Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) has been hard at work these past few months, focusing on outreach, awareness and community connections. Since EFNC was founded in May 2012, we have successfully halted construction of a high-density rental apartment complex planned for 35 acres of green space adjacent to Heinz Refuge, garnering solid support from Local District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson in the process. Much work remains in our mission of planning and advocating for environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development for Eastwick.
Knowing that information is power, EFNC is determined to disseminate as much as possible, about key issues and circumstances that impact physical and social health of our community, including John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Awareness is a critical component to empowering people to make informed decisions about the future of Eastwick. Committees have been established to address such topics as flooding, economic development, tourism, municipal involvement, education, and community outreach. We are gathering information, cultivating connections with local organizations, and building relationships with key officials.
EFNC is engaged with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), to review options for addressing the serious local and catastrophic flooding that occurs in Eastwick. Residents, experts and officials recognize the enormity of the task, considering that the Philadelphia region is impacted by rising sea levels, and the Darby and Cobbs Creek watersheds are increasingly burdened by urban development.
Additionally, the Folcroft and Clearview Landfills add a significant level of complexity, due to their respective locations along the lower Darby Creek. Operating from the 1950’s to 1970’s, these landfills are now classified as a national priority Superfund site, and any flood mitigation proposals must consider Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans for the sites.
EFNC remains committed to engaging community residents and stakeholders in an equitable, meaningful process that ensures a strong, healthy future for Eastwick. We’ll let you know when the next public community meeting is planned, to bring us all together. In the meantime, we urge all to become informed about the issues, ask questions, talk with your neighbors.