“Bartram’s Mile” — a community design process to create 8 new acres of parks around Bartram’s Garden

Thanks to all those who attended any of our public meetings and for those who submitted their ideas and feedback.  If you would like to stay informed of our progress, please send us an email at praxis@design.upenn.edu.  In the meantime, continue to check this website for updates and details.

Public Meeting Recap


  • Saturday, November 3
  • Organized with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
  • Check out PlanPhilly’s Christine Fisher’s report on the tour!
  • View Christine’s Flickr set of photos taken during the bike tour!
  • View the Bicycle Coalition’s Flickr set of photos taken during the bike tour!


  • Sunday, November 4
  • Featuring: Mark Focht (Parks and Recreation), Maitreyi Roy (Bartram’s Garden), Jose Almiñana (Andropogon Associates)
  • Check out Eyes on the Street’s Ashley Hahn’s extensive report and photo slideshows from the walking tour!
  • View Ashley’s Flickr set of photos taken during the walking tour!


  • Monday, November 5
  • Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation given during this meeting.
  • Click here to view the transcript of ideas submitted by dinner attendees.


  • Saturday, November 10
  • Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation given during this meeting.
  • Click here to view the transcript of ideas and design concepts proposed during the workshop.

Project Overview

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, working with its primary partners the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) and the John Bartram Association (JBA), is leading a process to reimagine what it is calling “Bartram’s Mile,” which is one mile of currently vacant river frontage along the western banks of the Tidal Schuylkill between Grays Ferry Avenue and 58th Street.  The Green2015 plan released by PPR in December 2010 highlights Bartram’s Mile as a major opportunity to convert publicly owned vacant land to public green space before 2015. This new open space has the potential to provide riverfront access and recreation opportunities to an underserved neighborhood as well as help restore an important watershed.

In order to help the partners achieve this objective, PennPraxis will conduct a rigorous community engagement and public planning process from October-December 2012 to create a transformational, high-impact public green space along the Schuylkill River. 

This process will:

  • Engage users from the immediate neighborhoods, as well as stakeholders from across the city and region;
  • Propose new programmatic opportunities to connect people to the outdoors and the Schuylkill River;
  • Partner with the John Bartram Association to celebrate and enhance the history and horticulture of Bartram’s Garden;
  • Partner with the Schuylkill River Development Corporation to provide unique opportunities to extend the Schuylkill Banks, which currently terminates at the Grays Ferry Crescent located on the eastern terminus of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge.

This is a portion of the Schuylkill River that has been cut off from public access for decades, so this represents a very exciting opportunity to not only strengthen and link to existing initiatives such as Bartram’s Garden, the Schuylkill River Trail, and the 58th Street Greenway, but also add two new parks that can be community assets for years to come.

For any questions on the Bartram’s Mile project, please contact us here: praxis@design.upenn.edu or 215-746-3849.

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