Essential Utilities launches one of the largest urban creek restoration projects in the U.S. through $1 million donation to Cobbs Creek Foundation


The donation and multi-year partnership, the largest to date for Essential Utilities, will help revitalize Cobbs Creek and the surrounding community.   


Lansdowne and Bryn Mawr, PA (Feb. 09, 2023) – The Cobbs Creek Foundation (CCF) and Essential Utilities (NYSE: WTRG) today announced a multi-year strategic partnership to help revitalize one of Philadelphia’s largest green spaces, the Cobbs Creek Golf Course, and enhance the quality of life for all residents in the region through a $1 million donation from its Essential Foundation.

The funding and partnership will support CCF’s plans to restore three miles of impaired waterways that regularly flood the surrounding neighborhood. Together, they will create 37 acres of wetlands – comprising one of the largest urban creek restoration project in the country to date, according to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The effort will improve water quality, minimize sewer overflows, reduce flooding, and enhance habitat at the site.

This work is part of CCF’s larger plan to restore the century-old Cobbs Creek Golf Course and develop an on-site Education Center for local youth to be funded in perpetuity by the renovated golf facilities. The revived property will support the local economy, create permanent jobs, and return the course to its status as one of the city’s most significant historical landmarks and the home of Black golf. In the coming years, CCF and Essential will continue to determine opportunities for partnership to benefit the community.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Essential Utilities, which shares our mission of improving the environment and lives of the residents of our region,” said Jeff Shanahan, president of the Cobbs Creek Foundation. “Essential understands the crucial importance of restoring the wetlands and creek bed on this long-neglected property, and this generous donation will help bring us much closer to transforming this underutilized land into a new, vibrant community hub that can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

The partnership is a natural fit for Essential’s foundation, which supports the work of nonprofit organizations that enhance the quality of life of the individuals, families, businesses, and communities throughout Essential’s footprint. The project helps Essential further fulfill its mission of improving the quality of life and economic prosperity of the communities it serves by safely and reliably delivering earth’s most essential resources. It promises to revitalize one of Philadelphia’s largest green spaces, while also enhancing the quality of life for all residents of the area, including those in bordering Montgomery and Delaware Counties.

“We are proud to be able to take part in such a multi-faceted project for our community, and we’re proud to be an early partner of the important work of the Cobbs Creek Foundation,” said Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO Chris Franklin. “Not only will it have a net benefit for the environment, but the education programs will have a dramatic impact on the lives of our young people. The golf program will increase diversity in the sport, create much-needed jobs, and future tournaments have the potential to bring millions in revenue to the local economy.”

Along with its funding, Essential has offered technical assistance to aid CCF with its environmental plans, and as the partnership between Essential and CCF continues, the organizations will work together on volunteer opportunities, educational programs, career training, and other innovative opportunities for continued community impact.

“Restoring this storied public golf course is an important investment in a historic West Philadelphia landmark, and the neighboring community it serves,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. “The city of Philadelphia thanks Essential for its commitment to the heritage of the Cobbs Creek Course and the vision to redefine the site with a modern education and community center that serves the surrounding neighborhoods.”

About the Cobbs Creek Foundation

The Cobbs Creek Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2018 whose mission is to create an economically sustainable golf and educational campus which provides opportunities for the youth of Philadelphia. The Foundation is partnering with local schools and engaging continually with the community to ensure the most beneficial outcomes. Learn more at

About Essential

Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) delivers safe, clean, reliable services that improve quality of life for individuals, families, and entire communities. With a focus on water, wastewater and natural gas, Essential is committed to sustainable growth, operational excellence, a superior customer experience, and premier employer status. We are advocates for the communities we serve and are dedicated stewards of natural lands, protecting more than 7,600 acres of forests and other habitats throughout our footprint.

Operating as the Aqua and Peoples brands, Essential serves approximately 5.5 million people across 10 states. Essential is one of the most significant publicly traded water, wastewater service and natural gas providers in the U.S. Learn more at

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