The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed is full of vibrant neighborhoods and vast potential, and its distinct physical character lends opportunities for social and ecological improvement. Waterways and underground infrastructure stitch together many diverse communities in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. All neighborhoods in this watershed drain to the creek, making it important for people to share responsibility for its health and work together to manage stormwater. Several demonstration projects using green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff have already become sources of community pride.
Given the wide range of demographics within the watershed, one could imagine the creek serving as a meeting place for relaxation, recreation, inspiration, and community connection. In addition, numerous existing core trails within the watershed and along the creek have inspired municipalities to explore plans to connect these trails into a cohesive network; this would become a common thread among the watershed’s neighborhoods. Implementing strategic changes, restoring the creek environment, and committing to responsible stewardship will improve water quality and habitat while progressing toward realizing the watershed’s exciting, inherent potential.
drains approximately 33 square miles
approximately 32 linear miles
approximately 360,000 residents
approximately 48% impervious
Counties / Municipalities
encompasses areas of Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties, with all or parts of five municipalities, including Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Rockledge, and Springfield
Within the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed exists a myriad of spirited residents, community groups, businesses, and institutions that advocate partnership opportunities to protect and enhance watershed and waterway resources. Learn more about these stewards, their initiatives, and how you can make a difference in the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed.
Take our Watershed Tour to see notable landmarks and hidden treasures that define the character of this watershed's past, present and future. Or get a glimpse of the creek itself through our Waterway Tour.
Source water protection and the development of water and stormwater infrastructure helped shape the character of our watersheds. Understanding this history is fundamental to stormwater management strategies and other site development regulations we implement today.
In 2005, PWD published the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Integrated Watershed Management Plan, which identified the following issues:
- Poor stream aesthetics caused by trash, dumping and odors
- Lack of healthy riparian habitat
- Impaired wetlands
- Erosion, sediment accumulation, and flow variability
- Poor instream habitat and biological impairment
- Water quality concerns (metals, sediment, bacteria, dissolved oxygen)
- An Integrated Watershed Management Plan was completed in the summer of 2005 to guide restoration and preservation.
- PWD provides technical assistance to the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, which has collaborated on a number of initiatives – including demonstration projects on the property of Awbury Arboretum as well as Cliveden Park and Waterview Recreation Center.
- PWD completed a wetlands assessment of the entire watershed in 2006, documenting the presence of existing wetlands and identifying wetland creation opportunities.
- PWD biologists completed the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Comprehensive Characterization Report in 2005. This report contains detailed monitoring and modeling results, including hydrology, water quality, biology, physical habitat, and pollutant loadings.
- A Rivers Conservation Plan for the Philadelphia portion of this watershed was completed in 2004 to assess the goals of a diverse group of watershed stakeholders and recommendations for restoration projects.
- PWD partners with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to provide real-time water quality data from two USGS gages within this watershed. PWD-USGS Water Resources Monitoring website: http://pa.water.usgs.gov/pwd/.
- The PWD Model Neighborhoods Initiative includes the Awbury Cliveden neighborhood in the Tookany-Tacony/Frankford Watershed.
Our watershed partners provide a wide array of opportunities to learn and get involved:
- Contact the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership to learn about exciting events, tours, educational programs, and volunteer opportunities. The Partnership was created to make connections between individuals and state/municipal resources and to build a network sharing inspiration, effort and knowledge.
- Dig out those hiking boots and lend a hand at a Cheltenham Environmental Advisory Council planting event. The Cheltenham EAC conducts school, riparian buffer and beautification plantings throughout the year and they could always use another helping hand.
- Do your part to keep the Tacony Creek Park safe and clean by volunteering with Friends of Tacony Creek Park. This environmental group works to maintain clean, safe and beautiful places for kids of all ages to play.
- If you are a Jenkintown resident, keep up with environmental happenings in town through the Jenkintown Environmental Advisory Council. Their Green Jenkintown website identifies environmental issues and recommends ways to conserve energy and protect the natural environment.
- If you’re in Abington, make sure to attend public meetings of the Abington Environmental Advisory Council and help local governmental leaders keep environmental issues on their agendas.
- Join a park stewardship organization for your community park. The Partnership frequently works with groups such as Friends of Cliveden Park, Friends of Grove Park, and Friends of High School Park on environmental and educational projects. If your local park doesn’t have a friends group, start your own!
- Do your part to help our watershed no matter where you are. Reduce your impact and consumption, reuse valuable and limited resources, and find creative ways to recycle whatever you can.