On Monday, November 21st, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz will kick off the groundbreaking ceremony of a $1.5 million project to create a riverfront park on the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia. Schwartz will be joined by former Congressman and Chairman of the Delaware River City Corporation (DRCC) Robert A. Borski Jr., elected officials, and Pennsylvania and Philadelphia public officials.
Upon completion next May, Lardner’s Point Park will become a signature public access point for the 11-mile North Delaware River Greenway, a multi-use system winding along the riverfront from Allegheny Avenue in Port Richmond to the Bucks County Line.
In September 2010, the Lardner’s Point project was in danger of losing $750,000 in state funding. Without these funds, the project would have died. At that time, Schwartz urged the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC) to release the funds for the project in a timely manner or the DRCC would lose the funds needed to complete the project.
The following month, the DRCC received $643,271 from the NPFC enabling the project to move forward. The funds were one of nine claims presented as a result of the Athos I oil spill.
Lardner’s Point Park is an integral part of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Green2015 plan to expand the system by 500 new acres. The work will include demolition and removal of concrete ramp structures and concrete 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 North Delaware River Greenway plan 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 neighborhoods.