Greenspaces is playing matchmaker

Posted 6/22/23

We love our green spaces in Chestnut Hill, with more than 30 on our radar.

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Greenspaces is playing matchmaker


We love our green spaces in Chestnut Hill. From the top of the hill to the bottom and in between, we have more than 30 green spaces on our radar. Our smallest are courtyards, gateways and pocket parks dotting the commercial corridor. The largest ones are Pastorius Park (16 acres) and the mother of all - Wissahickon Park - which stretches far beyond our borders. Both are blessed with friends groups, stronger budgets or a history of robust fundraising. That's where matchmaking comes in.

Many of our green space partners have come together to make improvements to the lower hill parks, namely Cliff Park, Peace Park and the Celtic Cross World War I memorial (three maintained by the Business District) and Pergola Park (maintained by the Rotary Club). Collaboration among the Business District, Green Space and one of our favorite green business supporters, Amy Edelman at Night Kitchen (via her GRINCH efforts), has also led to efforts at Mermaid Park, starting with clearing invasive species and new plantings of trees and shrubs.

So far, we have invested monies from our budgets on multi-year efforts that are just now starting to bloom and flourish. This has been followed by help from Friends of Cresheim Trail and volunteer cleanups to open our new trail on 10 acres of an old quarry that runs behind the face of Mermaid Park.

The next upgrades for this envisioned community space are mulching of beds (completed this month), trail signage, benches and possibly a small platform stage. As my green friends note, however, opening and planning also require the steady hand of a parent and questions as to who will maintain and fund these green dreams need careful attention, especially for a 10-acre gem that will have an economic impact on the lower hill to attract foot traffic.

The hand of a green matchmaker is now at work. The Green Space team is hoping there is some group or business in Chestnut Hill that would make our perfect match. We're equally pleased to find partners who wish to invest in this future with funding support. If that's you in either case, let's talk. Please reach out to Anne McNiff at the Community Association or Courtney O'Neill at the Business District to start a conversation.

Laura Lucas

CHCA Chair of Chestnut Hill Green Space Initiatives