Forest Restoration

Riverfront North Partnership is excited to be embarking on a forest restoration project in the north woods of Pennypack on the Delaware Park.

What does ‘forest restoration’ mean?

Out with the old, in with the new

In a nutshell – we are removing old, dying, invasive trees and replacing them with new trees, native to the region. Why? The old White Mulberry trees in this section of the park are reaching the end of their life span and are falling down, creating a dangerous environment for park users. They are also preventing the sun and rain resources from reaching native trees and other plant species, restricting growth that would enrich the park ecosystem.

For the people and for the animals!

By clearing out the old trees, we are creating a safer park for the community and a more sustainable environment  for animals that depend on the park to survive. The park is home to a pair of nesting bald eagles, beavers, fox and more. The fish in the river also continue to benefit from the water quality improvements from the forest restorations.


This restoration project will take the Pennypack forest tree biodiversity from about 10 species to over 40 different species – that’s quadruple the diversity in just a year!  That is not even accounting for the dozens of new species of shrubs and herbaceous plants that have been introduced because of the restoration process.  These plantings provide extra food and shelter for the existing animals that use the park and create opportunities for park users to interact with a public native plant orchard that includes native plums, elderberries, hickory nuts and other edible natives planted like the American Hazelnut.

In 2019 we planted more than 600 new trees for this restoration. In 2020, we plan to plant over 300 more!

Regional Impact

– These trees contribute to Philadelphia’s 10 year urban forest plan, with the goal of a 30% tree canopy in the city of Philadelphia. The river wards and Northeast Philadelphia along the river, have some of the lowest tree canopy numbers in the whole city.

– Trees planted along the river serve as a riparian buffer, capturing and soaking in runoff from the city before it has time to reach the river (the drinking water source for half of Philadelphia).

– Trees remove pollutants from the air!

– Studies prove that being in the presence of trees and in nature reduces stress!


Where is this restoration project happening?

This project is happening in the northern “nature section” of Pennypack on the Delaware Park along the river in Northeast Philadelphia. If you are walking in the park, head north on the riverside path, past the soccer fields. Go through the gate and look to your right, you’ll see the new trees planted.


Who is helping with this project?

So many partner groups have helped us accomplish our tree planting goals associated with this Pennypack on the Delaware Forest Restoration:

PECO | Tree Philly | Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Stewardship, Urban Forestry and Operations Departments| Friends of Pennypack Park | Youth Volunteer Corps Philly | Center for Employment Opportunities | PowerCorps PHL | Arbor Day Foundation| Comcast | Holy Ghost Prep | Arcadia University | Peace Corps | Philadelphia Insurance Companies | Franklin Towne Charter high school | Tree Authority Nursery | Archewild| Octoraro Nursery | Northeast Tree Tenders| Schectman Tree Service | TDBank | Greenland Nursery | Penn State Extension Forester | Treevitilize Program | National Fish and Wildlife Foundation | Pinelands Nursery | North Creek Nursery | P3 | New Moon Nursery|