Q: I am having a party in the park do I need a permit? OR whom do I need to call to reserve our traditional spot for our annual family gathering in the park?
A: Contact: City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department on their Permits and Forms website or call (215)685-0060.
Q: Where is the best place in Pennypack Park to have my bridal party photographed?
A: Without a doubt, Crystal Springs at Rowland Avenue and Rhawn Street is the best place. It is the site of the Crystal Springs Inn that stood there during the 1800's and early 1900's. The Fairmount Park Commission, with the help of the Friends of Pennypack Park restored the site several years ago. The landscaped setting makes a great backdrop with an assortment of flowers, bushes and trees.
Q: Do you have a trail map of Pennypack Park?
A: There are actually several maps of the Pennypack Park. Some are available for viewing and printing on the Friends of Pennypack Park website and you can find a few on the Maps Page.
Q: Why hasn't the dam at Frankford Avenue been rebuilt and the dam at Rhawn Street been repaired?
A: The dams along the Pennypack are old and do not really benefit the creek. They were originally built to provide power for the grist and factory mills that once lined the Pennypack. They were built where the mill owners owned land, and not built with the environment of the creek in mind. Later the dams were rebuilt at their present locations to provide swimming holes that where maintained and staffed by the Park Commission during the 1930s and 40's. The commission does not have the funds to maintain them. Therefore, they are hindrance to the natural flow of the creek, as over the years debris has collect behind them. They were built when the area around the park was less populated, and before there were miles of streets with stormwater inlets feeding into the creek. Over development causes excessive flows during storms. There is the issue of safety and liability. Over the past several years there have been deaths and injuries from people swimming at the dams.
All over, the world governments and agencies are reevaluating the need for dams in specific locations. One reason for the increase in decommissioning activities is the poor condition of the nation's dams, 1,800 of that are officially deemed unsafe. By 2020, 85% of all government owned US dams will be at least 50 years old, the typical design life-span. Supporters of dam removal are calling attention to a serious lack of funding for dam safety programs.
You can learn more about this subject on the Internet, especially the November 1998 Smithsonian Magazine at: http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues98/nov98/dam.html
Music Festival Info
Q: Where can I get information on the Pennypack Park Concerts?
A: Pennypack Park Music Festival: Pennypack Park Bandshell, Welsh Rd & Rowland Ave; (215) 745-5689. or visit http://www.pennypack.org/