Pa.

News for Immediate Release

November 5, 2011

DCNR Joins in Unveiling West Philadelphia Greenways Plan
Proposal targets wide-ranging initiatives connecting neighborhoods to area parks

Philadelphia – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials joined neighborhood, city and federal leaders in rolling out a master plan for transportation, recreation and open space improvements designed to enhance two major city parks and the West Philadelphia neighborhoods that share them.

Stimulation of local “green businesses” and related jobs also is a key goal of the Park West Green Trails Initiative Plan, say supporters, including DCNR Deputy Secretary for Administration John Giordano, who gathered Saturday, Nov. 5, at a “Public Roll-Out” at the Global Leadership Charter Academy, 4601 Girard Avenue.

“I salute the American Cities Foundation which is spearheading this effort. The foundation has worked hard to revitalize cities and promote environmental stewardship within the community,” said Giordano. “DCNR is proud to have supported this effort.

“I have the privilege of seeing the best of both worlds. Working for DCNR, I daily witness the beneficial ‘ripple effects’ that protecting and enhancing open space has on the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians,” Giordano said. “And living in this great city of neighborhoods, I see firsthand the many ways in which we all benefit from having a Fairmount or a Cobbs Creek Park close to home.”

In Sept. 2010, the foundation partnered with Philadelphia University, West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution and many other agencies and community organizations to form a unique collaboration that is the Park West Green Trails Initiative. Its goal: create a comprehensive transportation, recreation, park and open space plan that fosters more use and better appreciation of surrounding open space.

“Congratulations must go out for the creation of such a solid, strategic vision,” said Giordano. “All have worked hard to engage so many in the community. Special acknowledgement goes to Philadelphia University professors and students who did an outstanding job of pulling together ‘input’ from many directions.”

The plan’s main objectives include:

Formation of the plan was guided by a diverse, engaged study committee of volunteer leaders from community and environmental groups, businesses, city and state agencies, and elected offices.

Giordano said DCNR’s support of the Park West plan would continue beyond its $75,000 grant, in line with goals of the department’s Green and Sustainable Park Initiative. Noting the department’s Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan recently was honored as best in the nation, Giordano said DCNR stands ready with trail development guidance and expertise.

Following the Nov. 5 roll-out, master plan participants will begin to address possible future implementation and funding methods.

For more information on DCNR’s Green and Sustainable Park Initiative, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/grants/greening/greeninggrants.aspx.

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101

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