On Friday, April 25th, the Water Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District joined the Overbrook community for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the daylighting of the West Branch of Indian Creek. Daylighting, is the process of bringing a buried stream back above ground. Like many of Philadelphia’s historic waterways, the West Branch of Indian Creek was culverted and burried underground, becoming part of the City’s sewer network. Now, for the first time since 1928, the creek is flowing naturally and available once again for the community to enjoy.

To complete the project, 750 feet of new stream bed and 1,300 feet of reconfigured stream channel, were constructed. Additionally, the old sewer culvert, which once contained the creek, was converted to hold stormwater. As a result of these efforts an estimated 1.7 million gallons of stormwater will be kept out of our waterways, reducing one of the largest sources of water pollution in our region.

Dozens of community members joined PWD and the Army Corps for the event. Special guests included: U.S. Congressman Robert Brady, Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., State Senator Vincent Hughes and State Representative Louise Bishop.  After the opening ceremony and cutting of the ribbon, PWD engineers, Erik Haniman and Rick Howley, gave a tour of the surrounding areas associated with the Indian Creek. To brighten the sunny day even more, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society provided trees for a ceremonial tree planting.

The restoration of Indian Creek was made possible by the collaboration of U.S. Representative Robert Brady, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Philadelphia Water Department and most importantly the support and patience of the Overbrook Community.

In other news, the Philadelphia Parks Alliance is excited to announce that, with support from the William Penn Foundation, the Alliance is researching park and public open space programming in Philadelphia and programming best practices from around the country.Please take a few minutes to complete the Parks Alliance's Program Survey for your chance to to win a $100 gift certificate to historic Valley Green Inn, in the Wissahickon!