Wetland project breaks ground at FDR Park
Another project tied to the major transformation of FDR Park in South Philly is now underway.
Driving the news: A $30 million project broke ground on Thursday to create a native coastal forested wetland on a 33-acre portion of the park.
- The project will reclaim an area of the park currently inaccessible, allowing for new public access.
Why it matters: The 12-18-month project will reduce flooding and reintroduce wetlands that are native to the site, as well as make the park more resilient to climate change.
The big picture: The groundbreaking on Thursday kicked off the first of a dozen projects dubbed the "nature phase" of the FDR Park Plan, which is a $250 million push to reimagine the 348-acre park.
- The first construction project of the FDR Park Plan began in May with the groundbreaking of the park's new welcome center.
Details: The wetland project includes:
- New trails and boardwalks
- 7,000 new trees and 1,700 new bushes and shrubs
- Rebuilding the riverbank areas next to Shedbrook Creek
- Dredging of soil to create the habitat
- The installation of two new tide gates to prevent tidal flow
Between the lines: The Philadelphia International Airport is helping fund the wetlands project as a way to make up for the wetlands affected by its own development efforts.
What they're saying: The project will make the park a paradise for birds and local birdwatchers, said Maura McCarthy, executive director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, in a news release.
- "Returning part of FDR Park to wetland is an important step toward creating and maintaining a world class public park that is built on the Delaware River watershed," she said.
What's next: The other projects tied to the $45-million nature phase are expected to continue through 2026.
- Those projects include a nature playground, 5-mile trail, a kayak and canoe launch, plant nursery and forest restoration.
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