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At Earth Day event, Tinicum puts its BEST foot forward

Its “Backyard Environmental Stewardship in Tinicum” initiative launched last weekend


On an unseasonably chilly spring day, residents nonetheless turned out at Tinicum Community Park Sunday for the second annual Tinicum Earth Day Fair, designed to build a deeper understanding of — and appreciation for — Bucks County’s natural resources.

An array of tented local vendors as well as the Tinicum Conservancy and Bridgeton-Nockamixon-Tinicum Groundwater Committee set up around the half-mile walking loop surrounding the park to field questions and sell wares.

Thanks to a recently awarded Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic River (LDW&S) 2024 mini-grant authored by Tinicum Board Chair Eleanor Breslin, a three-part initiative — “Backyard Environmental Stewardship in Tinicum” — was inaugurated at this year’s fair and offered to the community free of charge.

BEST initiative partners include the Tinicum Township Environmental Advisory Committee, Tinicum Conservancy, Department of Conservation and Environmental Resources, Tinicum Elementary School (Palisades School District), local Scout organizations, Kind Earth Growers and the Tohickon Garden Club.

The first of the three BEST segments launched at Sunday’s Earth Day Fair was a hands-on training workshop. Residents took part in a walking tour to inspect the results to date of the park’s wetlands enhancement project (the installation of which was made possible by a 2023 LDW&S mini-grant).

Township Audubon specialist Diane Allison, along with park ranger Katie Martens of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, led residents through an instructional workshop highlighting the importance of maintaining informed backyard habitats.

The workshop covered identification and removal of invasive species and then replanting with native plants that are more beneficial to the local environment.

“It was rewarding to see so many families eager to participate together in the BEST initiative’s launch,” said EAC Chair Lauren Zonca. “We had 30 households sign up to date to tour our active wetland project, where we have planted over 1,000 native plants. We are quite pleased with this turnout and excited to fulfill the next two parts.”

Each household left the Earth Day workshop with a copy of Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, published by the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to better aid them in identifying invasive plants on their own properties and in choosing which natives can be substituted.

The second BEST initiative component will be held June 2. The third will finish in early summer.

The June 2 event will feature an educational walk along a private property on the Delaware Canal Towpath, where residents will identify and remove invasive species before they go to seed and replace them with eco-friendly alternatives.

BEST’s final summer component will be a group celebration of the completion of the initiative. Each participant will receive a Backyard Environmental Stewardship in Tinicum Certificate of Completion and one or more native plants donated from “Kind Earth Growers” for replanting.

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