Thursday, July 2, 2015

Philadelphia's other Pier Park brings green to the city

Washington Avenue Green, the Delaware Waterfront pier park, is holding a morning-long Eco-Fest on Saturday to celebrate its new design.

Philadelphia's other Pier Park brings green to the city

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The James Corner-designed Race Street Pier has hogged the most attention of any Delaware Waterfront improvement, but it is not the only pier on the river that has been turned into a public park.

Two years ago, the rotting timbers of Pier 53 were converted into a beta version of a park, one that would that become more lush and interesting as it naturalized. Located at the foot of Washington Avenue, it was rechristianed Washington Avenue Green. The idea was to make it a destination for migrating birds as well as neighborhood residents.

With the help of Conshocken's Applied Ecological Services, which received a $1.5 million contract from the Delaware River Waterfront Commission, the city has been steadily making improvements. On Saturday, you can see what they've accomplished so far and enjoy a day on the river. The waterfront agency is sponsoring "Eco-Fest" a morning-long series of events that includes a guided bird-watch and craft-making.

The event will culminate with a presentation of the latest design plans. The pier park is being watched closely by the Army Corps of Engineers, which hopes to learn more about the effectiveness of such parks as a form of wetlands remediation. If Washington Avenue Green is a success, it could launch a similar effort a bit further south at Piers 66-70.

Inquirer Architecture Critic
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Inga Saffron Inquirer Architecture Critic
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