American Planning Association Awards for Excellence in Sustainability

Image Credits: WRT, Paseo Verde is one example of a Philadelphia project that uses sustainable stormwater management practices.

For the first time, the American Planning Association (APA) Sustainable Communities Division is offering awards for Excellence in Sustainability. Hurry! The deadline for application is March 31st. Let’s get a Philadelphia project in the running. Based on submissions to the Philadelphia Water Department’s Plan Review office, we know there are many developers in the City committed to sustainable building. The 2014 Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honors those projects, policies, plans and people who show exemplary scholarship, leadership and inspiration in sustainability planning and implementation.

Categories for these awards include:

  • Sustainable Development Project
  • Sustainable Building Project
  • Sustainable Park, Recreation or Open Space Project
  • Green Infrastructure Project
  • Sustainable Policy, Law or Plan
  • Leadership in Sustainability
  • Emerging Leader’s Sustainability Plan or Project

The application is open to all those who wish to apply. Any plan, project, program, tool, process, report or ordinance entered must have occurred in United States or Canada and been published within the last 3 years. Each submission may only be submitted to one category per year.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Water Blues, Green Solutions Airing on WHYY

Tune into WHYY at 1:30pm this Sunday to catch the Water Blues, Green Solutions film by PennState! This film takes you through a journey across Philadelphia, Portland, San Antonio, and the Bronx to explore what different cities and communities are doing to protect, restore, and preserve our rivers and sources of drinking water. Get an in depth look at how cities are utilizing a green infrastructure approach to tackle their water blues.

To find more information about the film, visit the Water Blues, Green Solutions webpage.

Green Streets Design Manual

The Philadelphia Water Department is proud to announce the release of its Green Streets Design Manual! The Philadelphia Water Department worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the Streets Department, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and other public utilities, partners and agencies to develop detailed design templates for green streets that are flexible and therefore may be applicable in a variety of settings.

As well as providing design standards and templates, the Green Streets Design manual also provides information on different GSI practices that are appropriate on various street typologies, and lays out the necessary design review and construction inspection processes.

With the release of the Green Streets Design Manual, design professionals, engineers, planners and developers will now be able to use approved design standards and procedures to further green street development in Philadelphia.

You can find the Green Streets Design Manual online at: 

Registration for the 2014 Spokesdog Competition is Now Open!

The 2013 Spokesdog winner, Josie from Fitler Square

The Spokesdog Competition is back! This time, we’re looking for super-star dogs in Juniata and Lower Moyamensing neighborhoods to help educate pet owners and bark-buddies about the importance of picking up after their pets to keep our waterways clean.

The top dog will be asked to make an appearance at community events throughout the year and will be featured in promotional materials. The top three contenders will receive prize packages consisting of toys, treats and grooming.
Do you think your dog has Spokesdog potential? Enter your pooch into the Philly Water’s 2014 Spokesdog Competition.

Special Screening of GreenTrek’s Green City, Clean Waters Film

Whatever the weather may bring, GreenTreks will officially kick-off Spring on Thursday, March 20th with a special viewing of their 30 minute film, Green City, Clean Waters. PWD worked with GreenTreks to develop a movie that tells the story of our efforts to clean up waterways by transforming the cityscape. The movie explains the pollution challenges we face and the reasons for our green infrastructure solution. Following the screening, experts will share their experiences in getting students, local residents and businesses involved in improving our waterways and making Philly a healthier place.

The event is free, but to make sure you don’t miss out, reserve your seats!

Schuylkill Expedition for High School Students

Are you a high school student looking for exciting programs to be a part of this summer?

Schuylkill Acts and Impacts is a weeklong service-learning expedition that will be offered to high school students from communities within the Schuylkill River Watershed. From Saturday, June 7 to June 14, students will travel the 120-mile Schuylkill River from its headwaters in anthracite coal lands of Schuylkill County to its confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Participants will be guided downriver, where they will learn about issues impacting water quality.

The expedition includes:

  • Paddling stretches of the river with biologists to conduct water quality monitoring
  • Touring abandoned and active coal mines
  • Visiting farms to examine stream bank erosion
  • Exploring the streets of Philadelphia to learn more about their pioneering work in mitigating stormwater

This is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on!

To find more information about the Schuylkill Acts and Impacts Expedition and to apply click here.

Fishin' Around

Ever wonder what kinds of fish are fishin’ around in the Schuylkill River? Take a peek into the underwater world at the Fairmount Water Works’ lab to learn how fish can be biological indicators of the health of the river. Participants will discover that understanding the river’s ecosystem can help us provide safe and high quality tap water. After the lesson, participants can practice the traditional Japanese art form of Gyotaku (fish printing).

Science Saturday events will be held at the Fairmount Water Works every Saturday this March from 2pm-4pm every half hour.

To learn more about this Science Saturday and other exciting things going on at the Fairmount Water Works, read their latest newsletter.

Deadline Extension for Green City, Clean Water’s Art Contest!

The Partnership for Delaware Estuary has extended the deadline for the Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest. The new deadline for submissions is now March 7, 2014.

The art contest gives students in grades K-12 the opportunity to participate in Green City, Clean Waters by challenging them to create a drawing and/or video showing others how to stop polluted water from entering local storm drains.

The first place winner of each grade group will see their artwork digitally enhanced, enlarged and placed on streets in the City to act as visual reminders that only rain should go down the storm drain (not pollution!). Winning drawings will also be made into advertisements and used on SEPTA buses. Winning videos will be featured on the Partnership for Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water Department, and Fairmount Water Works websites. Additionally, winning individuals and teams will have the chance to win gift cards of up to $100 in value, a variety of art supplies for their schools, framed certificates, and a contest calendar featuring their artwork. Teachers of winning students will each receive $50 gift cards.

Click here to learn more about the art contest and to see last year’s winners.