Sustainability First Friday in Fishtown: Celebrate 5 Years of Cleaner Water Through Greener Neighborhoods

What we’re celebrating: After five years of Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia has enough green infrastructure/improved stormwater management to reduce pollution by over 600 million gallons in 2016.
What we’re celebrating: After five years of Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia has enough green infrastructure/improved stormwater management to reduce pollution by over 600 million gallons in 2016.

Philadelphia Water will be celebrating a major Green City, Clean Waters achievement—meeting the program’s five-year pollution-reduction targets—at Fishtown’s Lutheran Settlement House (LSH) during the neighborhood’s Sustainability First Friday gathering on June 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Members of our Public Engagement team will be at the site’s community garden/farm with a cool model that shows how green stormwater infrastructure works, and students from the after school program will be learning all about water systems and sustainability. First Friday-goers are invited to join in, and we’ll have special Green City, Clean Waters cards that let you show your support for protecting our rivers with green investments in a fun way.

As the Green City, Clean Waters cards accumulate, they’ll be shared through social media and will eventually be added to a larger temporary photo montage at the Fairmount Water Works.

Located at Frankford Avenue and Master Street, LSH is an ideal place to take stock of what Green City, Clean Waters has done for Philadelphia in just the first five years of the 25-year program. When the facility, which provides a variety of services to city residents, undertook renovations last year, they used a Philadelphia Water Stormwater Incentives Management Program (SMIP) grant to go an extra step that adds beauty to the property while also protecting the nearby Delaware River.

A total of $20,000 provided through SMIP allowed LSH to de-pave a parking lot and replace the asphalt with porous pavement and grass. Now, in place of a sunbaked, water-repelling patch of blacktop, they have a green infrastructure system that keeps about 3,260 gallons of polluted runoff out our waterways each time Philly gets an inch of rain.

Compared to the network of green tools at the nearby Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, the green lot at LSH might seem small. But, really, it all adds up—during an average year of rainfall, their project will manage about 133,620 gallons of stormwater runoff!

It’s because of all the green infrastructure projects—big and small, public and private—created through Green City, Clean Waters since 2011 that the City was able to meet its five-year target of reducing stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflow pollution by over 600 million gallons (see graphic at top) in 2016.

That’s a big deal, and events like this First Friday gathering are our way of celebrating the accomplishment and thanking the people and organizations (like LSH) who made it possible.

You can read all about our “5 Down” milestone and what’s in store for the next 20 years here. We hope you’ll join us in marking this monumental Philly program and show your support for growing Green City, Clean Waters!