On Friday, September 28, Ground Reconsidered attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and official opening of the Discovery Center, a partnership between the National Audubon Society (Audubon Pennsylvania) and the Philadelphia Outward Bound School. The site is on a decommissioned water reservoir in East Fairmount Park near the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Originally built in the late 1800’s to provide clean water to Philadelphians, the 37-acre reservoir was closed to the public in the 1970s. Since that time, nature has taken over, creating a unique urban oasis and a critical stopover point for migrating birds. Audubon and Outward Bound have teamed up to save and sustain this important site and to open the education center for environmental conservation and leadership development.
As the Landscape Architect on the project, Ground Reconsidered worked with Digsau to recreate the initial feeling of discovery as you walk up the steep slope of the man-made berm to the large expansive view of the reservoir lake. Plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region were chosen to increase ecological functionality, providing habitat for birds, butterflies, and other animals, while also providing important education opportunities. Learn more about the Discovery Center in PlanPhilly’s “Building for Discovery”. For hours, events, and programming visit www.DiscoveryPhila.org