Cobbs Creek

West Philly Students: Work with PWD and Become One of Philly’s First Watershed Stewards This Summer

Want to become one of Philly's first Watershed Stewards? Contact Alisa at 267-571-5750 to request an application. The deadline to apply is this Friday, May 5th.
Want to become one of Philly's first Watershed Stewards? Contact Alisa at alisa@landhealthinstitute.org or 267-571-5750 to request an application. The deadline to apply is this Friday, May 5th

Having passion for a cause doesn’t always pay off. But this summer, it can.

If you have a love of the outdoors and an interest in becoming involved in your community, you can be one of the Philadelphia Water Department’s first Watershed Stewards.

We've partnered with the LandHealth Institute—a nonprofit organization providing environmental education and stewardship services to Philadelphia youth—to create the Philadelphia Watershed Stewards program. 

The deadline to apply is this Friday, May 5th.

Cobbs Cleanup Gets an Assist from Sixers and Philly School Students

Over 100 volunteers from the Philadelphia 76ers, Tilden Middle School and Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery joined Philadelphia Water and Untied By Blue for a Sept. 16 cleanup targeting Cobbs Creek and the surrounding woods. The cleanup was the latest in a series of volunteer events that kicked off this spring and have seen hundreds and hundreds of residents taking on trash in and along local waterways.

Mount Moriah Clean Up Sept 2016 (2)

The day started off with our Waterways Restoration Team (WRT) removing a giant granite orb that had rolled from the cemetery into the Cobbs. This epic feat, achieved with the use of a small bulldozer, had Friends of Mount Moriah President Paulette Rhone very excited—she said the eyesore had been sitting in creek for as long as she could remember:

Get Wild about Watersheds, Urban Greening and West Philly Nature

Dan Kobza of Wild West Philly takes residents on a nature walk highlighting wildlife and green infrastructure around Papa Playground in West Philadelphia. Join Philadelphia Water and Wild West Philly for special nature walk on June 25. Photo Credit: Joe Piette
Dan Kobza of Wild West Philly takes residents on a nature walk highlighting wildlife and green infrastructure around Papa Playground in West Philadelphia. Join Philadelphia Water and Wild West Philly for special nature walk on June 25. Photo Credit: Joe Piette

Philadelphia Water is all about helping people understand the ways in which our lives and communities are intimately connected to the local waterways that sustain us.

We know—living in a big city like Philadelphia, it can be easy to forget that we’re still a part of a natural world that includes waterways like the Cobbs Creek and Delaware River. Luckily, we have lots of residents who care about nature and want to learn more.

That’s why we’re teaming up with Naturalist Interpreter Dan Kobza of Wild West Philly (one of our watershed partnership groups) for a special walk on Saturday, June 25 at the historic Mt. Moriah Cemetery, much of which has been reclaimed by nature. (RSVP for this free event here.)

Come Out and Hear the Cobbs Creek Story!

“The valley of Cobb’s Creek, north of Market Street” by H. Parker Rolfe. Source: City Parks Association 1905-06 Annual Report. Credit: Adam Levine and Phillyh2o.org
“The valley of Cobb’s Creek, north of Market Street” by H. Parker Rolfe. Source: City Parks Association 1905-06 Annual Report. Credit: Adam Levine and Phillyh2o.org

We know that people who are aware of their local watershed and the challenges it faces—along with why that water is important—make for better stewards. They care about issues like keeping pet waste and litter out of the streets that ultimately drain into the watershed. And they know what an important role programs like Green City, Clean Waters play in protecting their watershed.

Encouraging that kind of engagement and knowledge is the goal guiding our efforts to collect and share the stories and history connected to the 22-square mile Cobbs Creek Watershed, which is part of the larger Darby-Cobbs Watershed, one of seven in the city. Cobbs Creek itself starts right around Haverford College and runs through the western suburbs and West Philadelphia before entering Darby Creek above the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge near the Philadelphia International Airport (click here for an interactive watershed map).

Next week, we’ll be hosting a special talk about the history of Cobbs Creek with Adam Levine, a local historian who has spent two decades studying and documenting the history of water and waterways in Philadelphia. You would be hard pressed to find another person with more knowledge of what the city’s watersheds have been through since the first European settlers came here, and Levine’s presentations are always fascinating and informative.

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