2020 posed challenges for Pastorius Park

By Tracey Gardner President, Friends of Pastorius Park
Posted 12/30/20

The Covid-19 situation led to a significant uptick in park visitors, many of whom were unfamiliar with long-standing park policy and etiquette.

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2020 posed challenges for Pastorius Park


2020 has been a challenging year at Pastorius Park, to say the least.

The Covid-19 situation led to a significant uptick in park visitors, many of whom were unfamiliar with long-standing park policy and etiquette. Open hibachi fires, a hut bathroom break-in, and damage to some of the woods understory above the northwest meadow were all things  FoPP had to deal with this summer.

Early June brought a storm with tornadic winds that tore the top off a venerable central meadow tulip tree and toppled a large cherry tree above the stream headwall. The City came out to remove the giant tulip tree piece, but FoPP had to remove the large downed cherry tree, cable an old hemlock off Abington St., and remove a large sweet gum tree piece from the pond.

On a more positive note, FoPP planted a small grove of Franklinia trees on a knoll above the pond in honor of our founder, Quita Woodward Horan, who passed away this April. A duck family took up residence in the pond over the summer, and the 5 surviving ducklings entertained park goers with their antics. As fledglings they flew off, then returned with potential mates, and their presence at the park brightens moods in this trying year.

The novelty of HBO filming scenes from the series “Mare of Easttown” at the park in November made for an interesting week, with nighttime lighting, adaptation of the amphitheater, large crews, and Kate Winslet sightings.

The pandemic shut down the popular summer concerts, and Parks on Tap at the park this year. This traveling beer garden event, sponsored by the Fairmount Conservancy and the Parks and Recreation Department provides improvement grants to the City’s Friends groups, but FoPP will not see any funds from this now, and this impacts our tree work, particularly the yearly treatment of our 74 hemlocks against the Woolly  Adelgid pest. This month FoPP had to replace the pond’s ground well pump, which is critical to getting fresh water into the pond during droughts and summer heat. All of the maintenance our group undertakes, cleaning the pond annually, maintaining the pond equipment is absolutely dependent on generous donations.

Now, more than ever, please consider making a yearly, tax-deductible donation to our all-volunteer, non-profit organization. You can easily make a donation on our website: friendsofpastorius.org Checks can also still be sent to:

Friends of Pastorius Park P.O. Box 27158 Market Square Station Philadelphia, PA 19118

Your generosity is what keeps our stewardship of the park going. Many thanks.

Tracy Gardner, President, Friends of Pastorius Park


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