Parks and Recreation Commission Seeks Public Comment On Audubon Society Outward Bound Proposal

Philadelphia, February 22, 2013 – The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commission (PaRC) is inviting public input on a proposal by the National Audubon Society, an international non-profit conservation organization, and Outward Bound Philadelphia, an affiliate of the national Outward Bound organization, to build an educational center for conservation and leadership development on the banks of the East Park Reservoir next to the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.


In compliance with the Open Lands Protection Ordinance, (Bill NO. 110002-A, signed by Mayor Michael A.  Nutter on April 27, 2011) PaRC is conducting a review of the proposal with opportunity for the public to comment. “Comments from anyone who has an interest in this project are vital to our review process and we look forward to hearing from the residents of the entire region about the proposal,” says Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman, Nancy Goldenberg.


PaRC is providing a number of ways for the public to review and comment on the proposal: in addition to providing comments directly via email, regular mail and the website (listed below), PaRC is inviting the public to comment on the proposal at its regularly scheduled meeting on February 27, 2013 at 6:00PM in the Mander Recreation Center, 2140 North 33rd Street.


Following review and public comment, the Commission must render a determination on the proposed project. The ordinance states “City Council and all other City officials shall give substantial weight to the Commission’s determination.”


The Audubon/Outward Bound partnership is proposing to develop the 37 acres surrounding a man-made lake that was once part of Philadelphia’s water supply system. The elevated site, which runs along 33rd street in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood, is closed to the public and largely hidden from view by chain link fencing and dense vegetation.


Outward Bound Philadelphia is plans to use the new facility as its headquarters. Audubon expects to establish a hub for research and science-based conservation projects and programs in the Philadelphia region.  The Audubon/Outward Bound Alternatives Analysis contains detailed plans for the project, including environmental and traffic impact.


View the Alternatives Analysis submitted by the National Audubon Society and Outward Bound Philadelphia on the Parks and Recreation Department Web page. The Link to the full PDF is posted in Announcements.


To read and post online comments about the Audubon/Outward Bound proposal, visit:


Those wishing to submit written comments may send them to PaRC via email at:


Written comments may also be submitted to this address:

Parks and Recreation Commission

Attn: Audubon/Outward Bound Center

10th floor

1515 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102


About the Parks and Recreation Commission (PaRC)

On November 4, 2008, a voter-approved amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter established the Commission on Parks and Recreation. In addition, the Fairmount Park Commission (FPC) and the Recreation Department were combined to establish the Department of Parks and Recreation. The goal of the newly established Commission and the merger of the FPC and the Department of Recreation, was to create a more public, transparent, and accountable management of Philadelphia’s parks and recreation facilities.




For more information, please contact:


Nancy Goldenberg

Chair, Commission on Parks & Recreation

Phone: (215) 813-5074

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