge and in front of the City of Philadelphia Water Department’s Lardner’s Point Pump Station, Construction will begin in November of 2011 with park completion anticipated in May 2012. The Lardner’s Point Park project is an initial signature public access point that is part of the larger proposed  Delaware Riverfront Greenway envisioned to encompass an approximate eleven-mile trail system along the Delaware River from Allegheny Avenue to Bucks County Line.  
The work will include demolition and removal of concrete ramp structures and concrete and asphalt paving throughout the site. A river overlook and fishing pier at the river’s edge will be a part of the new park along with, riparian edge restoration, the creation of tidal wetlands, and the restoration of a riverbank forest area for picnicking and passive recreational activities. The park will be a gateway and trailhead for the Delaware River Heritage Trail and will be a link in the East Coast Greenway that runs from Maine to Florida. This trailhead will include a drinking fountain, walking trails, park and trail furniture and the necessary infrastructure to support these amenities.
The Greenway Plan for the Delaware River is intended to transform much of the vacant, former industrial properties along the riverfront into a destination frontage that will bring new distinction and identity to the City and stimulate the economy and culture of the entire city.

The groundbreaking ceremony will occur November 21, 2011 at 9 am at Levick and The Delaware River.


DRCC Holds Second Annual Spring Green & Clean

Our second volunteer clean up at Pennypack on the Delaware was held this past Saturday -- yes, it was a busy week for DRCC -- and our sponsors were Just Born Inc., the makers of Peanut Chews, Mike & Ikes, Peeps, and so many other delicious candies we all love; and Enterprise Holdings Inc., a charitable division of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. With more than 100 volunteers we were able to plant 15 new trees and mulch and prune many more; we cleared and resurfaced the small river path near the nature trail that is used by many fishermen in the area and did a great job of cleaning and sprucing up this beautiful facility.

Fred Moore, President of the Holmesburg Civic Association was on-hand to take some photographs and we've placed a link here for you to enjoy them. Click here: http://www.pennypackpark.org/podcleanup5-21-11/slides/0001.html?show_param=5

Tom Branigan, Executive Director to DRCC, took some additional photos that are viewable at the following link: http://www2.snapfish.com/snapfish/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=6426342007/a=28680218_28680218/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

DRCC Spring Fling a Huge Success

Thanks to the more than 150 people who attended DRCC's first ever fundraiser on Thursday evening, we met our fundraising goal and enjoyed an amazing evening with friends both old and new. The members of the Delaware River Yacht Club played host for our event and were most gracious in assuring a comfortable and pleasing venue. Our own Board members and our Business Leadership Committee went above and beyond in recruiting sponsors and donations. Kudos are especially due to Muller Inc. and Nicoletti Beverage Ince. for the libations. We offer our heartfelt thanks to all.

A few photos were taken by Joe Cawley of the Tacony Civic Association. By clicking on the following link, you can view them on our Facebook page. Please take a moment while you're there to become one of our fans! Click here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Delaware-River-City-Corporation/144995139094

A waterfront splash

By Tom Waring
Times Staff Writer
Northeast Times Cover Story - May 11, 2011

Tom Branigan promises that progress is being made in the planning of a North Delaware Riverfront Greenway.

Branigan has been executive director of the non-profit Delaware River City Corporation since January. He explained that trails are in various stages of design along the 11-mile, 700-acre stretch from Allegheny Avenue to the Poquessing Creek, near Grant Avenue at the Bucks County line.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “My board is anxious to get shovels in the ground. Eventually, there will be more city park space.”

Branigan, 59, a longtime Fox Chase resident, worked for 38 years at the city’s Department of Streets, retiring in 2007 as an engineering manager.

DRCC, which began in 2004 and has its offices at the Arsenal Business Center, had been without an executive director because of a funding shortfall for some time before Branigan was hired.

Sometime in the late 1990s, then-U.S. Rep. Bob Borski and others began working toward ecological restoration and to open the river to the public for recreational opportunities.

A few years later, private developers began boasting that they’d build mixed-use neighborhoods that included housing, retail, recreation, offices, parks, a hotel, marina and health and wellness center.

While the economy has sidelined those developers, the DRCC continues to move forward.

The first small step took place in November 2008, when a nature trail opened adjacent to Pennypack on the Delaware, a park near Rhawn Street and the Delaware River.

Since then, the trail, which ends at Pennypack Creek, has been enjoyed by walkers, bicyclists, anglers, birdwatchers and others.

“People love to be by the river,” said Branigan, who explained DRCC’s efforts at a recent Tacony Civic Association meeting.

There are proposed trails for the North Delaware Riverfront’s six neighborhoods — Port Richmond, Bridesburg, Wissinoming, Tacony, Holmesburg and East Torresdale.

The trails will wind their way through commercial uses, government facilities, boating clubs, residential developments and the Tioga Marine Terminal.

The trail will run into an obstacle at the Fire Academy, forcing it to travel on Pennypack Street to bike lanes on State Road to Linden Avenue before making its way east to Pleasant Hill Park.

All of the trail segments will be part of the national East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile bicycle trail from Maine to Florida.

The local grounds will be part of Fairmount Park, and the city Department of Parks and Recreation will handle the oversight and maintenance.

One highlight of the project includes Lardner’s Point Park, a proposed 4&1/2-acre park between Robbins Avenue and Levick Street that will feature a fishing pier, picnic tables and benches, a small parking lot, bicycle racks, trash receptacles, restrooms and a drinking fountain. A grand opening could come next spring.

There will also be a bridge that crosses Frankford Creek and a two-lane river road, managed by the streets department, which will go to Orthodox Street initially and farther north eventually.

The one constant will be 12-foot-wide trails bordered by trees and shrubbery. Folks can walk, run, bicycle, roller blade, walk their dogs and more.

“It’s going to be what we call multi-use trails. They will definitely enhance the area. We hope they develop as a link to the river,” Branigan said.

Much of the plans are in design, with permits a small hurdle. A bidding process will precede construction, which isn’t too far away. Funding, of course, is always an issue.

Branigan and the DRCC are grateful for financial support from the federal, state and city governments, along with the William Penn Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The whole project will take up to eight years to complete. Long-term fun ideas include kayaking, boat rides, yacht club programs and riverfront movie nights.

“There is a lot of stuff going on at the end of this year and the beginning of next year,” Branigan said. “We’re going to build it and then enhance it. It’s going to be nice.”

Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or [email protected]

On the riverfront agenda . . .

The Delaware River City Corporation has several upcoming events:

On Wednesday, May 18, from 5 to 7 p.m., the DRCC will host a Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce business card exchange at the Delaware River Yacht Club, at 9635 Milnor St.

On Thursday, May 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a fund-raising Spring Fling at the Delaware River Yacht Club. Tickets cost $50 and include beer, wine and other refreshments.

On Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, a cleanup and tree planting will take place at Pennypack on the Delaware park, at Rhawn Street and the Delaware River. It’ll be held rain or shine.

For more information, call 215-537-8400 x136 or visit www.drcc-phila.org


DRCC 2011 Spring Newsletter

Click here to read the DRCC 2011 Spring Newsletter


New park coming to Tacony riverfront will add green space and wetland, keep fishing pier.

February 23, 2011
By Kellie Patrick Gates s
For PlanPhilly

Picnickers and hikers may soon join the fisherfolk at Lardner's Point in Tacony.

Sometime this summer or early fall, construction will begin on a new, 4.5-acre park that will replace the current “cracked pavement and weeds” with greenery, wetlands, benches, picnic tables, solar lighting and composting restroom facility, said Tom Branigan, executive director of Delaware River City Corp., the non-profit organization that works to reconnect communities with the river along Philadelphia's northern Delaware River waterfront.

A lot of the river's edge will be restored to a natural state, which will yield wildlife habitat. The small pier – the place where fishing happens – stays, Branigan said. It will receive some repair work.

The spot sits next to the Tacony-Palmyra bridge, and offers excellent views of the bridge and the Palmyra Cove Nature Park across the river.

