By Kellie Patrick
Anyone with a couple spare hours Saturday morning can catch a preview of the future Lardner’s Point Park – the 64th jewel in the Fairmont Park chain.
This 4.5-acre property near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge is the highlight of the latest North Delaware Riverfront Greenway hikes, said Sarah Thorp, executive director of the Delaware River City Corporation – which is leading the Greenway project.
Workers have already begun removing invasive weeds and breaking up massive amounts of concrete to make way for interpretive trails that will wind past the Delaware River and shoreline wetlands. Signs along the path will teach future park visitors about the new native flora and the fauna that it will likely attract.
“There will be benches and picnic tables. People can come and sit and have lunch,” Thorp said. “There will be a fishing pier and a fishing area, and parking – 25 spaces to start, but room to go to 50 if it’s popular.”
Construction will begin sometime in the fall, and the park will be finished in about two years.
The entire 11 miles of Greenway, a system of several parks connected by a multi-purpose trail, will be finished in about five years, Thorp said. Eventually, it will be connected with the larger East Coast Greenway, which will stretch from Florida to Maine.
There’s a lot of work to be done between now and then, as the monthly hikes have shown.
In fact, Saturday’s hike will be split by a short car ride because some sections of the proposed trail are not yet passable.
The hike will begin with a tour of the boat launch area, which will eventually be a trailhead with restrooms and interpretive signs that will teach about the history of the place, which used to be part of the Frankford Arsenal, a place where the federal government stored ammunition.
Then hikers will drive about one-half mile to Lardner’s Point. They will walk around there, and then take a short hike further along the trail.
In the middle, along with the tangled weeds and debris that people have illegally dumped, are some fences that must be removed.
The trail will run the course of an old railroad right of way, now owned by the city. But bordering it on the inland side are many active industries, some of which have fenced in the right of way.
Thorp said the DRCC has been working with the businesses, and she anticipates few problems.
Arsenal Boat Launch, 5600 Tacony Street
Meet at the south end of the boat launch near the old railroad bridge.
Walk the proposed path of the K&T Trail from the boat launch to the Tacony Palmyra Bridge at Lardner’s Point Park.