John Heinz at Tinicum
Map and Brochure
Map and Brochure of John Heinz at Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Pennsylvania. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum Trail Map urban academy efuge Located ¾ mile from the trailhead and parking area the observation tower is a great location for viewing wildlife. On a clear day, visitors are rewarded with the iconic view of the Philadelphia skyline across Tinicum Tidal Marsh. This scene is a 2.5 mile hike (5 miles round trip) from the visitor center. Welcome to America’s First Urban Refuge John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is home to the largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania, known as Tinicum Marsh. The refuge was established with three primary purposes; to protect Tinicum Marsh, to promote environmental education, and to provide visitors with an area to view wildlife. These public lands provide prime habitat for feeding and resting migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway. The refuge is a unique, urban oasis where both people and wildlife can find their space in the outdoors. 95 95 291 291 420 95 For more information: 215-365-3118 www.fws.gov/heinz @JohnHeinzNWR 291 Paddling the marsh is one of the best ways to experience the refuge. You can see Wild rice emerging over 10 feet out of the marsh. The creek is accessible for paddling two hours after a low tide and lasting for up to 5 additional hours following the low tide. Tide charts can be found in the visitor center and online. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum urb aca Bill Moses America’s First Urban Refuge after your pets and yourself. Feeding of wildlife is prohibited USFWS Pennsylvania fishing licenses are required and refuge specific regulations are enforced. Fishing is permitted except where otherwise marked. See the fishing brochure for further information. Recreational fishing is allowed in designated areas. Anglers must comply with refuge, state, and local fishing regulations. Free equipment is available to borrow at the visitor center. Bumblebees can be found pollinating native wildflowers like this Blazing Star throughout the refuge. Refuge staff, partners, and community organizations work together to provide pollinator habitat. Regulations Refuge trails are open 365 days per year from sunrise to sunset. Visitor Center hours are from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Collecting plants or animals, camping, littering, setting fires, possessing firearms, weapons, fireworks, and swimming are prohibited. Bicycling is permitted on service roads unless otherwise marked. Please stay on designated trails, keep dogs on 6 foot leashes, and clean up History of the Land Tinicum Marsh was known as tennakon minquas or “islands of the marsh” by the Lenape. Marshlands once spread across 5,000 acres, supporting the Lenape for generations as they fished, hunted, and gathered. By the mid-1600’s, European settlers arrived, draining and filling the marshes to provide for farming practices. As Philadelphia grew, the marshes dwindled from over 5,000 acres to just 200 acres. In 1969, construction of Interstate 95 and landfills threatened Tinicum Marsh once more. Local residents and community organizations took action to save the marsh. In 1972, Congress passed legislation authorizing the protection of up to 1,200 acres and establishing Tinicum National Environmental Center. In 1991, the refuge was renamed posthumously to honor Senator John Heinz and his commitment to the conservation efforts of Tinicum Marsh. The Red-Bellied Turtle is a Pennsylvania threatened species that is commonly found at the refuge in aquatic habitats. Their populations are threatened by habitat loss and competition from the exotic Red-eared slider. In this photo, the elusive Least Bittern is stretching out to target its next meal. These secretive birds can go unnoticed except to the most observant eyes along wetlands. The refuge is committed to providing nature-based environmental educational and interpretive programming, encouraging citizens to embrace the nature around them. A Home for Wildlife & People Bursting with plants and wildlife, the tidal marsh is an incredibly productive ecosystem. The marsh also serves as a natural filter for pollutants, acting as “living sponge” to absorb heavy rains and floodwaters. refuge is part of a network of habitat corridors, parks, and transportation routes, including the Circuit Trails and East Coast Greenway. Refuge staff work in partnership with community members to engage young people and their families where they are, connecting them with nature-based opportunities just outside their doors. The refuge maintains a strong partnership with the Friends of Heinz Refuge. This local, volunteer-based non-profit shares the refuge’s passion for wildlife, sharing knowledge with their neighbors and standing firm for conservation. Whether it is an environmental ethic, a love of bird watching, or a love of greenspace, likeminded volunteers gather here to support the refuge and contribute to the good of their communities. Many wild animals make their homes throughout the refuge. Osprey and Bald Eagles hunt from above as shorebirds like the Least Sandpiper feed in mud flats during low tide. On warm days, turtles bask in the sun on creekside banks and floating logs. These wetlands support many fish species, including shad, catfish, bass, yellow perch, and a variety of sunfish. Throughout the year, dabbling and diving ducks feed on the seeds and roots of wild rice, cattails, and other marsh plants. The refuge is an Important Bird Area, designated by the National Audubon Society. More than 300 bird species have been identified, using the land to nest, rest during migration, or overwinter. Biologists seasonally raise and lower water levels in the emergent wetland to improve migratory bird habitat. A Refuge for the Community Not only does the refuge provide habitat for wildlife, it also serves as a valuable natural area, connecting the community to green spaces in Southwest Philadelphia and southeast Delaware County. The Things To Do Visitors can explore 10 miles of trails, 365 days a year, from sunrise to sunset. The refuge hosts a wide variety of free recreational activities including hiking, biking on designated trails, kayaking, fishing, nature photography, and wildlife observation. The Refuge Visitor Center is a great starting point to learn about upcoming programs offered both onsite and in surrounding communities. An updated calendar of events can be found on the refuge’s website or social media. Get Involved! Volunteers are vital to the refuge’s success. Refuge volunteers help create a safe and welcoming environment by greeting the public, leading nature walks, educating youth, clearing trails, restoring native habitat, or providing biological expertise. Help is always needed, stop by the visitor center for information on how you can get involved and support these public lands. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum 8601 Lindbergh Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19153 215/365 3118 Phone 215/365 2846 Fax http://heinz.fws.gov Federal Relay Service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 1 800/877 8339 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1 800/344 WILD http://www.fws.gov June 2019 All photos credit Lamar Gore/USFWS unless otherwise noted.