Will you help the Trolley Trail in Fairmount Park?
Fairmount Park Conservancy is participating in A Community Thrives fundraising campaign to raise funds for the historic Trolley Trail network in Fairmount Park! We're ready to raise at least $6,000 now – with help from our partners and supporters – to be in the running for up to $100,000 in grant funds later this spring to support the completion of the Trolley Trail.
Here's how you can help:
The Community Thrives fundraising competition takes place from March 18 to April 12. Please consider giving to our cause to help us raise the minimum $6,000 to stay in the competition after April 12!
Here's how the funding will be used:
Full funding from A Community Thrives will allow us to complete the 4.5-mile Trolley Trail loop, including connections to more than a hundred miles of local trails via the Parkside Cynywd Trail and MLK Drive Trail, wayfinding signage, and a trail map.
Regardless of the outcome of the larger grant, the $6,000 we can raise over the next month – with your help – will allow us to finish one of the trail’s five “critical links,” bringing us closer to finishing the trail. To date, we’ve completed 1.5 miles of the trail through an incremental approach, and a little bit of funding goes a long way.
Support the Trolley Trail today!
As a thank you:
• $25-level donors will receive a set of Trolley Trail note cards
• $150-level donors will receive a limited-edition Trolley Trail t-shirt and Trolley Trail note cards
• $500-level donors will receive a limited edition print of the old Trolley Trail map, membership to the Conservancy ($100-level), limited-edition Trolley Trail t-shirt, and Trolley Trail note cards
• $1,000-level donors will receive a private tour of the Trolley Trail for up to five people, a limited edition print of the old Trolley Trail map, a membership to the Conservancy ($100-level), limited-edition Trolley Trail t-shirt, and Trolley Trail note cards
A brief history of the Trolley Trail
The Fairmount Park Trolley, which operated in East and West Fairmount Park from 1896 to 1946, provided a unique and memorable way for visitors to access and explore Fairmount Park. With the end of trolley service in 1946, the trolley route gradually vanished, leaving fragments of the site’s former life to be discovered only by intrepid West Fairmount Park explorers.
Since 2017, the Conservancy has been working closely with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Belmont Plateau Trails Alliance to develop the Trolley Trail, a 4.5-mile soft surface, multi-purpose loop trail that reimagines the site as a scenic interpretive trail. To date, 1.5 miles of trail have been completed.
The completed Trolley Trail will provide a new quality park experience for trail users, build connections to bordering regional trails and several park amenities, and establish — for the first time in this area of the park — a coherent system recognized by the Conservancy, Parks & Recreation and stewardship groups. The trail will not only provide a fantastic new recreational amenity, but will also help to greatly improve the surrounding ecosystem by eliminating trails that disturb desirable woodland habitat and correcting erosion issues along previous trail segments, while preserving the existing and well-used single track mountain bike trails.
About Fairmount Park Conservancy
Fairmount Park Conservancy brings parks to life. We improve and steward Philadelphia’s parks, enhance their historic and cultural assets, and support the communities they serve. We envision a vibrant, high-quality, and equitable park system that enriches the lives of all Philadelphians and serves as a model for excellence in civic engagement, environmental stewardship, historic preservation, and cultural vitality. Learn more at myphillypark.org.