A Year in the 1.1 Acre

Jun 3, 2014 by

In 2013, we kept a photojournal to document the planned construction area in Glen Providence Park for Broomall’s Dam at 3rd Street. According to the project engineers, 1.11 acres will become a construction zone, with approximately .64 acres of the park buried with earthfill for the new, larger dam.

The 1.1 Acre is a serene part of Glen Providence Park, which includes the Third Street entrance and waterfall, wetlands, a stretch of Broomall’s Run, elegant native flowers, the remnant of a historical footbridge, natural springs that were once a source of drinking water, and of course wildlife.



Plant & Wildlife

Through the year, we watched birds bathing and drinking in the springs, White-tailed deer taking refuge, intriguing insects such as the Ebony Jewelwing and an iridescent golden spider, Pickerel frogs, and endearing baby Wood frogs. We followed the progression of flowering native Wild Ginger, False Solomons Seal, white violets, Trout Lily, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  Native Spicebush and American Witch Hazel are abundant, along with ever-elegant ferns. Of course the intriguing Skunk Cabbage is prolific in the wetlands! The 1.1 Acre has 76 trees of 18 species including American Sycamore, Sassafras, American Hornbeam (aka Ironwood), and notably the lovely and Pennsylvania-rare Umbrella Magnolia.


Historical features

We located the source of the historical springs that were once a source of drinking water for the park, and that once fed the Eleanor Reed Butler waterfall by the pond. The masonry structures within the 1.1 Acre show the elegance of the park’s original structures built by the Works Progress Administration, and of the now-deteriorating 1883 dam. The remnants of the original footbridge, described in the 1941 Nature Guide as “an arched rustic bridge which commands a beautiful view of the Falls” that led to a fernery and the drinking spring, would be buried under the planned replacement dam.


Delineating the 1.1 Acre

Throughout the year, we regularly took photographs from the same vantage point near the dam overlooking the acre, giving us a series of 1.1 Acre Vista photos through the seasons. In late April, dozens of volunteers helped us create a human chain along the perimeter of the 1.1 Acre, to visualize its boundaries. While it was a week too late for a clear view due to freshly emerged foliage, you can get a sense of the scope of the construction area in some of those photos below.

We still don’t know the timing of the Third Street Project, but it will be incredibly sad to see the destruction of the 1.1 Acre. It’s a serene part of the park – we encourage you to visit it while it is intact!


Photos & more information


To minimize destruction to the 1.1 Acre, Friends of Glen Providence Park supports dam removal, stream restoration and a local discussion of an environmentally-sensitive bridge between Media Borough and Upper Providence.

December 2020 update: We will be updating our website to enable our Flickr galleries to again display here. Until then, you can view our Year in the 1.1 Acre photos on Flickr

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This work by Friends of Glen Providence Park is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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