Tag Archives: Tacony Creek Park

Plastic Bags Trashing Tacony Creek Park

I conducted a photo survey of plastic bags and other trash in a small area of Tacony Creek Park along Cresentville Road from Hammond Ave to Adams Ave on Sunday, April 26, 2015. This map shows this area of the Park.


Click any photo to launch the gallery slide show.

Groups like the Tookany-Tacony-Frankford Creek Watershed Partnership have many volunteer cleanups throughout the year. Unfortunately, the litter load is too much for the volunteers and the City’s Streets and Parks & Recreation Department to keep up. We must begin to reduce the plastic trash load by reducing the use of unnecessary plastic in our.

Please help protect Tacony Creek park, our neighborhoods and creeks by supporting Councilman Mark Squilla’s Philadelphia Single Use bag fee bill 150373 before Philadelphia City Council.

Please let you City Councilor know that you care about our Parks, Creeks and Rivers an that you support Bill 150373.


TTF Watershed Litter Code Violations

The Tacony-Frankford Creek has a major stormwater trash problem, as discussed here, here and here.

In this post, I want to show how to map watershed boundaries, Philadelphia City Council District Boundaries and litter Code Violation Notice data to show the geographic relationships between chronic litter areas, stormwater flow and creek trash.

Here is my map:


I made this map using ESRI’s ArcMap and Philadelphia’s open  Code Violation Notice data. There were 6,258 litter code violations in the Philadelphia portion of the TTF Watershed. The Tacony Creek Park, highlighted in data green in the map, receives a large load of stormwater litter that gets caught along the banks and in vegetation along the banks.


Tidal Delaware River Stormwater Plastic Trash Survey

I have been surveying stormwater plastic trash along the banks of Philadelphia area creeks and rivers to assess the impact of Philadelphia’s street litter on our receiving waters. My overall survey plan is shown in this map:


This post reports on photo surveys of site 4 (General Pulaski Park) and site 5 (Penn Treaty Park).



General Pulaski Park,  with its very limited river front, has stormwater trash  in the southeast corner of the Park along the river front, as shown in this photo.

Photo by Kelly O'Day

Penn Treaty Park is a 9.7 acre waterfront park with nearly 1,100 feet of accessible river front that can be viewed during low tide.



Philadelphia Litter Walk

Philadelphia has a litter problem that causes water pollution problems in our local creeks, Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers as well as Delaware bay and Atlantic Ocean. Click this image to see how much litter accumulates in 95 feet of Philadelphia streets.


This litter photo survey was taken in the 6100 block of E Godfrey street near Adams Ave & Cresentville Road on 9/9/14.



I counted 155 pieces of litter in this 95 foot stretch of E Godfrey St. Count them yourself and see how many pieces you find.

Philadelphia’s Plastic Bottles Trashing Tacony – Frankford Creek

Plastic bottles are a serious water pollution problem in Philadelphia.  This photo survey shows the accumulation of plastic bottles in the Tacony – Frankford Creek and Tacony Creek Park.

(Click any image to launch slide show. Press X in Upper left to return to post)

You can download a pdf file of slides here.

Trash Photo Tour of Tacony – Frankford Creek

This map shows the extent of my 4/1/14 photo trash tour of the Tacony – Frankford Creek from E Wyoming Ave to Castor Ave.


View the slide show by clicking on any image.

To view the tour as a pdf,  click this link.

Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash Tour: 3/11/14

A group of 20 had an educational 2-hour tour of trash in and around Tacony Creek Park and Tacony Creek on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.  The planned tour route is shown below:


Because of time considerations, we stopped at point 8, just below Roosevelt Blvd.

The tour briefing pdf is available here.

PWD Outfalls Dump Street Litter in Tacony Creek

PWD outfalls discharge large quantities of street litter to the Tookany – Tacony – Frankford (TTF)  Creek which hurts the Creek,  Tacony Creek Park and the Friends Hospital. Too much of Philadelphia’s street litter flows into PWD’s stormwater inlets during rain events, passes through the inlet traps and is carried by storm sewer or combined sewer to an outfall where it is discharged to the TTF Creek.

