UPDATE: Three New Public Hearings on Discounted Stormwater Rate for Community Gardens Announced

Proposed changes to the current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under changes proposed by the City.
Changes to current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under regulations proposed by the City.

The first  public hearing on proposed stormwater rates changes for Philadelphia’s community gardens was held on Tuesday, October 25. Three additional hearings have been scheduled for the following dates:

Monday, November 14th, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
Community Room at Villas Del CARIBE
167 W. Allegheny Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Conversation Hall, Room 201
City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Friday, November 18th, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Fumo Branch of the Free Library
2437 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148

These presentations and hearings will be held to explain the proposed changes and gather input from residents. Transcripts  from the hearings will be available as part of the 2016 Rate Proceeding Hearing.

Read more about the hearings and how the changes would impact stormwater fees for gardens in the official Philadelphia Water Department announcement below:

‘Refill Reuse Regatta’ Champions #DrinkTapPHL

Philadelphia Water and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta are teaming up to reduce litter and advocate for public drinking water.
Philadelphia Water and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta are teaming up to reduce litter and advocate for public drinking water. 

We are proud to support the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta (HOSR) again this year as they take the fight against wasteful single-use water bottles to the banks of the Schuylkill River.

The regatta’s organizers recognize the incredible value of our top-quality drinking water and want more people to choose reusable bottles, especially when using our waterfront parks. They’ll be making it easier for the estimated 40,000-50,000 spectators and competitors to do just that at this year’s race, to be held October 29-30 at the Grandstands along Kelly Drive.

They’re even giving the effort a name this year—the “Refill Reuse Regatta.”

Public Hearing: Give Input on Discounted Stormwater Rate for Community Gardens

Proposed changes to the current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under changes proposed by the City.
Changes to current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under regulations proposed by the City.

The first  public hearing on proposed stormwater rates changes for Philadelphia’s community gardens will take place on Tuesday, October 25:

PWD Presentation to Rate Board
And Public Input Hearing
Tuesday, October 25, 2016,
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1495 

The presentation and hearing will be held to explain the proposed changes and gather input from residents. Three additional hearings will be scheduled in the near future and will be advertised in area newspapers, posted on the department’s website, on the Watersheds Blog and our Facebook page.  

Read more about the event and how the changes would impact stormwater fees for gardens in the official Philadelphia Water Department announcement below:

Tour Two Point Breeze Vacant Lots Targeted for Green Improvements


The rendering at right shows a rain garden proposed for a vacant lot at 1900 Point Breeze Avenue. PWD will be touring this site and a second vacant lot on the 1700 block of Ringgold Street.

We kicked off October with a ribbon cutting at a formerly vacant lot at 55th and Hunter streets in West Philadelphia that is now a vibrant green space featuring a rain garden and hidden storage trench that manage stormwater and protect local waterways while adding a whole new asset to the neighborhood.

On October 18, we’ll be holding a walking tour at two sites in Point Breeze where similar rain gardens could bring flowers and plants to vacant lots, adding new green spaces to the area and helping to protect the local watershed. Join us at 5pm at 1701 Ringgold to start the tour:

This map shows where PWD will meet for the Oct. 18 vacant lot tour.

Second Round of American Street Open Houses: Join Us to Learn About Major Improvements

The City of Philadelphia is bringing some big improvements to North American Street with the help of a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, better known as a TIGER grant.

To get input from residents in neighborhoods along American Street, we’re holding two open houses as a follow up to the two events held in July. We’ll be providing more information about this $15 million project, which targets the two-mile stretch of American Street between Girard Avenue and Indiana Avenue.

The next open house events will be held in mid-November:

Tuesday, November 15:

Front & Palmer
1750 N. Front St., from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Thursday, November 17:


Pan American Academy Charter School (Cafeteria)


2830 N. American St., from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Light refreshments will be provided, and we will have team members there who can answer any questions for Spanish speakers.
In addition to Philadelphia Water, the Streets Department and the Commerce Department will be working on proposed improvements that include:

• Removing the unused trolley tracks and installing landscaped green infrastructure that will manage water from storms and protect local waterways

• Additional landscaping and street amenities, such as trash receptacles and lighting

• Wider, accessible sidewalks

• Access to business properties

• Improved traffic flow for all users

• Shorter crossing distances for pedestrians

• New bicycle lanes
Construction on this work is expected to begin in January 2018.

We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming open house events!

Please share this post or the flyer below with your neighbors:

The next open house events will be held in mid-November:

Photos and More: Big Celebration Welcomes New Rain Garden, Mural at Vacant Lot Site

We want to send out a big thank you to all who came out to celebrate the new rain gardens and mural in Hestonville yesterday! Below you’ll find photos from the event and coverage from local TV stations:

Come See How Green City, Clean Waters Helped Transform a Vacant Lot into a Community Gem

This is close-up image showing an American shad on the mural at 55th and Hunter Streets. The mural features raised and textured elements that make it pop off the wall.
This detail shows shad depicted in the new West Phila. mural created by Eurhi Jones and Mike Reali. Credit: Philadelphia Water

What happens when the nation’s boldest green infrastructure program meets the nation’s boldest mural arts program in a vacant West Philly lot?

The public is invited see for themselves at the Heston Rain Garden Mural Dedication & Ribbon Cutting event, to be held on Wednesday, October 5 at 3:30 p.m. at 55th and Hunter streets in the Hestonville neighborhood.

Join Philadelphia Water, Parks and Recreation, the Mural Arts Program, Councilman Curtis Jones, the Hestonville Civic Association and community members in celebrating the first Green City, Clean Waters vacant land transformation, a project that turned an empty lot into a green space that manages stormwater, protects local waterways, and features a vibrant water-themed mural from Philly artists Eurhi Jones and Mike Reali.

Two Philly Free Streets Activity Stops Inspire Wonder About Philly’s Waterways

The Philadelphia Water Dept. will have two activity stops on the Philly Free Streets route where you can explore obscure but fascinating parts of our water infrastructure and history.
The Philadelphia Water Dept. will host two activity stops on the Philly Free Streets route where you can explore fascinating parts of our water infrastructure and history.

Have you heard about Philly Free Streets? On Saturday, Sept. 24, the City of Philadelphia will close down 10 miles of streets to cars from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. so that residents can enjoy those spaces for walking, biking, running and just plain fun.

The idea was inspired by the joy many experienced when the Papal visit from Pope Francis closed streets to car traffic, leaving them open for people.
Making this exercise-encouraging day even more fun, City departments will join a number of organizations in offering activity stops along the route where Philly Free Street-ers can learn more about their communities and engage in exciting activities.

Here’s what the Philadelphia Water Department will be offering along the Philly Free Streets route: