This month, in addition to our normal watershed activities, including cleaning up in Germantown on Martin Luther King Day, the TTF staff took a daylong retreat to plan our activities for the coming year. We are thrilled with all of the amazing programs we'll be presenting and implementing -- and we hope you will be, too. Read on to learn more about these exciting upcoming opportunities to promote clean water!
We'd also like to thank everyone who sent in a picture of their rain barrel. Please keep the information coming! Philadelphia residents: if you don't have a rain barrel, find out how to get one by emailing Ashley Schmid at email@example.com. Please include "rain barrel" in the subject line.
I have the following alerts set in Google: "Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership," "Philadelphia Water Department" and "watershed." Every day, I receive alerts and see stories from all over the nation and world about the challenges and opportunities facing our watersheds. From the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District in California to watersheds on the Delmarva Peninsula to the Weeki Wachee River in Florida, individuals and organizations are working hard to serve as responsible stewards of their watersheds. And here at TTF, we are no different! We work hard every day to plan, fund, and complete education and restoration projects that will improve the health of our creek and increase stewardship.
We'd like The Source to be just that -- a source of information that will help you become a stronger watershed steward. Please let us know what type of information and articles you would like us to feature in this newsletter. And please forward this newsletter on to your neighbors and friends. Does someone in your neighborhood have a rain barrel or belong to a local garden club? We want them to know about our efforts, so go ahead and hit that forward button!
See you soon, Julie Slavet
SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 18 IS 5% DAY AT JENKINTOWN WHOLE FOODS!
TTF has been chosen to participate in 5% Day at Whole Foods in Jenkintown. Several times a year, Whole Foods stores hold community giving days (otherwise known as "5% Days") where five percent of that day's net sales are donated to a local nonprofit organization. Throughout the day on Wednesday, April 18, TTF staff members will be giving short presentations on watershed issues at locations throughout the store. Support TTF by doing your grocery shopping at the Jenkintown Whole Foods that day. Stay tuned for more news about this event!
SIGN UP FOR A STREET TREE IN FRONT OF YOUR HOME!
TTF Street Tree Planting in Germantown
Philadelphia residents: would you like a street tree planted in front of your property? The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Tree Tenders Program supports neighborhood tree planting by supplying trees, training volunteers, and preparing planting locations. Please respond to this newsletter with your mailing address and we'll send you an application form to complete and return. Applications are due back to TTF by March 26. Approved trees will be planted by your neighborhood Tree Tenders group, starting this fall. Please note that submitting an application form does not guarantee a tree. Questions? Contact Steph Clymer at 215-844-8100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GERMANTOWN AND FRANKFORD RESIDENTS: CHECK OUT THE RAIN CHECK PROGRAM!
Rain Check is a pilot program where the Philadelphia Water Department shares the cost with homeowners of specific residential landscaping improvements that help manage rainwater and beautify homes. By managing water through these green practices, you can make a difference in protecting our waterways!
Participation in the program will not result in a lower water bill. Participation is limited to 35 residents per neighborhood, so sign up fast! If you live in Germantown or Frankford and wish to participate in the program, contact Ashley Schmid by March 1 at email@example.com or 215-844-8100.
SIGN UP TO BECOME A GREEN CITY, CLEAN WATERS AMBASSADOR
Through an exciting new education and training program, a group of community leaders will learn the skills to become Green City, Clean Waters Ambassadors. These Ambassadors will act as the community liaison or "go to" person in their neighborhoods to provide education, stewardship, and monitoring for green infrastructure projects, activities and events. This program was developed by the Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to promote green infrastructure education and stewardship in Philadelphia neighborhoods.
The TTF Watershed Partnership will be responsible for selecting two ambassadors from the Germantown area to participate in the initial training for this program. Contact us soon as we hope to start training on February 28 with full-fledged Ambassadors starting in their neighborhoods on April 1st. If you are interested in becoming a Green City, Clean Waters Ambassador for Germantown, please contact Ashley Schmid at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in serving as an ambassador for another area of the city, contact Paul Racette at email@example.com.
WANT A DOWNSPOUT PLANTER?
Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Water Department
A downspout planter is a decorative garden planter filled with gravel, soil and vegetation that uses rainfall from the roof as irrigation. Downspout planters are connected to the roof downspout and are designed to slow water as it enters the sewer system. If you own a home in Philadelphia and make less than $45,000 per year, you may be eligible for a free downspout planter. Download the application here and contact Mike Verla with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-965-0777. Tell him TTF sent you!
APPLY FOR A STORMWATER MANAGEMENT GRANT
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) recently announced $5 million in grants to promote stormwater management projects, including rain gardens, vegetated infiltration basins, porous asphalt and green roofs. The Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) was created to help businesses and non-profits green large, impervious properties and unburden the city's sewer system from high volumes of stormwater runoff. The grant will allow businesses, nonprofit organizations and other non-residential customers to reduce their stormwater rates by providing funding for the design and implementation of these green infrastructure projects.
PWD, PIDC and the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department will be hosting grant workshops through February. Information on times and locations will be posted on PIDC's website shortly. Applications are due March 31, 2012. Find more information here.
THINK OF THE CREEK WHEN YOU REMOVE ICE AND SNOW!
It may be warm now, but winter's not over yet! We may still have some snowfalls ahead this season. No one wants to slip on icy pavement, but conventional deicers can be hazardous to the environment. Deicing salts make their way into our waterways, where they harm plants and wildlife. In order to protect our waterways when you remove ice this winter, follow these tips:
Shovel snow early and often to prevent ice from forming in the first place. Note that salt and deicers are not effective once more than three inches of snow have accumulated.
If you must use conventional deicers, use as little as necessary and check the label for harmful ingredients. Here is a chart of the pros and cons of the most common conventional deicers.
Sand can be used in conjunction with deicers or on its own for additional traction.
Be sure to store conventional deicers in a dry, covered area on a hard surface, such as a basement floor, to prevent ground contamination.
For more information on winter ice removal, check out this helpful guide from the Philadelphia Water Department.
TTF TOURS CHELTENHAM FLOODING SITES
Group tours the creek at High School Park
On January 12, TTF and Friends of High School Park Board member Amy Steffen organized and led a tour of potential flood mitigation sites to provide input as Cheltenham officials consider measures in response to flooding associated with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. In attendance were township officials, members of the Cheltenham Environmental Advisory Council, representatives of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Philadelphia Water Department, and Montgomery County Planning Commission. In November, TTF sent a letter to the Township expressing our commitment to the principles of our various guiding management plans -- to approach flood mitigation in a manner that restores our creek. TTF will continue to work with our partners to advocate for careful analysis of any flooding measures with a commitment to pursue stream restoration and best stormwater management practices.
February 6: Mt. Airy Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training [Partner Event] At this PennEnvironment event, you'll learn how to effectively engage with decision makers on important issues, generate media coverage, and hold your elected officials accountable for the Marcellus Shale gas drilling issue. And, you'll get to meet more people working on these issues so you can band together to protect your community. DATE: Monday, February 6, 2012 TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. PLACE: Mt. Airy Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19119 CONTACT: RVSP here.
February 23: Need Opportunities? Community Service Networking Breakfast TTF is hosting community service coordinators at a free networking and informational breakfast including an optional stormwater tour. If you are looking for opportunities for your students or volunteers, please join us! DATE: Thursday, February 23, 2012 TIME: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PLACE: Awbury Arboretum, One Awbury Road, Philadelphia PA 19138 CONTACT: Please RSVP to Steph at email@example.com or 215-844-8100.
February 28: Tree Tenders Meet & Greet Mingle and share ideas with other Tree Tenders in the TTF Watershed at our first meet and greet event! This will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about tree planting efforts in our watershed. The brief program will include speakers from TTF and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. All tree tenders and tree enthusiasts are invited to attend. A light dinner will be served.
DATE: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
PLACE: LaSalle University Music Room, 1900 West Olney Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19141
TTF's mission is to enhance the health and vitality of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek and its watershed. We initiate and support efforts to restore the health of the watershed, and to mobilize our communities as watershed stewards through community outreach, networking, educational programs, and project coordination and implementation.