watershed

Give Water Some Respect with Watershed Wit!

Head to the Guild Hall Brewing Co. on Oct. 20 and send some of your beer money to a local watershed! Credit: TTF Watershed Partnership.
Head to the Guild Hall Brewing Co. on Oct. 20 and send some of your beer money to a local watershed! Credit: TTF Watershed Partnership.

At the start of the month, we lamented in the Philadelphia Inquirer that water infrastructure, which is often underground and out of sight, just doesn’t seem to get the same attention or funding as things that we see daily, like roads and bridges.

In many ways, it’s the same with beer, too: hops, malt and yeast get all the glory among beer snobs. But, ask any brewer, and they’ll tell you the truth: great water is just as important, if not more so, as all the other stuff that goes into a quality brew.

It’s no surprise then that local breweries like Victory (Headwaters Pale), Saucony Creek (Stonefly IPA) and Sly Fox (SRT Ale) all have beers that pay tribute (and actual profits) to the health of our local waterways.

Now, beer and watershed lovers in Northeast Philly and lower Montco have a beer of their own to hoist while drinking to health of their local stream. Watershed Wit is a new brew from a new, Jenkintown-based brewhouse, Guild Hall Brewing Company.

Located a short walk from the headwaters of the Tookany Creek, they draw tons of water from the local watershed every time they fire up the brew kettle. Good water quality isn’t an abstract concept for this business; they’re intimately aware of the need to protect our rivers and creeks.

In recognition of this basic fact, they’ve pledged a whopping 10 percent of Watershed Wit proceeds to support Tookany/Tacony-Frankford (TTF) Creek Watershed Partnership's mission to improve the health and vitality of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek. An incredibly dedicated group, TTF is constantly raising awareness about the need to protect and improve their watershed, and Philadelphia Water works closely with them on issues like education, water quality, and stream restoration.

To celebrate the release of this new, refreshing wheat beer (think Hoegaarden or Blue Moon), TTF and Guild Hall are throwing a tapping party dubbed “Creek to Craft” on Tuesday Oct. 20 at the brewery’s restaurant. Click here to learn more and get tickets.


Even if you can’t make the party, remember – grabbing a pint or growler still goes to the great cause of protecting one of Philly’s seven watersheds! Can we say cheers?

Join the Schuylkill Scrub!

Visit the Schuylkill River in the warmer months and you will find it teeming with life, both in the water and along its banks. It is hard to imagine that this scenic river, which provides drinking water to over 1.5 million people (that’s 12 out of every 100 Pennsylvanians!), was once considered the dirtiest river in the country.  The Schuylkill has come a long way and today boasts one quarter of the watershed designated as high quality or exceptional waters. But it still needs your help… and now is the time to do it—join the Schuylkill Scrub!

The Schuylkill Scrub, coordinated by the Schuylkill Action Network, is an annual clean-up initiative that happens every spring. This year’s Scrub started at the beginning of March and runs through May 31, so there’s still time to organize and register a clean-up event in you part of the watershed (or find one that already exists). You’ll be working alongside other partners and concerned citizens to clean as many miles of road, stream and parkland within the watershed. This coordinated effort will help keep our land and water litter-free (which is a good thing, remember, people drink that water).

The Schuylkill Scrub is now part of the Great American Cleanup of PA, so you’ll be part of a larger effort to clean and beautify our entire state and your cleanup can get free supplies like trash bags, gloves and vests, provided through Keep PA Beautiful and PennDOT. Additionally, during the Pick It Up PA Days, which is from April 11th to May 4th, registered events will have access to reduced or free trash disposal.

Last year, Keep America Beautiful logged over 52,000 volunteers who removed 1,300 tons of trash in over 1,200 neighborhoods in the five counties surrounding the Schuylkill River! Help make this year a success by signing up today and know that you‘re part of the effort to keep trash out of the Schuylkill, from the headwaters in Schuylkill County down to its confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia.

Click here for more information and to register your cleanup: http://www.schuylkillscrub.org/

If you don’t have time to organize your own cleanup, there may be one happening in your neighborhood already! Use this link to find existing cleanups http://www.schuylkillscrub.org/find-an-event.html.

Get Funding for Projects to Protect the Schuylkill River Watershed

Schuylkill River and Philadelphia skyline
Image courtesy of Ed Yakovich. 

PWD is one of several public and private funders of The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund

The Fund provides grants to government agencies and non-profit organizations for projects that improve the quality of water in the Schuylkill’s watershed. Since 2006, the Fund has collected more than $2 million and funded over 60 projects! Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund.

Does your community group, school or non-profit business have a project in the works that might qualify for funding? View the Fund guidelines here. And download the application here

Your organization may also qualify for a $4,000 Land Transaction Assistance Grant, which is intended to assist with transaction costs for permanent land protection projects (conservation easements, full fee acquisitions, donations). Download the Land Transaction Assistance Grant guidelines here.

While the grants also focus on agricultural pollution and abandoned mine drainage, here in Philadelphia, past recipients have used funding from the grants to pay for projects that manage stormwater run-off. 

In 2014 Grants totaling $337,465 were awarded to seven projects. Among them was a $37,961 award for a meadow at SDP’s Cook-Wissahickon School that resulted in 3,300 sq. ft. of new meadow installed and maintained, as well as an education for the neighbors in the difference between a meadow and an unkempt lawn

Want more information? Contact Tim Fenchel at tfenchel@schuylkillriver.org or call the Schuylkill River Heritage Area at 484-945-0200.

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