Good (Green) News for a Riverwards Gem


Above: A map showing the planned location of four new green stormwater tools in Harrowgate Park. Click for a larger image. Source: Philadelphia Water.

Harrowgate’s green jewel—a public square located at Kensington Avenue and E. Tioga Street—is about to get a little greener thanks to a new project from Green City, Clean Waters.

Given Harrowgate Park was (according to Wikipedia lore, at any rate) named after an English spa resort in the 1780s as a tribute to the area’s healthy spring waters, it’s fitting that the coming improvements for this Riverwards greenspace will once again make this a place where water flows more naturally.

About 50 residents at a meeting of the newly formed Harrowgate Civic Association learned about plans for four new rain gardens, which will use plants and natural landscapes to slow and filter stormwater from nearby streets, during a presentation from Philadelphia Water earlier this month. The goal of the green tools is to reduce excess rainwater from entering sewers, where overflows end up putting harmful sewage into our rivers.

The current Harrowgate Park schedule calls for construction of the rain garden infrastructure to begin this winter, followed by plant installations in the spring. Shrubs and flowers selected for the site include red twig dogwood, Japanese holly, black-eyed susan and echinacea. Work should wrap up in summer 2016.

The project, which will also include tree pruning and removal of a dead tree near the northwest edge of the park, was first selected for Green City, Clean Waters’ Green Parks program in 2012 and has been made possible by working alongside Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Related: What’s a Rain Garden, and How Do They Work?