I have found several chronic Creek locations along the banks of the TTF Creek that are seriously hurt by PWD litter laden stormwater outfall discharges:

  • Rock Creek below PWD outfall T-01 (link)
  • Mill Run below PWD outfall T-088-01 (link)
  • Tacony Creek: Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital, below PWD outfalls T-08, T09,  T-10, T-11, T-12, T-13 (link)

The severity of PWD’s litter laden stormwater discharge has become very evident to me over the course of my TTF Creek Trash Photo Surveys. In an  August, 2013 post I showed how some street litter plastic bags pass through PWD’s stormwater inlet traps and are discharged to the TTF Creek.

On September 23, 2013 I resurveyed Tacony Creek from Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital and found that the Creek banks were as littered in September, 2013 as they were in  August –  October, 2012. This in spite of significant volunteer clean-up efforts organized by the TTF Watershed Partnership, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Scattergood Foundation, United by Blue, Philadelphia Water Department, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful and others. These cleanups have removed a large quantity of illegally dumped material, Park visitor litter and stormwater litter. Yet a great quantity of litter remains in and along the Creek.

This slideshow shows the Tacony Creek from Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital on 9/23/13. It shows PWD’s 6 outfalls and the extensive Creek trash along the banks of this 0.8 mile stretch of Creek.

Click link or image to view 9/23/13 Tacony Creek Trash Tour
PWD Outfalls & Tacony Creek Trash

Let’s take a look at the 1,950 acre (3 square mile) stormwater drainage area for PWD’s T-08 outfall which discharges to the Tacony Creek just upstream of Roosevelt Blvd, noted in the blue shading in this map.

Click image to enlarge map

Too much of the street litter from this 3 square mile, densely populated drainage area is winding up along the banks of Tacony Creek from Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital. Street litter from residents, businesses and visitors  in Cedarbrook, East & West Oak Lane is hurting Tacony Creek, yet these distant Creek trash contributors are oblivious to the damage that their street litter is doing to the TTF Creek 1 – 2 miles from where they dump their plastic bag or food wrapper.

Volunteer cleanups  along Tacony Creek in this area help,  however, volunteers simply can not keep pace with the volume of  street litter that makes its way to PWD’s T-08 and the 5 other outfalls in this short stretch of Creek.

The City’s Water,  Streets and Parks & Recreation Departments are working hard to revitalize and restore the Creek and Tacony Creek Park with Creek restoration and new/enhanced trail projects. Interested groups like the TTF Watershed  Partnership, Scattergood Foundation and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful are holding neighborhood events to encourage neighborhood ownership of the Park and Creek.

These efforts are helpful and needed, however, they do not address the underlying problem of street litter fouling Tacony Creek. Significant litter prevention and more effective floatables controls need to be more aggressively pursued to stem the flow of street litter flowing out of PWD outfalls and into the TTF Creek. More aggressive litter prevention and floatable controls need to be recognized as critical components of PWD’s Green City, Clean Water Program if we hope to have a litter free TTF Creek.

Litter reduction needs to go hand-in-hand with run-off reduction. The Green City, Clean Waters program is not providing the full message.

Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash Update: 7/16/13


You can view a PowerPoint slideshow of the update here: update_7_16_13_slide_show

Potential Role of PWD Outfalls in Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash Problem

Have you ever wondered why the Wissahickon Creek is so clan and the Tacony Creek is so dirty?


After conducting numerous field surveys, I’m beginning to understand the Tookany – Tacony Creek trash situation. I’ve found 10 Philadelphia Water Department stormwater outfalls with evidence of  trash in the outfall channel or immediately downstream of the outfall, making hte outfall a suspect for trash discharge to the Tookany – Tacony Creek.

This pdf documents my concerns about the discharge of floatable trash from PWD outfalls:  Potential_role_of_10_outfalls