Premier Philly Pup Poll Presently Popular Among Participants

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The online polls for the Philly Water's Best Friend Competition opened a week ago today, and voter turnout so far has been incredible—more than 1,000 votes have already been cast online for the "canine-didates" in Queen Village and Northern Liberties. A Jack Russell from Northern Liberties, Penny, even has a Facebook page for her campaign! We suspect some of the other dogs have Super PACs (or just a very loyal base).

Vote for your favorite dog in Queen Village and Northern Liberties until May 30, and remember to pick up pet waste to keep our rivers and streams clean.

Tomorrow: Soak It Up, South Philly!

Join us tomorrow, Thursday March 8 at 4:30 p.m. at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly for our second Soak It Up, Philly! event. The Philadelphia Water Department is celebrating its green stormwater infrastructure projects that absorb rain water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground instead of burdening our sewer system and polluting our rivers and streams. There will be free refreshments, art activities for all ages, flower bulb plantings and more. This event is rain or shine. Will it be almost 70 degrees tomorrow? Probably! Will there be a giant pair of scissors? We think so!

Thank You For Soaking (It Up)

Yesterday's inaugural Soak It Up, Philly! event took place in New Kensington, where the Philadelphia Water Department showed off the Green Streets that are helping to improve the health of Philly's rivers and streams. Residents of all ages joined city officials and PWD staff to tour the green infrastructure at and around the Shissler Recreation Center that infiltrates stormwater runoff. There were snacks! There was a pair of giant scissors! Photo highlights below—the next Soak It Up, Philly! event is on March 8 at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly.

From left: Parks and Recreation commissioner Michael DiBerardinis, PWD commissioner Howard Neukrug, New Kensington CDC's Sandy Salzman and MOTU's Andrew Stober kick off the celebration.

PWD-sponsored yarnbombing of a stormwater tree trench tree

The artists from ishknits responsible for said yarnbombing

Kids planted daffodils around the trees and were shown a model that demonstrates how a stormwater planter absorbs runoff.

Green projects were decorated with chalk drawings of Indian, Japanese and Egyptian water symbols.

Tomorrow: Soak It Up, Kensington

Join us tomorrow, Thursday March 1 in front of the Shissler Recreation Center at 4:30 for the premiere Soak It Up, Philly! event. Soak It Up Thursdays—happening throughout the city during March and April—are celebrations of the Philadelphia Water Department's efforts to reduce pollution entering our creeks and rivers by greening our city and beautifying our neighborhoods. It's all part of the 25-year Green City, Clean Waters plan to install green infrastructure that absorbs stormwater runoff. Come on out for free refreshments and a tour of the Big Green Block, a project that includes improvements and green infrastructure installation at the Shissler Rec Center and surrounding streets (Blair Street is pictured above). After the jump, some Soak It Up, Philly! facts:

March 7: Sixers Night Fundraiser for Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

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Join us at the March 7 Sixers vs. Celtics game and you'll also be supporting science programming at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. Go to the Eventbrite page to purchase tickets ($45 for lower level seats; $35 for upper level) and a portion of each ticket price will go toward supporting Saturday Science programming at the Interpretive Center. Everyone who pruchases a ticket will also be entered to win a $25 gift card to the Cheesecake Factory. Come out and cheer for the Sixers (or the Celtics, if you must), but get your tickets now.

Life, Death and Rebirth of the Schuylkill River

In the 19th century, Philadelphia made a valiant—albeit futile—attempt to implement land management practices to protect its drinking water quality. Join us on Thursday, February 16  from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center for a discussion of the historical and environmental issues facing the Schuylkill River and Philadelphia's water supply. Ed Grusheski, retired Philadelphia Water Department employee, will share his knowledge and insights about the river that flows outside (and sometimes inside) the Interpretive Center.

Channel Discovery: Philly's Hidden And Forgotten Waterways

Mill Creek Sewer between 47th and Haverford

As you walk on many of Philadelphia's sidewalks, beneath your feet is a hidden world of streams that once crisscrossed the city. Join PWD historian Adam Levine on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Temple Gallery at the Tyler School of Art for a fascinating illustrated lecture including rare artwork and artifacts that uncover part of Philadelphia's history few people ever think about—the drastic changes made in the city's landscape since its founding in 1682.

Levine has been digging into the history of the city's sewers and drainage systems since 1998, and his talk will focus on the systematic obliteration of hundreds of miles of surface streams. Buried deep underground in pipes as large as 20 feet in diameter, these former streams became main drainage arteries in the city's 3,000-mile sewer system. These massive alterations to the landscape have had environmental repercussions that are still being felt today. This lecture is guaranteed to reveal a side of Philadelphia you have never seen and change the way you think about our sprawling urban environment.

This event is free, but you must register to reserve your seat.

Spokesdog Contest Countdown: Two Days Left to Enter Your Dog!

Queen Village and Northern Liberties dog owners: Don't forget to register your dog for the Philly Water's Best Friend competition! Registration ends tomorrow. Don't "fur"get. Take a "paws" from your busy day and do it now. Don't make us "unleash" more dog puns.

News Stream: Spokesdog Deadline Approaching

While the field of spokesdog contestants gets bigger and more competitive every day (some recent entries are pictured above), the deadline for registering your dog in the Philly Water's Best Friend competition in Queen Village and Northern Liberties is nipping at our heels. Register your dog by February 15 to participate in the chance to win prizes and educate Philly dogs about the importance of picking up pet waste in order to keep our rivers and streams clean.

As this Newsworks article notes, Philly voted in its Schuylkill River spokesdogs last year—now it's the Delaware's turn to elect its ambassadogs.

Open Call For Art In The Open

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Photo: Mia Rotondo

Attention artists: Enter now to participate in the third annual Art In The Open, an opportunity for artists to create their work along the banks of the Schuylkill River. Taking place May 18-20, Art In The Open inspires Philadelphians to see the Schuylkill in a new light and draw inspiration from our environment. Painters, sculptors, installation artists and designers will line the banks of the Schuylkill, from the Fairmount Water Works to Bartram's Garden, for the three-day event.

The deadline for artist entries is February 10. Click here for more information on participating.

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