The Planning Commission Tuesday heard an information-only presentation on a key part of implementing Philadelphia2035, a description of the first phase of the Bartam’s Mile project, which will create new parks space and green landscape – with breathtaking skyline views – on the west side of the Schuylkill River east of 56th Street. Mark Focht, First Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Facilities for the Department of Parks and Recreation, gave the overview.
Some background: Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, working with its primary partners PIDC, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC), Andropogon 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.