City Seeks to End Troubled, 60-year old Development Agreement in Eastwick

EFNC greatly appreciates the work and words of reporter Samantha Melamed, who posted a compelling article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on October 17, 2015, highlighting city maneuvers, challenges and hopes in the Eastwick community.

News article excerpt below. Click on the title to read the full story by Samantha Melamed. (If link disabled, click here to download PDF article.)


Eastwick community activist Earl Wilson stands at the edge of the elevated Darby Creek after heavy rains on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 in Southwest Philadelphia. (MICHAEL BUCHER / For the Inquirer)

“City seeks end to troubled, 60-year Eastwick urban renewal effort

The last time the city developed a plan for Philadelphia’s Eastwick section, in 1957, it proved disastrous for residents: Over the next several years, it condemned more than 2,000 acres of private property, evicting 8,636 people to make way for a vision of urban renewal.

Today, that vision remains largely unfulfilled: Suburban-style cul-de-sacs lie curled up in wait for houses that were never built. Those who did move in faced years of flooding, sinking houses, and exposure to pollution from two Superfund sites.

But soon, there could be a new Eastwick plan – one developed with input from the community.

That hinges in part on whether the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority can reach a deal with developer Korman Corp. The authority wants to retake control of the last large swath of vacant land optioned to Korman as part of a 1961 redevelopment agreement, which expires at the end of this year.

Authority spokesman Paul Chrystie said the agency was in early discussions over the 128-acre expanse. “The PRA’s preferred option,” he said, “would be to return control to the city for the beginning of a community-planning process.”

An attorney for Korman….”

(Read the full article:

EFNC Supports Yard Tree Giveaway in Southwest Philadelpia

Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition is a proud partner of the Yard Tree Giveaway in Southwest Philadelphia!  Now through October 17, while supplies last, Philadelphia residents can register for up to TWO FREE trees to plant in a yard or lawn on private property. Several species are available, including Sugar Maple, Willow Oak, Hackberry, American Hornbeam, and Corneliancherry fruit tree.

Trees are a vital part of every community in Southwest Philadelphia and anywhere! Trees shade homes, provide habitat for wildlife, and beautify our neighborhoods. Trees also promote human health, increase air quality, soak up stormwater, save energy, reduce costs to taxpayers—and sometimes simply provide a much-needed place of solace in a bustling urban center!

TreePhillyFlyer-SW Philly 2015Pre-register now by clicking this weblink, and select your choice of tree species. Maximum two trees per person; trees must be planted in Philadelphia. When you pick-up your trees, you’ll also receive a free bag of mulch, educational materials and information on how to plant and care for tree.

Pick up your tree on Saturday, October 17th from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Longstreth Elementary School, 5700 Willows Avenue in West Philadelphia.  *PLEASE NOTE: Any leftover trees at 12:00pm will be made available for walk-in residents, so be sure to pick up your trees by noon!*

This Yard Tree Giveaway event is hosted by John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition, Friends of Heinz Wildlife Refuge and Audubon Pennsylvania.

Sponsored by Tree Philly, a program of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.


Community Empowerment, Community Change

Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition was thrilled to be honored at the 2015 Tribute to Change celebration on October 1, 2015, receiving a Community Empowerment award from Bread and Roses Community Fund. This year’s “Environmental Justice” theme recognizes individuals and organizations who challenge environmental, economic and racial disparities, and make changes happen.

TributeToChange2015 Dinner

EFNC was delighted to be recognized for 3 years of work in a community impacted by a host of environmental justice issues – chronic flooding, a national priority superfund site, short dumping, pollution from nearby refineries, the airport and mega highways. It wasn’t so long ago that the Eastwick neighborhood of SW Philadelphia, bordered by the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge and home to a tight-knit community, was known as “the meadows.” The 1950’s broght about one of the largest urban renewal plans in the country, which displaced 10,000 people and resulted in the construction of flood-prone homes on former wetlands. In 2012, Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) formed in response to a development proposal put forth by the Korman Company for a high-density buildling project on 35 acres of a 128-acre contiguous parcel of green space adjacent to Heinz Refuge.  EFNC mobilized to convene public meetings, rallied attendance to city hearings, met with elected officials and city agencies, and succeeded in halting the project.

TributeToChange2015-EFNC-Community Empowerment Award edit

EFNC is deeply humbled and inspired by fellow honorees… people like Iris Brown and Tomasita Romero who received the Paul Robeson Lifetime Achievement Award for their tireless dedication in transforming vacant lots in a crime-ridden neighborhood into culturally vibrant community gardens that are now part of the Norris Square Neighborhood Project. “What we did in our community, it was out of necessity,” said Iris.

We are especially proud and grateful for the work of Amy Laura Cahn, recipient of the “Trailblazer Award” – given to an outstanding leader in community organizing who has helped pave the way for others. Amy Laura, a staff attorney at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, has been involved with EFNC since the beginning. She has helped articulate our goals, connect us with appropriate decision-makers, guide next steps, and balance our passions. Amy Laura is an incredible ally, and wonderful friend.

TributeToChange2015-Amy Laura Cahn-Trailblazer Award -edit

Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition extends our thanks and appreciation to everyone at Bread and Roses Community Fund who planned, organized and directed the 2015 Tribute to Change, as well as event sponsors and attendees who created a wonderfully special evening.

TributeToChange2015 Dinner-EFNC photo edit

And many thanks to all Eastwick residents, stakeholders, friends and supporters. By working together, we create real change and make a difference in our community!

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