Way back in April 2011, Flying Kite brought you the story
of Manayunk's Venice Island -- which sits between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River -- and its nearly ruined Venice Island Recreation Center.
At the time, the rec center was preparing to undergo a $45 million rehab that would include athletic fields, a park, a small spray pool, a multi-use building and a 250-seat performing arts center. The Philadelphia Water Department
(PWD) helped arrange the capital funds as a compromise after announcing that an EPA-mandated sewage overflow tank was being constructed in the area.
Some three years later -- and eight years after the project's planning and preparation stage first kicked off -- Manayunk's community development organizations are finally ready to announce the upcoming grand opening of what has been dubbed the Lower Venice Island Park and Performance Center
"What's really interesting about the site is that it's in the center of a lot of options for outdoor recreation," says Kay Sykora of Destination Schuylkill River
, adding that in conjunction with the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park and performance center (which will probably happen sometime in September), an outdoor recreation event called Play Manayunk will be hosted for the general public.
The "adventure for city dwellers" organization known as Discover Outdoors
will be on hand during Play Manayunk, and opportunities for both kayaking and dragon boating should be on offer, according to Sykora, who also hopes to make bicycles available for those who'd like to ride on the Schuylkill River Trail. A geocaching event is also being scheduled, along with an attempt at earning a Guinness World Records
entry, possibly by way of a sit-up competition.
A concrete date for both Play Manayunk and the Venice Island ribbon cutting ceremony should be available come mid-summer; stay tuned to Flying Kite for more details.
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Kay Sykora, Destination Schuylkill River