Delaware County Council recently joined Upper Darby Mayor Tom Micozzie and Director of Delaware County Parks and Rec Marc Manfre to visit the site and see the progress of the future Darby Creek Trail in Upper Darby.
Construction has begun on Phase 1 of the trail.
The project is a joint venture between Delaware County and Upper Darby Township. Phase 1 includes a one-mile trail along the Darby Creek from the Swedish Cabin to the Kent Park Dog Park.
Eventually, the trail will connect north through Upper Darby, Haverford, and into Radnor. The trail will also follow the Darby Creek south through Clifton Heights, Lansdowne, Yeadon, and into Darby Borough, where it will connect to the newest County Park at the recently acquired 33-acre Little Flower Manor site.
Delaware County Council has been working with the county’s Planning Department and Parks and Recreation to create a “ribbon of green” and recreational trail along Darby Creek for decades, beginning with conservation efforts that started back in the 1980s.
“Open space is a priority to council and we know that having green space brings social, environmental, economic, and health benefits to our residents,” said Delaware County Council Chairman Mario Civera Jr. “The project is the result of many years of planning by the county to preserve this stretch of open space and create a trail which walkers, hikers, runners, and bicyclists will enjoy.”
The Darby Creek Trail is an important segment of the county’s Primary Trail Network, which is a countywide system of multi-use trails identified to connect recreational and cultural hubs across the county. It was identified in the Delaware County Open Space, Recreation, and Greenway Plan released in 2015.
The Darby Creek Trail is also part of the Circuit, a vast regional trail network, composed of hundreds of miles of interconnected trails, that is growing in size each year. One of America’s largest trail networks, the Circuit is currently composed of more than 300 miles of completed trails with a vision of completing 750 miles of trails across the nine-county region in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Delaware County has 1,116 acres of county-owned parks and conservation areas and 17,000 acres of protected open space, which includes Ridley Creek State Park and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. There are currently dozens of trails covering more than 118 miles across Delaware County, including 33 miles on the Primary Trail Network.
“In response to public interest in open space, council has taken a proactive approach in planning to identify needs and opportunities in the county,” said Civera.
Phase 1 of the Darby Creek Trail is expected to be completed by the fall.