|The Poquessing Pathfinder Online|
|The Friends of Poquessing Watershed Inc. of Philadelphia and Bucks County|
|Dedicated to the Conservation and Beautification of the Poquessing Creek and Its Environs|
|P.O. Box 11552||Email: FriendsofPoquessing@usa.net||Fall/Winter 2002 Volume 12 Issue 2|
|Philadelphia, PA 19116||Phone: (215) 972-6275||Fax: (215) 632-2549|
THE PRESIDENT’S CORNER
Where Oh Where Has Our Little Park Gone?!
Development of Poquessing Park certainly is the priority goal of FOPW. As most of you know through articles in the Pathfinder and local newspapers, five years ago the Fairmount Park Commission (FPC) was awarded a one-time $26 million grant from the William Penn Foundation. During those five years FOPW has been working with the City of Philadelphia, Bensalem and FPC by having many planning and information meetings with consultants and community groups, by writing letters and articles, and by generally doing all we could to make this dream happen.
So you must know that we are sadly disappointed about what HASN’T happened:
This past year FPC had to hand back $9 million of the grant to William Penn because FPC could not find a way to spend the money within the five-year grant period. William Mifflin is out as executive director of FPC and Philip Goldsmith, former interim CEO of the Philadelphia school system is in — at least until a permanent director is selected.
On the positive side, Mr. Goldsmith is off and running. On November 4, he toured our park along with volunteer coordinator Jackie Olson, district supervisor Clark Crawford, and yours truly. The second positive is the reconstituted FPC with six new members (although the Northeast did lose Karen Borski) and a new chair of Robert C. Nix 3rd who replaces Eugene Fitzdixon. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mr. Nix for six years. He has energy, pragmatism, and an open-door policy.
So looks like we have to “hang in” a while longer. Hopefully the new administration will bring about our dream.
*P.S. Here is a copy of Phil Goldsmith’s greeting letter to us including his e-mail. He invites your input.
September 6, 2002
Mrs. Dianne Retzback
Friends of Poquessing Watershed
Dear Mrs. Retzback
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as the new Executive Director for Fairmount Park. Although I officially started on September 5th, I spent the month of August getting to know better our City’s greatest asset, the Fairmount Park system. I had the opportunity to visit both regional and neighborhood parks as well as historic sites, talking with community volunteers just like you. Fairmount Park is an incredible resource and asset to the entire Philadelphia region. With a new Commission, this is an exciting time of change for Fairmount Park. My immediate goals are to make the parks accessible, informative, and fun! I welcome your comments and ideas. Please e-mail me at Philgoldsmith2002@yahoo.com. I can’t promise that I will be able to respond to each e-mail; but I will read and seriously consider every one.
I salute you for your efforts in working with park staff to create a national model of citizen service for parks right here in Philadelphia. I look forward to your continued support, and hope I too will be considered a “friend” of the parks.
Philip R. Goldsmith
Fairmount Park Commission
HISTORICAL MARKER DEDICATED AT BIRTHPLACE OF DR. BENJAMIN RUSH
On Thursday June 13, 2002 (after being rained out on June 6), FOPW sponsored the dedication of a Pennsylvania Historical Plaque marking the location of the birthplace of Dr. Benjamin Rush. Our sincere thanks go to historian Celeste Morello, who prepared the documentation and FOPW member Marty Munizza, who handled the arrangements for FOPW and contributed 2/3 of the cost of the marker himself. Several FOPW members attended, including former President Henry Gabriel, his wife Rosemary, and daughter Kathleen Gibboni, Hal and Sue Rosenthal, Donna Remick, Chuck Benshetler and Sandy Kern. Frank Muhly, founder of the Phila chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation also attended. A speech given by State Senator Mike Stack highlighted the many accomplishments of Dr. Rush. If you’d like to visit the site where Dr. Rush was born, it is located on the corner of Keswick and Rayland Streets, near Frankford-Torresdale Hospital.
President notes: Sorry I couldn’t be there; but a BIG THANK YOU for a great job done to VP Donna Remick who officially represented FOPW at the dedication.
FOPW VISIT TO ANDALUSIA ON THE DELAWARE
On a beautiful June afternoon, nine FOPW members and two guests enjoyed a guided tour of the Andalusia mansion
followed by a walk on the estate grounds. Andalusia, located in Bensalem, was the home of Nicholas Biddle, one of the
most prominent and powerful men in the country. As Director of the Second National Bank of the United States,
Nicholas Biddle was responsible for the value of the nation’s currency, a position similar to the one held by Alan
Greenspan at the Federal Reserve Bank today. Andalusia is still owned by descendants of Nicholas and Jane Biddle
and many of the original furnishings remain.
BURLING AVENUE SHOULD NOT BE RENAMED
A LETTER FROM FOPW HISTORIAN BEA WALTON
A recent item in a local paper indicated some politician wants to rename Burling Avenue - it is already named for a Civil War veteran - Colonel George C. Burling who was involved in several battles during the war. He donated his saddle bags carried in these battles to Byberry Friends Library. They are now on display in the meetinghouse. The original hand written paper is in the Byberry Library. His son attended Byberry Friends School 1871 - 72. I hope the name Burling Avenue remains.
Note from the editor: The hand written note Bea refers to states that the saddle bags were carried by Colonel Burling in the following battles: Siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, White Oak Swamp, Glendale, —iston Station, Chantilly, Chancellorsville, McLean’s Ford, Fair Oaks, Savage Station, Peach Orchard, Malvern Hill, 2nd Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Kelly’s Ford, and Minerun.