Tuesday, January 16, 2018

DCNR, Local Officials Celebrate Investments To Expand Delaware River Access In Southeast

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Tuesday joined other state officials and City of Philadelphia representatives at an event celebrating the Commonwealth’s recent investments in improvements at Bartram’s Garden, along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
The oldest surviving botanic garden in North America, Bartram’s Garden in southwest Philadelphia covers 46 acres, providing visitors an historic botanical garden, arboretum and public access to the Schuylkill.
A DCNR grant will be used to expand a current public boat dock, making the river more accessible for community recreation and learning.
“With these improvements, Bartram’s Garden and Philadelphia are rolling out the ‘Welcome Mat’ to visitors to come, appreciate, and enjoy the Schuylkill River and all its beauty and recreational promise,” Dunn said. “With this project, you embrace two major initiatives supported by DCNR: water conservation and appreciation, and greater involvement of our youth in the outdoors.”
The recipient of a $150,000 grant, Bartram’s Garden will be expanding its current public boat dock, making the tidal Schuylkill River more accessible for community recreation and learning. Also, project improvements will include ADA accessibility, landscaping and signage.  
"Connecting our neighbors to their river and parks is one of the most important things we do at Bartram’s Garden,” said Maitreyi Roy, executive director of Bartram's Garden. “This support will increase access to our free public boating and healthy outdoor recreation, and we expect more than 5,000 people will get out on the river each year. This is a wonderful opportunity to create many happy memories."
“I appreciate the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources support of the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department through its grant program,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Its ongoing and generous support has enabled us to improve access to quality public spaces across Philadelphia.
“This importance placed on the revitalization of this community and public open space will prove to serve as a great resource to Philadelphians,” said Gilbert King Elisa, volunteer and active user of the river.
Dunn noted the Bartram’s Garden grant is among 22 projects focused on water, including more than $1 million in grants for rivers conservation, and $600,000 for riparian forest buffers in the 2017 DCNR grant round.
The additional projects in southeast Pennsylvania are:
-- Delaware Canal 21, $85,000 for canal hydraulic studies in Bucks County;
-- Delaware River Waterfront Corp., $50,000 for a master plan for the South Philadelphia Wetlands Park;
-- East Goshen Township, $500,000 for development of Milltown Dam Park in Chester County;
-- Upper Makefield Township, $37,000 for a watershed restoration plan in Bucks County;
-- Wildlands Conservancy, $125,000 for Jordan Creek watershed restoration and stream buffer work in Lehigh County; and
-- Worcester Township, $50,000 for a riparian buffer project in Montgomery County.
“Grants such as this also help achieve something else that’s very important -- they supply much-needed recreational opportunities to those who often need it most -- area residents,” Dunn said.
“As Gov. Wolf said when the 2017 grants were announced: ‘Communities go from good to great when they provide residents and visitors with parks and trails, access to waterways, and opportunities for healthy outdoor activity.”  
Bartram’s Garden is a National Historic Landmark, operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. It is a destination and an outdoor classroom, living laboratory, and membership organization for ever-expanding audiences – more than 50,000 each year.
The John Bartram Association’s mission is to protect and enhance the landmark Bartram’s Garden and House; advance the Bartram legacy of discovery, gardening, and art; and inspire audiences of all ages to care for the natural world.
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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