Released: July 14, 2023
Delaware County Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer, Councilman Richard Womack, and Councilwoman Christine Reuther were excited to join Kathy Lopez, Chair of the Delaware County Parks and Recreation Board, Darby Borough Mayor Darren Burrell, representatives of the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the County’s Department of Public Works, and other elected officials at a groundbreaking for the future park adjacent to the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer’s Little Flower Nursing Home in Darby Township on July 13.
The as-yet named 33-acre park, referred to as simply “Little Flower” or “Little Flower Open Space,” will be the County’s newest park, providing much needed public green space for the local community.
“Little Flower is a beautiful space, and a perfect location for a park,” said Vice Chair Schaefer. “This community needs green space and we’re thrilled to be able to make this investment that will really impact the quality of life in this area.”
“We understand that outdoor space enhances our quality of life and it also has a tangible economic benefit in our community, added Councilman Richard Womack. “It’s money well spent.”
Recognizing the inherent natural beauty and historical significance of the location, Delaware County officials worked with the late State Rep. Nicholas Micozzie and community leaders and elected officials from Darby Borough, the Borough of Clifton Heights, Upper Darby Township, and the Borough of Collingdale to purchase the land in 2016, with help from State grants obtained with input from Natural Lands.
The County’s Planning Department then worked to create a park master plan, which included extensive public engagement of local citizens and officials. Residents strongly supported the creation of a park over the possible commercial development of the space.
“I’m happy that all levels of government came together for the common good, to make this park a reality,” said Darby Borough Mayor Burrell, who noted that it was the efforts to create a park at Little Flower that inspired him to get involved in local government.
The property of Little Flower, which once served as an encampment for British soldiers during the Revolutionary War and is one of larger undeveloped tracks along the Great Minquas Path used in the pre-colonial beaver pelt trade between the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans and European settlers, has long provided the community with green open space, though not accessible to the public.
This current phase of work — assisted with a generous grant in the amount of $300,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) — will allow for the creation of the park’s core infrastructure. JMC Contractors will complete the construction of the phase 1 improvements informed by drawings from the Engineer of Record, Pennoni.
Work to be done this year will include:
Installation of a new driveway entrance
New ADA compliant parking
Installation of a paved walking trail
Improved path into the woods to an overlook
Creation of a community garden
The addition of shade trees, and
Stormwater management features