The richness of Philadelphia is due in no small part to the cultural and ethnic diversity of its neighborhoods. Lucky for us, the Circuit Trails are the links that can connect us and give us the opportunity to see, hear, and experience all the neighborhoods have to offer. Coming soon is the chance to get a taste of two Philadelphia neighborhoods on the Circuit through an iconic local treat: water ice! 

We’ve been keeping a secret! We’re so excited to introduce Philadelphia Watershed Ice, a project of Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Bartram’s Garden, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, the Circuit Trails, WHYY's PlanPhilly. These local organizations have come together to survey the distinct neighbors and communities of Tacony Creek Park and Southwest Philadelphia to determine the water ice flavors that best represent the history and immigration patterns of the people living in these areas.

Out of this collaboration, two flavors were born: Cocochata for Tacony Creek Park and Bissap for Southwest Philadelphia. Connected by trails and watersheds, these neighborhoods are rich in culture, and now in summer treats! Taste these new, limited edition, quintessentially-Philly flavors at two family-friendly block parties on the Circuit this month.

Cocochata at Tacony Creek Park 

On June 19, take the Tacony Creek Trail to Tacony Creek Park for a sampling of Cocochata (coconut horchata) water ice and meet the people who inspired this flavor! The flavor was selected by the Tacony Creek Park Keepers, the friends group of our partners at the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership. The Tacony Creek Park and trails #onthecircuit within and is in the backyard of more than 300,000 neighbors in a range of income levels and ethnicities. Cocochata celebrates a popular tropical fruit commonly used in Hispanic and Asian cooking as well as a traditional rice-based beverage that can be found in local restaurants, grocery stores, and home kitchens throughout the region. Cocochata will feature water from the Delaware River, the source of half of the city’s drinking water. 

Bissap at Bartram's Garden

Later that week, you'll have another chance to explore a different community and flavor via the African roots of Southwestern Philadelphia by taking the Bartram’s Mile Trail to Bartram’s Garden on June 21. Up for taste testing: Bissap! What is Bissap? Commonly known as sorrel, Sobolo, or agua de Jamaica, bissap has been credited as the origin of ‘soul food’s most iconic beverage.’ It is the national drink of Senegal, a must-have at Christmas in the Caribbean Islands, and a staple in many Southwest Philly homes. Chosen by the students from Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden, Bissap Watershed Ice will be made from ingredients grown in the garden and feature water from the Schuylkill River, the source of half of the city’s drinking water.

In addition to the neighborhood flavors, the events will have free activities like cycling, face painting, canoeing, and miles of Circuit Trails to explore! You can meet all the folks who played a part in creating these flavors, and learn more about your Philadelphia neighbors and their vibrant cultures.

Don't miss out. RSVP to join us here! Make sure to share your experiences on social media with #WatershedIce, #PlanPhillyListens and #onthecircuit, and follow along on the Circuit Trails Instagram – you can expect some exciting takeovers from key players involved in the Watershed Ice project, too.

As always, if you join us for these rockin’ block parties, make sure to snap a photo and share with us on social to be entered into the Go. Do. Discover. #onthecircuit Scavenger Hunt – Fuji Bikes and mini-prize packs are up for grabs!