Earlier this week, City Council's Rules Committee sent on to full council legislation that would change the zoning designation for the area bounded by Milnor, Levick and Robbins Streets and the Delaware River from C-3 commercial to recreational. The property is owned by the city water department. The legislation, proposed by Councilwoman Joan Krajewski, “will permit the proposed park uses while preserving the land from unwanted development,” William Kramer, director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's division of development planning, told the committee. Last week, PCPC gave the bill its support.

Plans for the park were developed by Baltimore's Biohabitats, the same landscape architecture firm that designed Washington Avenue Green in South Philadelphia. Just as Washington Avenue Green is part of a multi-purpose trail along the central portion of the Delaware, Lardner's Point Park is to serve as a trail head for the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway and Trail. The city hopes that eventually, the north and central portions of trail along the Delaware will connect – and be part of the East Coast Greenway, a trail that will run from Main to Florida.

Construction of the project has not gone out to bid yet, Branigan said, but it is expected to cost about $1.5 million. All of the money has been raised, but paperwork is now being done to reclaim some of it. About half came from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Branigan said. The original hope was to start construction last year. When that didn't happen, the grant timed out, he said. But Branigan is confident it will be re-issued. Other funding sources include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Wildlife Fund.

Plan Philly article and images can be seen by clicking on the following link: http://planphilly.com/new-park-coming-tacony-riverfront-will-add-green-space-and-wetland-keep-fishing-pier

A note to you from Bob Borski, Board Chair and CEO, Delaware River City Corp. (DRCC)

I am very pleased to announce that Thomas J. Branigan, P.E., P.L.S. is DRCC’s new Executive Director and in this role will be managing our organization as we move into the construction phase on the North Delaware Greenway. 

Tom has provided leadership in all walks of his life and recently completed an accomplished tenure in the Philadelphia Streets Department as Engineering Manager in the Transportation Engineering and Planning Section, Engineering Division.  Along with his stellar credentials in the Streets Department as a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and a Registered Professional Land Surveyor (P.L.S.), Tom is a bicyclist, hiker, fly fisherman, DRCC Volunteer Day participant, and life-long resident of Philadelphia.

With Tom guiding the planning and implementation team, we are about to take a huge leap forward in 2011 with the construction of several components of the North Delaware Greenway:

  • Port Richmond Trail will start at Allegheny Avenue and extend north on Delaware Avenue by the Tioga Marine Terminal.
  • Kensington & Tacony Trail will begin at the Old Frankford Creek and extend into Tacony along an abandoned Conrail freight line on the riverfront.
  • Lardner’s Point Park, located immediately south of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge, will feature a river overlook, a fishing pier and a riverbank forest area for picnicking.
  • Baxter Trail includes a bridge across the Pennypack Creek and a 2-mile trail extension to the existing Pleasant Hill Park at Linden and Delaware Avenues.

There are opportunities for you to help.

Tom and I  need your help to make sure that these trail segments and Lardner’s Point Park are built to our liking and are safe and well maintained.  Please join our efforts at DRCC today, if you have not already done so, you can go to our Donate page to make your tax deductible gift. 

Best wishes for a happy New Year.

Bob Borski
Chairman and CEO


Delaware River City Corp. (DRCC) is a nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (registration does not imply endorsement). Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.   For additional information or to view panoramic photographs of the North Delaware Riverfront see our website: www.drcc-phila.org

We thank you for your interest and generosity.

RFQ for Lardner's Point

Lardner’s Point Park Construction
DRCC is requesting the submission of qualifications from various contractors for the construction, landscaping, grading, demolition and planting of
Lardner’s Point Park.

Work is expected to commence early in 2011 and complete within a few months. To read the full RFQ click here.


June 2010

DRCC Spring Newsletter

We are pleased to bring updates on our projects. Please click on the link below to read our latest newsletter.
Click here - DRCC Spring Newsletter 2010

June, 2010

Click on the link to read a brief PlannedPhilly article highlighting aerial photos taken by Fred Moore of the riverfront in Northeast Philadelphia. These images largely represent where the greenway will be built along the banks of the Delaware in our area. 

May, 2010

'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.

January, 2010

DRCC Winter Newsletter

We are pleased to bring updates on our projects. Please click on the link below to read our latest newsletter.
Click here - DRCC Winter Newsletter 2010


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