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Public Information Sessions: Conklin Recreation Center Creek Improvement Project
Posted on Thursday July 11, 2019
Representatives of the Township and the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) will be at Conklin Pool on Tue. Jul. 16 (4-8 p.m.) and Sat. Aug. 3 (2-4 p.m.) to talk about a proposed green infrastructure project at Conklin Recreation Center.


Cheltenham Township is committed to clean water and protecting its creeks, as demonstrated by the establishment of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) in 2005 and the development and adoption of the Cheltenham Sustainability Plan in 2013. Conklin Rendering

WHY: Polluted runoff from parking lots, road, lawns, and roof tops is the major source of impairment to our creeks, as the amount and speed of stormwater erodes streambanks, harms fish and wildlife, causes flooding, damages parks and property, and hurts water quality. Slowing down and cleaning stormwater runoff with natural plant material is the most effective way to improve our waterways. Because the Jenkintown Creek sub-watershed is 98% developed, there are limited places for improvement projects. Parks provide opportunities for projects that will manage stormwater and beautify the area at the same time.

Municipalities are required to improve the health of their waterways by the Clean Water Act. Cheltenham has adopted a Pollution Reduction Plan, required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which includes this site as one of the projects that must be completed in the next five years.

Since 2014, TTF has worked through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative as part of the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Collaborative to improve the Jenkintown Creek. Working with a variety of partners, TTF has installed seven nature-based stormwater management features and planted hundreds of native trees along 1,500 feet of waterways and wetlands. Partners include: Abington Friends School, Abington Monthly Meeting, Abington School District (McKinley Elementary School), Abington Township (Alverthorpe Park and Ethel Jordan Park), Manor College, the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great and Cheltenham Township.

WHAT: The project at the Charles D. Conklin, Jr. Pool and Recreation Center will remove 225 feet of the concrete channel in which this Jenkintown Creek tributary stream flows, directing the creek into a meandering constructed wetland. A total of 7,500 square feet of turf grass will be converted to a meadow. A trail will be created for visitors to walk on across the property. Only native plants will be utilized, which will attract birds and butterflies. In partnership with the community, TTF will install bird houses and pollinator boxes. This project will manage the 42 acres of stormwater which flow into this creek, and make a significant impact on improving the health of this important headwater creek.

WHEN: Two Open Houses will be hosted at the Conklin Pool to provide information and renderings and gather input from neighborhood and township residents.

  • Tuesday, July 16 from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Construction will begin after the pool is closed in the fall and will be completed by January 1, 2020. Residents are encouraged to join us to plant the native plants in the meadow and along the creek banks in the fall.

HOW: This project is primarily funded through a MontCo 2040 grant from the Montgomery County Planning Commission and a Delaware River Restoration Fund grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the William Penn Foundation. Cheltenham Township and TTF are working together, along with the township’s engineering firm, Boucher & James, to manage and design this project.

Cheltenham Township   ~   8230 Old York Road   ~   Elkins Park, PA 19027
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-4:30PM
Phone: 215-887-1000   ~   Fax: 215-887-1561
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