OUR 2009 OBJECTIVES:

1. Transform an underutilized section of Fairmount Park into a vibrant destination that connects visitors and community residents both to nature and to the rich cultural resources of the Centennial District.

The Concourse Lake restoration project has six major entrances welcoming those who live and work in the Parkside community, those who visit nearby treasures such as the Please Touch Museum, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the Japanese Tea House, the Philadelphia Zoo, and school groups interested in the environmental impact of the restoration. These lead to a newly installed, eight-foot wide asphalt path, as selected by Fairmount Park to be consistent with paths in the Centennial District. This path was the critical first step in the landscape renovation as most of the planting could not occur until it was in place. Input from the surrounding community contributed to the design of new areas, as well as to a variety of potential educational opportunities that are featured along this walk way. It is hoped that friends groups will continue to support and care for the space as it takes shape and earns their appreciation and affection. Additional funds will be set aside to help with maintenance.

2. Improve water quality.

Storm water from Concourse Lake flows under the Avenue of the Republic into Centennial Lake. Surface water from this two-lake area of the watershed flows to the Japanese Tea House and ultimately to the Schuylkill River, supplying drinking water to a large part of Philadelphia and its surrounding community. Although once used for fishing, the lake has badly deteriorated over time. Through a "Growing the Neighborhood Grant" from the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the City was able to dredge the lake in August of 2009 and will be planting the interior to create a wetland and pond habitat.

3. Restore native plant material and restrict storm water run off.

Concourse Lake is currently surrounded by mowed lawn and rows of trees along its adjacent roadways. New groves of native trees, shrubs, and ground covers were planted to restore the original tree canopy, reduce storm water run off, and provide a more natural forest ecosystem in which visitors can walk, picnic, and play. All plantings are consistent with the newly developing standards for sustainable landscaping.

4. Create educational opportunities.

The new walkway features signage highlighting the characteristics of the trees and plants chosen for the site, the inhabitants of the ecosystems created. It also explains the use of plant material to control storm water and to filter storm and spring water as it moves toward the river. The walkway is handicapped-accessible and its signage informative for families, school classes, historians, and horticulturists alike. This project provides an outdoor space for a wide range of educational programs and activities.

“Love the Lake”