Fundraising Now Complete for Phase One of New Riverfront Park
PHILADELPHIA (July 21st, 2020) Riverfront North Partnership was awarded 1.4-million-dollars from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Multimodal Transportation Fund, completing the fundraising needed for construction for Phase One of this new 10-acre park in Bridesburg. The park, conceived through a 2015 community engagement project, will be a beautiful addition to the Philadelphia parks system, as well as the newest addition to Riverfront North, a planned 11-mile section of trails and parks along the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia.
“Bridesburg Riverfront Park will be a beautiful space to explore in the district, and it’s great to see funding come to the area to help make possible” state Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., said. “This funding will provide the completion of Phase I of the park. It will provide a transformative connection for our community to the river that we have gone without for too long. I’m always in support of projects that help get people outside to enjoy the riverfront.”
“Myself and Representative Joe Hohenstein are proud that we could help obtain this crucial state funding for the development of Bridesburg Riverfront Park” said State Senator John Sabatina. “The people at Riverfront North Partnership should be commended for their unique vision to improve Philadelphia along the Delaware River and we are happy to continue working with them in this endeavor. Bridesburg Riverfront Park is going to be something special.”
The 10-acre park is the result of a 2014 land deal spearheaded by Councilmember Bobby Henon that brought new jobs and designated open space to the neighborhood. The park design is the result of community engagement launched in 2015 by Riverfront North Partnership and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. “Riverfront North is committed to connecting people back to their river,” said Stephanie Phillips, executive director. “If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that our parks are an integral part of our physical and mental wellbeing.”
“We have been working tirelessly to build this park for a long time now, and through the hard work and dedication of a lot of different entities, the funding has come together to make it a reality for the community” said former United State Congressman Bob Borski, Chairman of the Riverfront North Partnership Board. “Our organization was founded with a vision of connecting folks along the North Delaware back to the underutilized and formerly inaccessible riverfront areas. This Riverfront Park in Bridesburg is a perfect example of how, by reclaiming these spaces and redeveloping them for public use, we can achieve that mission.”
The park will be constructed in two phases with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the City of Philadelphia. The first phase, estimated to be complete in 2022, will build a park with riverfront views, unstructured play areas, parking, and a restroom. Riverfront North and the City of Philadelphia are actively fundraising for the second phase slated for 2026, which will include a stage pavilion, picnic pavilion, terraced lawn seating, and a river boardwalk. The second phase is estimated to cost an additional $5 million.
“I am excited that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has awarded the Riverfront North Partnership a 1.4-million-dollar grant to complete the fundraising needed for construction for Phase One of a new 10-acre park in Bridesburg,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Kathryn Ott Lovell “ It is imperative that we continue to work with our partners to bring high-quality public spaces to neighborhoods across the city, once completed, it will be one of the most dynamic and welcoming parks in our system”
The completed park will also concentrate on ecological restoration and showcase trails and an upland meadow with views of both the Betsy Ross and Tacony-Palmyra bridges. The new trailhead park will connect directly with existing and planned trails on the Greenway, as well as the regional Circuit Trails and national East Coast Greenway networks.
“Bridesburg has been waiting for this park for decades, and I’m so happy that it is finally happening. I’m breaking open a bottle of champagne in celebration!” said community business leader and lifelong Bridesburg resident Joe Slabinski.
The construction of the park will be completed in phases to allow for community access as soon as possible and will be managed by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the City of Philadelphia in partnership with Riverfront North Partnership. The project is funded by PennDOT, The William Penn Foundation, City of Philadelphia, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, and The McLean Contributionship.
About Riverfront North Partnership
Riverfront North Partnership (RNP) was founded in 2004 as the nonprofit organization committed to the belief that every Philadelphian should have direct access to their riverfronts. Riverfront North works closely with the City of Philadelphia to create an 11-mile greenway on the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia, and to engage a growing community in the benefits of being outdoors. For more information on Riverfront North Partnership’s past and current projects, please visit riverfrontnorth.org, call 215-425-8350 or follow us on social media @riverfrontnorth.
About Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of public land and waterways as well as through safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR helps Philadelphia’s children and other residents grow by connecting them to the natural world, to each other, and to fun, physical and social opportunities. For more information, find Philadelphia Parks & Recreation online at www.phila.gov/parksandrecreation and follow @philaparkandrec on social media.