DCNR Honoring Lardner’s Point Park In Philadelphia With Green Park Award
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is presenting its annual Green Park Award to the Delaware River City Corp. and the City of Philadelphia for their role in developing Lardner’s Point Park, a riverfront improvement project that showcases a rebounding Delaware River to the multitude of visitors drawn to its banks in Philadelphia’s Tacony section.
Each year, DCNR’s Green Park Award recognizes excellence in green and sustainable park practices and efforts that connect people to nature across the state.
“When ground was broken for this park in 2011, the vision then was hailed by anglers, bikers, hikers and so many others,” said DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Director
Lauren S. Imgrund. “Supporters of this wide-ranging project include city residents and visitors alike, all of whom applaud this improved access to the river and the economic and aesthetic impact on its historic riverfront.”
The award is co-sponsored by the PA Recreation and Park Society.
Imgrund and other DCNR, city and corporation officials will participate in a special tree planting and commemorative marker ceremony at the park on Saturday, April 11.
“Our award winners serve as excellent examples for other communities who want to make their parks great assets to their residents for healthy activity, as models of how to conserve and as a place for people to connect with nature,” Imgrund said.
Lardner’s Point Park exemplifies the Delaware Riverfront’s Greenway Plan. The five-acre site was once part of the Lardner’s Point Pumping Station, one of the largest drinking water supply stations in the county.
The area of the park formerly was used as a storage location for coal to power the pumping station, as well as the landing for the former Tacony-Palmyra ferry to New Jersey.
The park design and construction promotes groundwater infiltration and elimination of runoff through the use of natural stormwater management features including meadows, bio-swales, wetlands, a pond, vernal pools, permeable surfacing on plazas and walkways and site grading that retains the water on-site.
A coastal plain forest habitat was created as a riparian buffer to filter runoff, stabilize soils, control erosion at the river’s edge, and provide wildlife corridors and habitat. There is no turf in the park and native landscaping eliminates the need for irrigation.
The park includes a combination of green building amenities such as solar lighting and permeable pavement. A total of seven different habitat areas were created and planted with more than 100 native species.
“In addition to incorporating green features into the design, it’s also fantastic that our state’s biggest city recognizes its rivers, trails and parks as amenities that spur business development and draw people to downtowns,” Imgrund said. “Providing opportunities for people to be active outdoors is connected to attracting the homeowners, businesses and visitors that make a community vibrant.”
Park amenities include a restored pier for fishing, accessible picnic areas and a river overlook. Lardner’s Point Park is the first public access to the Delaware River in the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia.
The K & T multi-use trail traverses the site. This trail is part of the East Coast and North Delaware Riverfront greenways envisioned to have connected parks every half mile for the length of the city.
The Delaware River City Corp. is a nonprofit organization working to transform the underutilized North Delaware riverfront corridor in Northeast Philadelphia by re-connecting people, places, businesses, and neighborhoods to the Delaware River.
For more information on sustainable parks, visit DCNR’s Green and Sustainable Park Initiative webpage.
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