IMPORTANT public meeting tonight!
In compliance with the Open Space Protection ordinance, the Parks and Recreation Commission has received a formal “Alternatives Analysis” from Audubon/Outward Bound outlining plans to build a permanent leadership and conservation center in East Park.
Think about this scale! Almost 50 acres currently under control of the water department and fenced off from the public would become accessible for recreational and educational purposes that are consistent with management of the site as a bird and wildlife sanctuary. This acreage includes 37.65 acres of lake and 12.35 acres of land around the perimeter of the lake.
The Commission invites the public to review and comment on the plan for the proposed East Park Leadership and Conservation Center. A public hearing on Audubon/Outward Bound’s proposal is scheduled for the February 27, 2013 meeting of the Commission to be held at 6:00 p.m. at Mander Recreation Center, 2140 N. 33rd Street.
The National Audubon Society and Outward Bound Philadelphia are collaborating to preserve a virtually unknown and inaccessible lake in Philadelphia by creating an educational center for conservation and leadership development that will benefit thousands of Philadelphians every year. This project will provide the public with opportunities to interact with nature in the City and offer a wealth of resources to the greater Philadelphia region for generations to come.
The proposed location for the East Park Leadership and Conservation Center—the west basin of the East Park Reservoir and surrounding grounds next to the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood—encompasses a 37-acre man-made lake that was formerly part of the City’s water supply system. The site is currently under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Water Department and not open to the public. It is concealed from view by fencing, dense vegetation and a significant grade change from street level.
This hidden gem offers an unusual opportunity for young people and adults to experience nature in a highly urbanized environment. Located near the heart of the Fairmount Park Important Bird Area (over 200 species of birds occur in the park), the lake has become a prime stopover site for migratory birds, including several spectacular waterfowl species.
The National Audubon Society and Outward Bound Philadelphia are planning to build a state-of-theart educational facility that will be the portal to the lake and offer exploration experiences for visitors of all ages. The center will be a window to the natural world of Fairmount Park that will be available to every member of the greater Philadelphia community.