Cancelled Saturday: Tacony Creek Clean-Up

This month's Tacony Creek Clean-Up is cancelled due to weather. 
This is a monthly event, so show your watershed some love—join the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and the Scattergood Foundation next October for a clean-up of Tacony Creek.

You're Invited: Green Building Council Honors PWD Commish

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Congratulations to Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Howard Neukrug, who has been selected to receive the Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s (DVGBC) 2011 Leadership Award. Mr. Neukrug’s award honors the Green City, Clean Waters program implemented by the Philadelphia Water Department in an effort to improve the city’s stormwater management. Green City, Clean Waters has made Philadelphia a leader on the path to a greener Delaware Valley with its recommendations for green infrastructure and development.  

Join the Delaware Valley Green Building Council‘s award celebration on Thursday, September 22, 2011 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. and meet all of the 2011 Leadership Award winners, celebrate the DVGBC's 10th anniversary, and have the opportunity to network with hundreds of other green building fans at the Water Works Restaurant. All are welcome.

Event flyer (PDF)

PARK(ing) Shots

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Meetings were held. Lunches were eaten. Books were browsed. PARK(ing) Day 2011 was a huge success throughout Philadelphia, as approximately 30 organizations installed temporary parks in metered parking spaces on Friday. The Philadelphia Water Department joined with Duffield Associates to construct a park at 12th and Arch with a mock green roof, native plants, a rain barrel and some patio furniture. The theme of our park was Slow Down—Save Our Waterways, a demonstration of how rain barrels and green roofs can slow stormwater runoff from entering our sewers and impacting the health of local rivers and creeks. After the jump, more photos of people simply enjoying the open green space.

There Used to Be An Aquarium at the Fairmount Water Works?

Image: Library of Congress

It's true—Philadelphia had one of the largest and most technologically advanced aquariums in the country. Opened in 1911, the Fairmount Aquarium exhibited local freshwater fishes, amphibians, reptiles, seals and sea lions. Join us at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center on Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. as guest speaker Samantha Muka (a PhD candidate in the History of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania) presents From Turbines to Tanks: The Early Days of the Philadelphia Aquarium at the Fairmount Water Works. The presentation draws from local archives, including photos and videos. The event is free—please RSVP by calling 215-685-0723.

Reminder: Last Day to Register for the Fishing Fest

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Registration for the 2011 Philly Fun Fishing Fest closes at 5:00 p.m. today. Thanks to all the registrants for accommodating the date change—once again, the Fishing Fest is on for Saturday, September 24 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Click here to register.

Free PARK(ing) at 12th and Arch

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Image: REBAR

Happy PARK(ing) Day—today, nearly 1,000 metered parking spaces in more than 30 countries are being turned into temporary open public spaces. The Philadelphia Water Department is transforming a parking space into a communal space at 12th and Arch from 9-4. The green spot has patio furniture and is lined with native plants; it also features a mock green roof and a rain barrel. Stop by to chat with us about our rain barrel program, green roofs and the upcoming CitiesAlive conference, or just come and sit, read, have lunch or take an outdoor meeting.

For more info on PARK(ing) day and events happening worldwide, visit If you can't make it out to our park today, check back here Monday for photos.

This Saturday: Cradle of Birding Festival

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Visit the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum this Saturday, September 17 for the Cradle of Birding Wildlife and Conservation Festival. From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy a free day of activities at the refuge, including live music, exhibits, animals, a bird-a-thon (that's a Snowy Egret above, a common species at John Heinz), food, games and workshops for fly-tying, fishing and photography.

Call 215-365-3118 or visit the refuge's website for more information; we can't stress enough how close and accessible the refuge is from I-95 and Center City Philadelphia—click here for directions via public transportation or car.

Germantown's First Green Street

Photo: PWD

What's that? What are they building on Belfield Avenue near Chew Street? Find out tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 14 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., as PWD Commissioner Howard Neukrug and Public Affairs Manager Joanne Dahme visit the Clearview Community Park to discuss two new stormwater management projects in Germantown. Refreshments will be served, followed by a tour of a former vacant lot turned into a native garden and a look at Germantown's first Green City, Clean Waters green street. Click here for more info.

OK, we will not leave you in suspense. Pictured above are storage crates for a stormwater tree trench. For previous projects, tree trenches were underlaid with a stone bed; PWD is using these modular storage crates for the first time on this site due to the crates' superior storage capacity and the limited available space.

Fishing Fest Postponed

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This just in—due to inclement weather, the 2011 Philly Fun Fishing Fest scheduled for this Saturday is tentatively postponed until Saturday, September 24. We'll have more details on the postponement shortly. If you have registered for the fishing fest, you will be notified of scheduling updates by e-mail.

You're Invited: Engineers Without Borders Fall Fundraiser

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Engineers Without Borders is holding its fall fundraiser on Thursday, September 29 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. Engineers Without Borders is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that implements sustainable projects to improve quality of life in communities worldwide; one of EWB's many initiatives is to increase global access to safe water. Learn more about the fundraiser here—the event will include updates on water/sanitation projects in Rwanda, El Salvador and the Phillipines; silent auctions; a tapas menu and an open wine and beer bar. (Did we just bold that?) It's also a great networking opportunity. General admission is $40; $25 for current EWB student members. All proceeds directly fund EWB projects, including digging wells, building toilets and installing cisterns.

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