Pleasant Hill Park is a three-acre park and public boat launch situated on the Delaware River in the East Torresdale neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. There were once a variety of problems plaguing the park. Neighbors and city residents had no access to the river for casual walking and viewing. The design was not friendly to boat trailer parking, which caused numerous traffic-related issues. Flooding from the river inundated the pavement and left scattered debris, rendering the parking lot unusable. Redevelopment was necessary.
Environmental Stewardship Fund investments, leveraged with grants from other state and local sources, made this redevelopment possible. The City undertook a master site redevelopment plan to address the park’s limitations. A pedestrian path with solar light posts was constructed to allow river access and make the space feel more welcoming. The boat launch and parking area was separated from the parking area for regular park visitors. The parking lot was moved back and bioswales were installed to prevent stormwater from entering the river. The bioswales were constructed with layers of gravel and topsoil and planted with native vegetation, which filter out harmful pollutants. To decrease standing water on the pavement in the park, 20,000 square feet of pavement was removed and replaced with vegetation. Improvements made to the riparian edge also helped with stormwater management.