Why Not Build a Pocket Park in Sprague Field?

Pocket parks are small ( 0.1 – 0.5 acres) plots of land accessible to the public. There is a nice one in Chestnut Hill in the 7500 block of Germantown Ave at E Mermaid Lane and Winston Road. The following slideshow shows how a small, well landscaped pocket park can fit right next to a bustling Germantown Ave.

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SEPTA’s Sprague Field would make an excellent pocket park for Sedgwick Station neighbors, visitors on their way to or from  Blue Banyon Yoga Studio,  walkers and parents with baby strollers.

Presently the field is fenced off a considerable distance from the tracks. If the fence was relocated to run parallel to the R7 tracks at the required safe zone (similar to Devon Field distance) then a nice triangular piece of SEPTA  land could be opened up for public use just like the Devon Field, or even better, made into a formal pocket park.

5 Point Plan for Sprague Field

Sprague Field is a valuable piece of open space in a fully developed area. Thinking long-term, a pocket park could provide recreational and beautification benefits for a modest cost. This document lays out 5 steps that would need to be undertaken to make the dream of a Sprague Field Pocket Park  a reality.

  1. SEPTA To Erect New Safety Zone Iron Fence Along Track to Secure Track from Trespassing onto track area
  2. SEPTA To Replace Old Chain Link Fence – Gate with Proper Iron Gate and fence
  3. Devon Village Builder to Repair, Paint Wall and Plant Wall Covering   
  4.  Neighbors To Plant Wall Covering To Beautify E Mt Airy Ave Bridge Wall
  5. SEPTA Grant Limited Neighbor Access to Sprague Field Safe Zone for  Planting, Liter Removal and Passive Recreation

Win Win For Devon Village, Sedgwick Station Neighbors

While implementation of this 5 point proposal will present challenges, the benefits would be significant:

  • Devon Village Homeowners view from their living room windows would be dramatically improved. Instead on a view of an  ugly E Mt Airy Bridge wall and a sterile open field, the homeowners would view a nice vine-covered E Mt Airy Bridge wall with roses in the spring/ summer. If the pocket park is fully implemented , then the view could be of a vibrant, well landscaped pocket park.
  • Sprague Street drivers, R7 commuters and dog walkers would be able to look at attractive Devon Village and E Mt Airy Ave Bridge walls instead of eyesores
  • E Mt Airy residents would be able to walk to a small, friendly, quiet (except the short time when trains are passing)  pocket park. With vine-covered Devon Village Wall and E Mt Airy Bridge, this pocket park could be an attractive, accessible oasis.

The Devon Village Wall issue is about what could be done in our neighborhood to benefit the new  Devon Village homeowners and the existing Sedgwick Station neighbors.  If the wall is not repaired, the attractiveness of the pocket park is lost and the Devon Village homeowners will have to look at the dreary E Mt Airy Ave
Bridge and sterile Sprague Field.

This type opportunity does not come along very often. It will be a real shame if the opportunity is lost because we don’t see the opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons.

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