From Contaminated to Captivating: Fox Point State Park Reopens 45 AcresBy Kristen Walsh, Observer Staff Reporter
- Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:34 am
- Add a comment
For more that 20 years, S. Marston Fox dreamed of a park on a ribbon of land along the Delaware River. Now, Fox Point Park has realized that dream, as the second phase of the park’s remediation process is complete, tripling the amount of space open to the public.
The re-opening held on Earth Day, April 22, celebrated the completion of the second phase of the toxic cleanup process. Started in 1995, this 45-acre tract required over 10,000 truck loads of clean soil taken from DNREC’s Glenville Project, which state and county officials teamed up to purchase and convert into wetlands after the homes there flooded in 2003.
Before the cleanup efforts, the “window to the river” was not an area that inspired community involvement. The ground where the park resides was created by the Pennsylvania Railroad, who decided to fill in the riverbank to create more industrial land. In 1958, S. Marston Fox campaigned to stop the filling process and turn the property over to the public.
For decades, industrial waste and sewage sludge contaminated the soil, making it hazardous to human health.
In 1990, the land became state property and the two-phase remediation process began. The first phase, which consisted of the park’s southernmost 15 acres, was started in 1993 and reopened to the public Earth Day in 1995.
Now, visitors can enjoy walking trails, self-composting restroom facilities, designated river outlook area, and native plants in the newly toxin-free land.
“The restoration of this spectacular park gives Delawareans a place to enjoy the outdoors and pursue a healthy lifestyle,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara.
“This project has also helped renew a community commitment to the protection, enhancement and enjoyment of the environment.”
Write a Comment
Gravatars are small images that can show your personality. You can get your gravatar for free today!