Photos

Most Sustainable In Show: PWD Flower Show Display Wins Sustainability Award

The 2012 International Flower Show, which wrapped up last week, aimed to take visitors on a trip to Hawaii. The Philadelphia Water Department's display, however, kept it right here in Philly, demonstrating how green roofs, rain gardens and other green infrastructure can beautify our city while managing stormwater runoff that pollutes our rivers and streams. Scale models of some of Philly's most famous buildings show how green the city could be, earning the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Sustainability Award for the exhibit demonstrating the best use of sustainable gardening practices to the public.

Visit PWD's Facebook page to see more photos.

 

A Rain Garden Grows in Germantown


Photo: Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership

On Saturday, Germantown's Vernon Park debuted its new rain garden as part of the citywide Love Your Park clean-up campaign. Mayor Michael Nutter, PWD Commissioner Howard Neukrug and other city officials joined volunteers to rake leaves, clean the park and cut the ribbon on Philadelphia's newest stormwater-management project. Click here for more info and photos from the event.

Scenes from the Fishing Fest!

Schulykill River

As they say, good things come to those who wade! After two rain checks,
the Philly Fun Fishing Fest turned out to be the perfect day to enjoy
the Schuylkill Banks. So while it wasn't raining cats and dogs, it was
CATFISH crazy! The biggest caught was a Channel Catfish, measuring 24
inches. Thanks to our sponsors and partners, Philadelphia Parks and
Recreation, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, PA Fish and Boat
Commission, Plano and Dick's Sporting Goods for making it a great event
with fabulous prizes.

angler 12

Angler 23

Angler28

More of our photos after the jump, and view photos from Schuylkill Banks here!

From The Archives: Seals at the Fairmount Aquarium, 1924

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In case you missed last week's presentation at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center (From Turbines To Tanks, a history of the Fairmount Aquarium by guest speaker Samantha Muka), here's hard evidence that seals were once among the residents of the Water Works. This image is a still taken from a 1924 home movie screened at the lecture, part of the Interpretive Center's monthly Schuylkill Soundings events.

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.

Watershed History: South Philadelphia Tidal Marshes

From the desk of Philadelphia Water Department historical consultant Adam Levine:


Image: Temple University Urban Archives

Most people don't realize that much of the lower part of South Philadelphia was once covered by tidal marshes. South Philly was once called “the Neck” because of the shape of the area (look at a map of the city if you cannot picture this easily), and about six square miles of the neighborhood were covered by marshland laced by both natural tidal creeks and man-made drainage canals.

Besides the canals, miles of dikes were built along both the Delaware and Schuylkill riverfronts, beginning in the 18th century. The dikes kept the land out of reach of the high tide, which allowed it to be used for growing hay and other crops well into the 20th century. Millions of cubic yards of fill were used to raise these lowlands, a process that began in the early 20th century and continued for more than 50 years. Material used for the filling came from various sources, including city refuse, dredge spoils from the Delaware and Schuylkill river dredging projects, and material excavated during construction of the Broad Street subway.

In 1920, Christopher Morley painted a vivid verbal picture of this area in his wonderful essay. The accompanying map and photographs are used by permission of Temple University Libraries Urban Archives Bulletin Collection.

Click here for a 1927 image from the Evening Bulletin with photos and captions of Stonehouse Lane and the canals that once wound below Oregon Avenue.

Scenes From A Storm: Hurricane Irene, Part 3

The final installment of the Hurricane Irene edition of Scenes From A Storm comes from the Tacony Creek. Above, the swollen Tacony at the Adams Avenue Bridge. No swimming, people. Below, debris washed on top of the pedestrian bridge just upstream of Adams Ave. Both photos courtesy of our friends at the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership.

 

Scenes From A Storm: Hurricane Irene, Part 2

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Photo: Friends of the Wissahickon

Today's post-Hurricane Irene photos come from the Wissahickon, where at least one crayfish (above) was inconvenienced by flooding.

After the jump, more shots of the raging Wissahickon, all courtesy of the Friends of the Wissahickon.

Scenes From A Storm: Hurricane Irene, Part 1

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Photo: Jay Cruz

This week we're bringing you a series of posts dedicated to some of the stunning photos and videos taken by PWD personnel and our watershed friends in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last weekend. Today's theme: the Schuylkill River. Above, the Schuylkill floods near the twin bridges (Roosevelt Expressway).

More photos after the jump.

View From The Pontoon Boat

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Sometimes we talk about water cleanliness and river health in abstract-sounding ways: in terms of pollutants, sediment and dissolved oxygen levels. But the Philadelphia Water Department also takes the obvious route to cleaner waterways. Behold the view from our pontoon boat, which patrols the Schuylkill River from the Strawberry Mansion Bridge to Boathouse Row once a week from May to October (weather permitting), collecting "floatables": trash skimmed from the river. The most common floatables are plastic bags, styrofoam and plastic bottles (which are separated on the boat for recycling), but according to PWD's Jim D'Agostino, there's also the occasional car tire, household door, children's toy, bicycle and even a lawnmower. The photo above is from yesterday's outing; another shot of the pontoon boat after the jump.

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