Cobbs Creek walk more than just a stroll through park

November 16, 2016 GMT

Residents of West Philadelphia and surrounding areas had an opportunity to explore and photograph nature in its raw beauty during the Second Saturday event held at Cobbs Creek Park.

The Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center at 700 Cobbs Creek Parkway hosted the activity on Nov. 12, when a nature photography session took participants through the park and taught them about its environment.

“We have a program for families called Second Saturday, and parents and their children come and we have different activities,” said George Ambrose of the education center.

The activities consist mostly of walks, he said, but include cleanups as well.

“Today is a walk and it’s a nature photography walk. We thought that the trees would be just about right for some color and it would be a nice chance to take a look at what’s here by looking at it through the lens of a camera,” Ambrose said.

And he was right. The fall colors of gold, red and green tree leaves merged into a picturesque kaleidoscope.

“We have the benefit of two creeks, we have Cobbs Creek and we have Naylor’s Run Creek, which flows into Cobbs Creek and is on the Upper Darby side,” Ambrose said.

Naylor’s Run is maintained by the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and is 4.6 miles long and protected by what is known as a riparian buffer, or a vegetated area of trees and bushes that helps to keep the creek clean and shaded.

“There is a field of wildflowers here and then there are some woods. Believe it or not, on the other side there is a 2 ½-acre manmade wetland so there is a variety of habitat that we could walk through and see different things and different places,” Ambrose said.

Joshua Henry is a two-year veteran of the center’s Junior Docent program, which he says has had a significant effect on his life.

“It has had a huge impact on my life right now and it has helped me to decide my career path,” said the 15-year-old. “I want to go into biology or anything involving nature.”

Henry described the activities at the CCCEEC as “easy neighborhood” events that offers participants the opportunity to learn about nature.

“This is just a good place to go and learn about the environment,” he said.

The education center also has two new visitors for the next few months.

Nemo and Crush are two red-eared slider turtles brought to the center by Safiya Carter, whose grand-daughters are lending the reptiles for the winter.

“People coming to the center will get a chance to see and learn about red-eared sliders and their history in Pennsylvania, and watch how they play and do all kinds of interesting things in the water,” Carter said.

Saturday was Carter’s first visit to the Cobbs Creek center but she promised to come back.

“It’s a wonderful resource here for the neighborhood, and they are just doing a wonderful job with the walks and the garden and the after-school program and I’m just really impressed with what they are doing,” Carter said.

For more information about the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, call (215) 685-1900.