cleanups

Love Your Park: Celebrate the Green Spaces Protecting Your Water

From the very beginning, the Fairmount Park system has been an important tool for protecting Philadelphia’s rivers and streams, and to read the history of our park system is to read a story of city planners striving to create natural buffers to protect rivers and streams from industry and development.

Rather than evolving away from that original purpose, our parks are today actually becoming more and more important for protecting the city’s seven watersheds.

As Philadelphians gather for Love Your Park Week—a celebration of our green spaces involving more than 80 volunteer service days and 40-plus special events in parks across Philadelphia from May 13-21—many of them will be tending to Parks and Recreation facilities that now feature special green tools created through the Green City, Clean Waters program.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s partnership with Parks and Recreation has been essential in achieving the ambitious goals of Green City, Clean Waters: drastically reducing pollution from runoff and sewer overflows through the creation of green infrastructure systems that soak up water from storms while creating new green spaces in our neighborhoods.

In 2016, Philadelphia celebrated the program’s fifth year and the fact that we’re exceeding greening and water quality targets set back when PWD proposed the nation’s first large-scale green stormwater infrastructure program.

Without the robust support of Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy and groups like the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Trust for Public Land, that might not be the case.

World Wildlife Day: Celebrate (and Protect) Philly Watersheds

A member of the PWD team took advantage of last month's warm spell to mark storm drains in his watershed. You can find your watershed critter and get a free kit too!
A member of the PWD team took advantage of last month's warm spell to mark storm drains in his watershed. You can find your watershed critter and get a free kit too!

Happy World Wildlife Day Philly!

We are celebrating Philadelphia's rivers and creekswhich are healthier today than they were even a generation agoand what that means for the incredible diversity of aquatic wildlife found within them.

The investments we're making in Philly neighborhoods through Green City, Clean Waters will make places like the Delaware River and Cobbs Creek even better, but here's a few ways you can help too:

Get Your Gloves & Grabbers: Spring Watershed Cleanups Are Right Around the Corner!

Our first season of volunteer cleanups with local apparel company United By Blue was a huge success, and we’re excited to start another round this spring.

In 2016, nearly 1,000 volunteers joined PWD , United By Blue, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and other partners at 15 clean ups to remove nearly 33 tons of trash from waterfront green spaces like Bartram’s Garden and Penn Treaty Park.

Cleaner Streets = Cleaner Rivers and Creeks

With more than 900 projects scattered across the city, this Saturday’s Philly Spring Cleanup was the largest ever—and that’s a pretty big deal considering this volunteer-driven event has already been praised as “America’s biggest single-day urban cleanup” for years now.

First held in 2007, Philly Spring Cleanup has grown into a movement that brings neighbors together by harnessing a passion for litter-free communities. From a watershed protection perspective, we love seeing that passion transformed into action because so much of the litter and trash collected from streets, parks and empty lots on Saturday would eventually wash into Philly’s rivers and creeks.

While the 2016 results haven’t been tallied yet, last year’s cleanup (featuring 718 projects) netted 836,100 pounds of trash, 104,260 pounds of tires and 107,580 pounds of recyclables—all stuff that could very well have ended up in our water.

First Schuylkill Scrub of 2016 Cashes in on Collaboration

A volunteer from Parks and Recreation gathers trash from the banks of the Schuylkill River at Bartram's Garden.
A volunteer from Parks and Recreation gathers trash from the banks of the Schuylkill River at Bartram's Garden. 

Tires, TVs, lots and lots of plastic bottles and ... a check for $32,000?

You never know what you’ll find when picking up trash along Philly’s rivers.

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