sustainable business network

Nominations Wanted: 2017 'Excellence in GSI Awards'

Students and parents cut the ribbon at Lea Elementary in 2016 to celebrate the completion of a schoolyard featuring three rain gardens, nearly two dozen new trees and porous paving and play surfaces. Funded largely through a $242,000 SMIP grant from PWD, the project won the Public Project Award at the 2016 Excellence in GSI Awards ceremony. Credit: PWD
Students and parents cut the ribbon at Lea Elementary in 2016 to celebrate the completion of a schoolyard featuring three rain gardens, nearly two dozen new trees and porous paving and play surfaces. Funded largely through a $242,000 SMIP grant from PWD, the project won the Public Project Award at the 2016 Excellence in GSI Awards ceremony. Credit: PWD 

What projects and people are making an impact on green stormwater infrastructure in our region?

Last year saw the first-ever Excellence in GSI Awards, an effort by the Sustainable Business Network’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners to answer that question and highlight the best in local green stormwater projects and the people making them happen.

The Philadelphia Water Dept. was honored to have associations with to two of 2016’s five award winners: retired PWD Commissioner Howard Neukrug took home the inaugural Leadership in GSI Award for his role in guiding the creation of the City’s 25-year Green City, Clean Waters program, and West Philadelphia’s Lea Elementary received the Public Project Award for green schoolyard renovations made with the help of a PWD Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) grant.

GSI Partners Offer Green Jobs Training Opportunity


A rain garden at the Philadelphia Zoo represents one of the hundreds of privately operated green stormwater management sites in the city. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

Creating a green economy—jobs and services rooted in environmental sustainability—isn’t just a nice side effect resulting from Green City, Clean Waters. Green jobs and their economic benefits were a driving force in Philadelphia Water’s decision to develop a green infrastructure solution to our stormwater management challenges.

Helping to meet the demand for green jobs created by our 25-year green infrastructure plan is the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia’s (SBN) Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners group, an independent non-profit “network of industry professionals working to advance the local green stormwater infrastructure industry and innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

GSI Partners is currently accepting applications for a three-day course designed to provide training for professionals interested in learning about how to take care of the ever-growing stock of green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia.

With over 1,100 green tools already in place to support Green City, Clean Waters, there’s a real demand for landscape contractors with the skills needed to perform crucial operations and maintenance tasks. That demand will grow considerably as our multi-billion dollar plan expands over the next two decades.

This course will provide valuable training to help meet that demand. Here’s a description of the curriculum from GSI Partners:

This three-day course is for landscape professionals seeking to strengthen or develop their service portfolio in operations and maintenance of public and private green stormwater infrastructure projects. The course features two classroom days and one field day, and will provide landscape contractors with an understanding of the importance of operations and maintenance (O+M) of vegetated stormwater management practices, as well as of the tasks involved. The course will cover 16 sections in total, including: Regulatory context for O+M; Identification and understanding of the components of SMP’s; Diagnosis of and response to performance and safety issues; Adaptive and prescriptive management activities.

Space is limited, and the course will take place on three separate days (August 21, 28 and September 4) at the Navy Yard. The cost is $350 per person.

GSI Partners’ Continuing Education Grants will be available to eligible GSI Partners and SBN members interested in taking the course.
To sign up for the course and apply for a grant, please visit the GSI Partners site by clicking here.

Good Economy Challenge to Candidates Features Green City, Clean Waters


The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) has stepped into the fray of this year’s city elections to offer up the “Good Economy Challenge” to all of the candidates for mayor and City Council. Highlighting the importance of a sustainable economy, they focus on five policy priorities: small business, procure local, solar homes, social enterprise and... Green City, Clean Waters! 

In a recent newsletter SBN wrote “Green City, Clean Waters is bringing many economic, environmental, and social benefits to the city, and is positioning Philadelphia as a national leader in urban stormwater management. Our next Mayor/Council Members should drive Green City, Clean Waters forward in a unified way, so that the program can continue to positively influence Philadelphia’s competitiveness, local and regional economy, environment, and quality of life.” (We're blushing over here!) And in their policy paper, SBN outlines three specific recommendations asking candidates to pledge their commitment to Green City, Clean Waters, to improve coordination across city departments to better support the program and to continue making Philadelphia a green infrastructure industry and innovation hub for the nation. You can check all of their recommendations here

Perhaps most importantly, SBN is hosting the Good Economy Candidates Forum, giving you a chance to hear directly from mayoral candidates on Saturday, April 25, 6:30-9pm. The forum takes place at Temple’s Fox School of Business, Alter Hall Auditorium, 1801 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA. You can register for the forum using this link

And they didn’t just stop at issuing the challenge and organizing a forum! To keep up the social pressure, SBN has provided all kinds of easy-to-use tools for people to spread the message of this challenge. They’ve provided suggested Twitter and Facebook language (we’re partial to this one) so YOU can be part of the effort to put these policies in front of the mayoral and council candidates—scroll to the bottom of this page here for more examples. 

We appreciate that SBN has been such a strong advocate for Green City, Clean Waters and included it in this challenge. If you agree that Green City, Clean Waters, and sustainable, local business is an important topic for our new leaders, then make sure you attend the Forum, spread the word and get involved!

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