Good news! Finally!
The six acres on Cresheim Creek and next to Anderson Street and Woodbrook Lane are now owned by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation!
After many years of community organizing, legal intervention, community meetings and meetings with the DeSousa Brown Developers, negotiations, hearings at City Council, street clean-ups, persistent follow-up, continuous problem-solving, and often weekly e-mails and calls to places where the land transaction processes were being worked on, or were stuck, WEP got the long-awaited news the first week of October, 2013: the six acres are now part of Fairmount Park and our neighborhood.
Mark Focht, First Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PP&R) wrote: ‘It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I share with you that the City’s acquisition of the Wissahickon East parcel is complete. It is officially ours!’ and Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, wrote: ‘Congrats to all.’
Thank you for your support to get to this place. We know it looked at times impossible, but persistence won. We had the support of a hundred and fifty (plus) neighbors, the Chestnut Hill Historical Society (the easement holders prohibiting buildings and structures), Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW), local elected officials, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation(PP&R), Friends of The Wissahickon (FOW), East Mount Airy Neighbors (EMAN), City Council, the local press and other local organizations. The City Legal Department alone put in hundreds of hours – it was a very complicated transaction.
Now begins the work of cleaning up the woods and turning them into a place that our community can take care of and enjoy.