“The valley of Cobb’s Creek, north of Market Street” by H. Parker Rolfe. Source: City Parks Association 1905-06 Annual Report. Credit: Adam Levine and Phillyh2o.org
We know that people who are aware of their local watershed and the challenges it faces—along with why that water is important—make for better stewards. They care about issues like keeping pet waste and litter out of the streets that ultimately drain into the watershed. And they know what an important role programs like Green City, Clean Waters play in protecting their watershed.
Encouraging that kind of engagement and knowledge is the goal guiding our efforts to collect and share the stories and history connected to the 22-square mile Cobbs Creek Watershed, which is part of the larger Darby-Cobbs Watershed, one of seven in the city. Cobbs Creek itself starts right around Haverford College and runs through the western suburbs and West Philadelphia before entering Darby Creek above the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge near the Philadelphia International Airport (click here for an interactive watershed map).
Next week, we’ll be hosting a special talk about the history of Cobbs Creek with Adam Levine, a local historian who has spent two decades studying and documenting the history of water and waterways in Philadelphia. You would be hard pressed to find another person with more knowledge of what the city’s watersheds have been through since the first European settlers came here, and Levine’s presentations are always fascinating and informative.
His talk on Monday will focus on the creek’s history, starting with the first European interactions and tracking its centuries-long degradation through the forces of development and industrialization. Levine will also look at more modern efforts to restore the creek and improve water quality, and guests will have a chance to learn about the most recent chapter in the fight to restore the Cobbs—the Cobbs Creek Parkway Green Infrastructure Project, part of Green City, Clean Waters.
Check out the flyer below for details on the Cobbs Creek history talk. Spread the word, bring a friend, and bring your own Cobbs Creek story too! We hope to see you there!