The Delaware River Waterfront Development Corp. is hoping an oasis on Penn's Landing can help show the city the potential for its waterfront.
The DRWC is hosting a pop-up, or temporary, park on the Delaware River as an advertisement to potential developers. Spruce Street Harbor Park, which officially opens to the public on Friday, extends from Dock Street to Spruce Street and onto platforms that jut into the river.
Thousands are expected to descend onto the urban retreat, which is outfitted with a hammock area, a board walk, gardens and urban beachscape complete with games and food and drinks.The park will be open from Friday through Aug. 31.
"We're setting the stage for the potential for that site," said DRWDC spokeswoman Jodie Milkman. "It's an underutilized asset."
According to the new master plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront the group wants to see a civic park or space every half-mile along the Central Delaware and connect the parks with a waterfront trail.
Milkman said there is "physical," meaning I-95, and "perceived" disconnect between the city and its waterfront. And the group believes these types of pop-up parks "Demonstrate the potential of what could be on the waterfront and really create momentum."
On Thursday the DRWDC will unveil thedesign for the redevelopment of Pier 68 in Pennsport.
Lizzie Woods, spokeswoman for the DRWDC, said the announcement will show renderings of a park much like the Spruce Street Harbor pop-up park, but permanent.
The DRWDC took control of the abandoned South Philadelphia pier about two years ago and asked the neighborhood on input on how to develop it.
The two big suggestions: where fishing was not only tolerated but encouraged, and to provide an oasis from the city with a lot of natural elements.
Included in the park will be a hammock grove and picnic benches along withtrees and flowers.
"And a section of the pier will cut out and will allow the water of the river to rise and fall within the pier so you'll be able to see the tidal change in the river," Woods said. "And that will be planted with native aquatic plants so there will be a mini wetland within the pier as well."
And if all of the permits come through the park should be finished by next year.
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