I rode my bike over to Home Depot the other day. Instead of battling the traffic along S. Columbus Blvd (there is a bike lane but it can be very intimidating), I rode along the Washington Avenue Green trail and discovered the new Pier 68 park. . What a beautiful place to watch the birds, the river, the sky and Challenge Program Bench 2surprisingly, enjoy the quiet on big, comfy, wave like benches. A few months ago I was in The Challenge Program shop watching the team craft those same benches from some of the most beautiful wood I have ever seen – it is great to see their handiwork at work in the park.

The Washington Ave Green trail runs from the east end of Washington Street (the entrance is directly to the right of the US Coast Guard fence) and runs along the Delaware River to the Home Depot/ Walmart parking lot. It is Washington Green Asters, Joe Pye, Goldenrod and Echinceashort – just 0.7 miles long – but it takes you away from the city into nature.

Along the way is the Washington Avenue Pier (aka Pier 53)  that features wetland restoration and native plant landscaping, interpretative signage that puts the pier in historical context and helps you identify raptors!, spectacular views, a place to stick your toes in the water, and the climbable 55’ public art piece ‘Land Buoy’.

The area around the trail is in transition from refuse ridden forgotten land to open parks. Natural LandsWashington Green November Blooms Trust and Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) recently acquired an additional 9.5 acres near Pier 53 which includes Pier 56 (just south of Pier 53), the riparian rights and 100’ deep swath of the mainland for restoration. The clean up job is intense. I watched a crew drag whole, burned out carcasses of cars and trucks off of Pier 56 and haul them away leaving behind beauty and opportunity for nature driven public space.

Pier 68 River ViewAt its southern end the trail turns into a bike lane on the road that rings around Wal-Mart. This road is used mostly for employee parking and by trucks waiting to make deliveries so, be aware but don’t worry too much about traffic. About 150 yards along on the left is Pier 68. Where Pier 53 celebrates wetland diversity and history, Pier 68 celebrates the wide Pier 68 Riverview Southopen expanses of the river. The DRWC explains it well, “this space serves as a resting spot for those using the trail and as a place where shopping center visitors can quickly experience the Pier Park.” It is an open, airy, clean looking space that is a delight and provides a breath of fresh air.

The long term vision is to have a continuous trail along the river from Oregon Avenue in South Philly to Allegheny Avenue in the Lower Northeast. For further reading see: http://planphilly.com/articles/2015/03/18/waterfront-corporation-to-obtain-more-south-philly-land-for-river-trail




Seal and Save

November 18, 2015

Okay. #EnergyScore held another #BPI training class here at our home and ran multiple blower door tests. They found that the house measures at 14ACH (14 Air Changes Per Hour). Your first thought might be, “Holy cow, is that house made of Swiss cheese?” But then you would think back to January’s post and say, […]

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Save Money – Buy A Light Bulb!

November 11, 2015

Shopped for light bulbs lately? Who knew that anyone would pine for words like soft, bright and, of all things, watts. Now, instead of the little aisles of old that had bulbs with 15, 45, 65 and 100 watts and choices of regular and 3-way controls, we are faced with a 30’ aisle that has […]

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Wedding: From Buckets to Beautiful

November 1, 2015

My friend’s daughter dreamed of an affordable, elegant, hand-crafted, beach-themed, evening wedding in a vineyard. She asked her father to handle the flowers. To make them affordable he and I decided to use native plants and flowers that we found on the dunes, along road sides and in our beach-side gardens. With a team of […]

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Get Yourself a City Rain Garden

October 26, 2015

Used to be that Highway Departments loved to manage storm water with drainage ditches. They still use them where appropriate but more and more I see highways using more environmentally aware stormwater management techniques. Specifically in DE, PA and CT, I see Rain Gardens, BioSwales, artificially created wetlands, planted with natives, to manage stormwater. Sometimes […]

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Highway Gardening

September 27, 2015

It has taken a pretty long time but native plants are finally being accepted as beautiful landscape plants and flowers – they are still treated like specialty plants in many nurseries with their own little section away from the popular plants. But, as demand increases, that space will grow until it dissolves into the mainstream. […]

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Oh Boy – Air Conditioning is Expensive!

September 12, 2015

Ah, air conditioning!  We experienced a 110.6% increase in electricity consumption because July/Aug was so darned hot and because, contrary to the norm at our house, we ran the A/C….. apparently we ran it all the time!  Although we reveled in the cool, dry air, we paid the bill very grudgingly.  Needless to say the […]

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A Mysterious Little Black Can

September 8, 2015

On a recent recycling day a little black desk waste can showed up in front of our house. No one claimed it so we left it there. It was empty – but not for long. Little by little the can filled up as folk dropped in trash, poop bags and recycling. So everyday we emptied […]

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Easy Peasy Sustainability

August 13, 2015

Want to live more sustainably? Want the easiest way? Start recycling! If you already recycle then increase what you are doing now. Philly’s doing it…follow their lead. During FY2015, Philadelphians recycled almost 120,000 tons of single stream recyclables – that’s a 140% increase over the start of the program in 2007. Recycling is good for […]

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GreenTravelogue: What is Sustainable Travel?

August 5, 2015

What’s sustainable travel? Being open to the world around you. Reducing car miles and reliance on fossil fuels. Eating healthy. Exercising De-stressing. Relaxing and smiling…a lot. Discovering something of beauty. Relaxing enough to appreciate that beauty. Staying hydrated. Discovering what it means to live like a local. Taking things in stride. Reducing waste (bring a […]

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