Delaware County Trails and Open Spaces Set for Major Expansion: New Projects and Funding Pave the Way

TrailsImage via Pixabay

MEDIA, PA — In an exciting development for outdoor enthusiasts, Delaware County Council Member Elaine Paul Schaefer recently joined representatives from over a dozen local organizations at the 12th annual Philadelphia Western Suburbs Trail Summit. The event brought together trail advocates, planners, and local government officials to discuss the expansion and enhancement of trails and open spaces across the region.

Held in Haverford Township, the summit was a collaborative effort by the Haverford Township Parks and Recreation Department, Friends of Haverford Trails, and Delaware County’s Trails Alliance. The day featured presentations from nearly two dozen speakers, all dedicated to the transformation and improvement of local trails and pedestrian infrastructure.

Council Member Schaefer highlighted the importance of the gathering, stating, “This summit is an amazing event that brings together so many dedicated organizations — including our own Planning Department — doing exceptional work to transform, expand, and improve our trails here in Delaware County and throughout the region.”

Among the various updates provided, one of the most notable came from Planning Director Gina Burritt. She kicked off the presentations with news about Delaware County’s Active Transportation Plan, Vision Zero Delco, and the latest developments regarding the new County Park at the Former Don Guanella Property.

Particularly promising was the announcement of $1.8 million in state and federal grants earmarked for the enhancement of Chester Creek and Darby Creek Trails. This funding will allow for a 1.2-mile extension of the Chester Creek Trail and further design work on two vital segments of the lower Darby Creek Trail. These projects form part of the ambitious 800-mile “Circuit Trails” network planned to span Greater Philadelphia.

Other significant updates included the anticipated completion of the Pennsy Trail extension from Eagle Road to West Chester Pike in Haverford, and progress reports on the Rose Valley Road Sidepath Project and the Radnor Trail Extension. Attendees also learned about the innovative “Mint Trail” in Middletown, which will connect the Chester Creek Trail with the new Wawa SEPTA station. Construction on this project is expected to commence in 2025.

These projects collectively underscore the region’s commitment to expanding and enhancing recreational and transportation infrastructure for both residents and visitors. The aim is to create a more connected, accessible, and enjoyable network of trails and open spaces that promote outdoor activity and sustainable transportation options.

In the coming weeks, Delaware County residents will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas to this important initiative. The county is set to launch the Walk Roll Delco survey, an interactive map-based platform where residents can indicate the areas where they would like to see improved walkability and biking infrastructure. This tool will provide community members with a direct way to influence the future of mobility in Delaware County.

The developments announced at the summit point toward a greener, healthier, and more interconnected Delaware County. As we look forward to the expansion and improvements of local trails and open spaces, it’s clear that the future of outdoor recreation and sustainable transportation in our region is bright.

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