Officials Break Ground for Benjamin Rush State Park Improvements

Nov 19, 2012, 11:30 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bureau of State Parks Director David Kemmerer today joined other state and local officials to break ground on a $4.7 million improvement project at Benjamin Rush State Park in northeast Philadelphia.

"This park prides itself in encouraging community involvement," Kemmerer told the gathering. "Local civic and recreation groups and other day-use visitors will all benefit from the improvements we're making here today." 

Financed through capital budget funds, improvements to the 276-acre park will include: construction of a new park entrance; parking improvements; a new trail, comfort station and information kiosks; sanitary sewer and water line installation; garden hose connections; electrical service, meadow establishment; storm-water controls; landscaping; and new signage.

Kemmerer was joined by Sen. Michael Stack (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), Philadelphia City Councilman Brian O'Neill (R), and representatives from local civic and recreational groups.

Named in honor of Dr. Benjamin Rush – acclaimed psychiatrist, signer of the Declaration of Independence and attendee at the Continental Congress – the park is home to one of the state's largest community gardens. Created 35 years ago, it adjoins Bucks County and is Philadelphia's only state park.

Comprised largely of woodlots and rolling fields, the park is frequented by employees and residents of the nearby Delaware Valley Veterans Home, Friends of Poquessing, Somerton Civic Association, Parkwood Civic Association, Benjamin Rush Garden Association, and North East Philadelphia Radio Control Club.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of November and last into spring 2013. Work will necessitate closing park grounds east of Roosevelt Boulevard, but will not affect the park's soccer fields. Grounds closings will be posted for the public.

Details on Benjamin Rush and Pennsylvania's other 119 state parks can be found at (Select "Find a Park"). 

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources