A press release came across our desk today, sharing the good news that Natural Lands Trust, in partnership with the Delaware River Development Corporation, recently purchased an important swath of land adjacent to the Delaware River. The purchase covers a hundred feet of land, Pier 56, and acres of adjacent water rights, all located behind the Sheetmetal Workers building just south of Washington Avenue.
The plan for this land is to include it in the Delaware River Trail, a trail along the river that starts at Washington Avenue Green and extends to the parking lot behind the Wal-Mart shopping center in South Philly. Already, Natural Lands Trust and DRWC have most of the land they need, and they're currently working to finalize the acquisition of a final parcel from Tower Investments. Once that deal is done, it will pave the way for the trail, which will conceptually echo the Penn Street Trail to the north.
Pier 53, which was completed last year, anchors the northern end of the trail. Pier 68, currently under construction, will sit at the southern end. According to DRWC, this pier, designed by Studio Bryan Hanes, will be "a park for passive recreation, as well as for fishing and up-close observation of the highly tidal nature of the Delaware River." It will also have magnificent views of a Wal-Mart, which will surely encourage people to turn their attention toward the river.
We look forward to continued improvements to the Delaware waterfront, thanks to the work of the good people at DRWC. For too long, we've put up with poor access to this wonderful resource (thanks, I-95), but little by little the river is becoming more accessible and therefore more appreciated by everyone.