Grab your fishing pole. Well, soon.
By this time next year, the abandoned Pier 68 behind the Walmart shopping center on Columbus Boulevard will be transformed into a park that will serve as the southern gateway to the Delaware River trail.
City officials and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation unveiled designs yesterday for the planned pier park, which will include space for fishing, relaxing and education.
The pier park, which was delayed after originally being intended to be ready for a fishing tournament here in August, will include these amenities, according to a news release from designer Studio Bryan Haynes:
- An entrance deck with wood paving, seating, and site furnishings that register water elevation. Located just off the future Central Delaware trail extension, this space will serve as a resting spot for those using the trail and as a place where shopping center visitors can quickly experience the Pier Park.
- A collection of native trees that begin to conceal the parking lot and traffic to the west. These trees will serve as a threshold, marking that visitors have crossed into a new riverside environment.
- A Picnic Grove where a gravel walking surface and a combination of furnishings and trees will create a space to rest and enjoy the shade.
- A 4.5’ deep aquatic cut into the pier surface allowing water to filter up through the lower wood deck and reveal the semidiurnal tidal activity of the Delaware River. Filled with native, aquatic plants, and crossed with a simple rope and cable bridge structure, this space will become a focal point for educators and curious visitors. Students will have the opportunity to observe and learn about the Delaware’s changes in water elevation and what this means for vegetation, fish and wildlife populations.
- An angled lawn for lounging and sun-bathing accompanied by a long linear bench for seating.
- A water-side walk and the open pier terminus will support a variety of events and activities such as recreational fishing or gathering to watch holiday fireworks.
The $1.7 million park will provide the second of two parks currently underway for the Delaware River in South Philly, including the under-construction Pier 53 at Washington Avenue. And lets not forget about the nascent plans for Columbus Square at 12th and Reed, which is in the process of fundraising now.
Between these three parks and other infrastructure improvements like intersection upgrades and 10th and Passyunk, 12th and Passyunk and Broad and Passyunk, there is a stunning amount of public investment being funneled into our neighborhood.