Greening Philadelphia: Short Films Screenings at Temple University

GreenTreks is sharing stories that change the world! GreenTreks, a Philadelphia based non-profit communications firm, created some recent shorts focusing on the exciting neighborhood greening programs that are changing the face of the City and improving the quality of our waterways. To usher in an early spring, they will be showing their clips today on February, 26 at Temple University (On the 3rd Floor of Gladfelter Hall, 11th and Berks Streets, at 4pm)

There will be additional showings of GreenTreks clips as part of their Greening Philadelphia series as the months go on. Be sure to follow their social media channels so you don’t miss out.

You can also catch some of their short clips and films on their Vimeo channel.

Join Us at Overbrook for the EPA Environmental Justice Grant Award

Exciting things are happening over at the Overbrook Environmental Education Center! What started out as a former brownfield site has now been transformed into an eco-friendly, urban environmental center with stormwater systems, orchard trees, a greenhouse and much more.

Tomorrow, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe is scheduled to announce the EPA’s Region III – Environmental Justice Small Grant Awards at Overbrook Environmental Education Center. Award recipients include JASTECH Development Services Inc. (Overbrook Environmental Education Center), the Clean Air Council and the Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, Inc.

After the Deputy Administrator’s presentation, he will tour the Soak-It-Up Adoption pilot project site with students from Overbrook’s partner schools including Overbrook Elementary, Parkway West and Richard Allen Charter.

Green City, Clean Water’s Art Contest

Image: 11 grade winner from last year's competition, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is now accepting entries on behalf of the Philadelphia Water Department for its Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest! Students in grades K-12 can participate by creating 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 and enlarged to be placed in the streets of Philadelphia to act as a visual reminder that only rain should go down the storm drain. Winning drawings will also be made into advertisements and used on SEPTA buses. Winning videos will be featured on the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water Department Office of Watersheds, 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.

But hurry! The deadline for submissions is fast approaching! All drawings and videos must be received by February 28, 2014.

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

The Art of Stormwater

Once again, PWD will participate in the world’s largest indoor Flower Show – this year focusing on the “Art of Stormwater.” The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show is coming to the Convention Center March 1st through March 9th. This year’s theme is Articulture: Where Art Meets Horticulture. Visitors will be treated to fabulous designs, live entertainment, culinary demonstrations, gardening how-to workshops, lectures by experts and much more!

PWD’s exhibit will showcase large floral paintings by the late Philadelphia artist, Tom Steigerwald and 3D models of green stormwater infrastructure. Ever wondered how a tree trench actually works? Come to the flower show to learn the details of stormwater management without braving icy sidewalks.

Take a look at some of these other projects to see how PWD uses art to help educate people about water pollution:

EPA Briefing: A Chance to Connect it all Together

Image: CDC

Members from the Community Design Collaborative (CDC), Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gathered together on January 21st to share their expertise around plans for the implementation of green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia and other cities across the country.

Amongst the variety of interesting conversations, one question that was raised – how do we get citizens involved? Bob Perciasepe, the U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator, had some thoughts on the topic. “When you look at a broader area, look at the things that will happen regardless of planning and ask, ‘what can we do differently’?” A connection to green stormwater infrastructure could be made every time anything goes in the ground, whether it’s a road repair, roof replacement or even a new faucet! Thinking through this lens gets both the public sector and private property owner on board.

Shawn Garvin, Administrator of EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, also added that, “A big selling point of green stormwater infrastructure is quality of life. There’s the water quality piece, but there’s also how neighborhoods will look. The beauty of this partnership is getting people thinking this way.”

The session wrapped up with green stormwater infrastructure questions of interest including how to push the design of the green stormwater tools neighborhood-wide and how to help people think differently about these tools as they go into the ground.

Read more about the meeting here.

Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Hawks, Oh My!

Did you miss out on going Birding in Tacony Creek Park last month? Well, here’s another chance!

As part of the Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) will be holding another free walk to look for birds wintering in Philadelphia. Join TTF this Saturday, February 15 from 10am to 12pm at I St. & Ramona Ave. gateway to Tacony Creek Park.

RSVP by e-mailing Alex Cooper or call 215-744-1853.

Dress warmly and prepare to spot some of Philadelphia’s finest birds!

Philly Green Opportunities

Join the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) for breakfast and coffee! Next Tuesday, on February 11th, TTF will host an information and networking breakfast. Participants will have the opportunity to network with volunteer coordinators and community leaders and learn about upcoming TTF projects and service opportunities. Additionally, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will discuss the Urban Waters program and Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Philadelphia.

The event will be held at the Globe Dye Works on 4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19124.

Water Blues, Green Solutions Launches Website

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Photo Credits: Water Blues, Green Solutions, PennState

Penn State Public Media recently launched an interactive website to accompany the documentary, Water Blues, Green Solutions, which features Philadelphia prominently. The website focuses on the four different cities included in  the documentary - Philadelphia, Portland, San Antonio, and the Bronx –and takes you through each city’s strategy to tackle chronic threats to the nation’s potable water sources. In addition to clips from the film, visitors can also find screening times, an online toolkit designed to help organize and promote screenings, as well as stories produced by public radio stations across the country. Scroll through the site to learn more about Green City, Clean Waters, Rain Check and other Philadelphia programs.

Take a journey through four US cities as they find green solutions for our water blues!

EPA Awards Four Colleges with Substantial Grants to study Green Infrastructure

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Photo Credits: EPA

Hooray! Tuesday, the 21st, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a substantial grant of $4 million to four colleges in the Philadelphia area to study Green City, Clean Waters. Temple University, Swathmore College, Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania each received $1 million. Plus, the University of New Hampshire received $993,000 to assess various green infrastructure projects and aspects of the plan, quantify performance and to conduct surveys in a 40,000 acre combined sewage area.

The colleges plan to use the grant money towards diverse areas of research. For example, Temple plans to analyze many green projects on its Philadelphia campus and will investigate socio-economic issues, including the impact of real estate values as a result of green infrastructure. Villanova will evaluate the performance of completed green infrastructure projects in order to develop and design next-generation versions. Penn researchers will look into how to motivate residents and businesses to invest in green infrastructure projects. Investments in these projects will go a long way to developing innovation solutions to stormwater management, wet weather pollution, and building more resilient, safer water systems for all.

Attend the 2014 Watersheds Congress!

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Photo Credits: Delaware Riverkeeper Network

The 2014 Watersheds Congress along the Schuylkill River will be held on March 15th at the West Campus of Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The Watershed Congress has evolved over the past 15 years to advance the best available information and techniques for protecting and restoring watersheds. The conference brings together science, policy, and practical applications into one program, making it a great opportunity for people interested in understanding, protecting and restoring their local streams.

To buy tickets for the event click here.

To find more information click here.

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