Public Again Weighs in on Cobbs Creek Redevelopment


The renovation of the Cobbs Creek Golf Course hit a small hurdle on May 10 as the Cobbs Creek Foundation sought approval from the Philadelphia Art Commission of the next phase of its construction, a pumphouse and reservoir for irrigating the golf course, with the commission asking the foundation to return at a future meeting for final approval of the design.

As Grid has reported, the City signed a $1, 30-year lease (70 years with renewals, and with no competing bids) with the newly formed and politically connected Cobbs Creek Foundation, which is based in West Conshohocken. The plans for the course include revitalizing the bed of Cobbs Creek and its tributaries that run through the golf course as well as restoring its landscaping to its original 1916 design, which entailed the clearing of 100 acres of forest on the site.

The Philadelphia Art Commission has to approve new buildings in Philly parks, and it holds meetings with open comment from the public, making its meetings rare opportunities for the public to weigh in on the project. It took the foundation four attempts to gain approval for the previous phase — the driving range and education center.

The design presented at the meeting is for a rectangular reservoir at the corner of Lansdowne and Haverford Avenues, edged by trees and meadow. Commissioners asked about the source of the water and the staging of this phase within the overall golf course renovation. Foundation representatives said the reservoir will initially be filled by a well, though once the creek restoration is complete, the reservoir will be filled with water from Cobbs Creek and Indian Creek, a tributary.

Other questions from commissioners and the public dealt with trees being removed and trees being planted as well as plans to manage geese at the reservoir. Tim Reimer, commenting as a member of the public, pointed out that the trees indicated for removal in the architectural renderings didn’t include all the trees removed when most of the golf course’s trees were logged from the end of 2021 into the beginning of 2022.

The commission granted conceptual approval for the pumphouse and reservoir, meaning that the foundation will need to present the plans for final approval at the June 14 commission meeting.



  1. I thought perhaps you were going to report on the Cobbs Creek Foundation’s recently announced partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation to build and support new STEM educational programs for children as well as a short course to introduce them to the game? Instead you’re complaining again that no other source but CCF came up with tens of millions of dollars to restore this city asset? Leave yellow journalism to Fox News, Bernard. Thanks.

    • We are headed full steam into a climate emergency, and building golf courses is a luxury a bygone era. Hundreds of acres of mowed grass will requires pesticides that will runoff into our watershed. CFF intends to divert massive amounts water from surrounding creeks to water this grass. Hundred of mature trees have already been removed and CFF will be able to remove trees on steep slopes further compromising the site. And what do Philadelphians gets? A STEM center? The CFF will pay no property taxes, no use taxes, no water bills. There is no monetary benefit to the city. CFF all of $1 for use of the site for 70 years. It is an outrage that former commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and city council have handed this *gift* to the billionaire McGuire family instead of recognizing the value of this 350 acre of public land for the health of the community, and Philadelphia as a whole. We need more undeveloped green spaces to clean our air and water and to support biodiversity. This is project is a vanity project that should not proceed.

  2. These people came into our neighborhood slaughtered trees that have been there for years leaving them lying on the course in massive piles. No one wants them in our neighborhood. As far as their educational center we don’t need a golf educational center. You want to put money into education we have public schools that need it not a golf course. These people will have a rude awakening upon opening this suppose to be right up there with PGA golf courses. I love it when people with money think that they can come into a neighborhood and have their way but I have no doubt they will see otherwise once this course is completed. And btw, if this is part of a regrntrifucation effort good luck with that. The people of Overbrook are here to say new PGA golf course or not.

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