April 3, 2014                                                  Contact: Brynn Monaghan

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 215.744.1853 


The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. (TTF) and the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (PERT) announced today that their newly established partnership will receive $442,000 over 36 months through the William Penn Foundation's Delaware Watershed Conservation Program to demonstrate stream restoration and green infrastructure projects and inform municipal stormwater permits and public investments, using monitoring data through aligned, science based efforts.



This initiative is an unprecedented collaboration of leading conservation organizations who will align their work to protect land, restore streams, test innovative approaches in ecologically significant places, and monitor results over time. The group includes the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Open Space Institute, and more than 40 additional national and regional organizations, including the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Temple, Villanova, and Saint Joseph's universities, the Lower Merion Conservancy, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, and others.


According to Julie Slavet, TTF Executive Director, "For TTF, this funding is truly transformative. It will allow us to provide the resources and support to our upstream municipal and community partners to strategically develop efforts to improve our creeks and streams through restoration and green infrastructure. We will be able to take the lessons we have learned by being part of the Philadelphia Water Department's Green City Clean Waters program and apply these upstream.  In addition, access to the skills and resources of these leading environmental and academic institutions will enable a small organization like ours to ensure quality projects, education, and monitoring while also ensuring that we serve as an incubator for effective approaches."


The TTF/PERT funding will support staffing, monitoring, and operational projects costs to:

  • implement and monitor on-the-ground projects that include green infrastructure, tree planting, and wetland construction
  • provide technical assistance to our upstream municipalities, particularly Cheltenham and Horsham Townships, with their stormwater permit requirements
  • provide custom smartphone technology and programs to support citizen volunteer efforts to advocate for improved water quality and support restoration projects
  • provide resources and learning opportunities on financing and support for green stormwater infrastructure projects and policies.


TTF and PERT are currently in the process of hiring a Municipal Watershed Coordinator and developing a citizen water quality recruitment and training program. TTF has applied for restoration funding through the William Penn Foundation's $7 million re-grant program administered by NFWF for stream restoration and green infrastructure projects along the headwaters of Jenkintown Creek at the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great and at Abington Friends School. 


According to Bryan Havir, Cheltenham Township Manager, "As one of the founders of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Cheltenham Township has long recognized the need to collaborate to restore and protect our creeks as environmental and recreational assets for the people

of our township. The water management and ecological goals in our Sustainability Plan and our investment in stream restoration demonstrates our commitment to investing in our watershed. We look forward to working with TTF through this exciting new effort to identify and implement stream improvement and green infrastructure projects and policies that improve habitats and water quality."


The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed includes neighborhoods in North, Northeast, and Northwest Philadelphia as well as Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Rockledge, and Springfield in Montgomery County and is home to 360,000 people with a range of income levels and ethnicities in diverse communities.


TTF's mission is to improve the health and vitality of our watershed by engaging its communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy. TTF serves as the crucial link connecting residents, businesses and government as neighbors and watershed stewards.  One of several partnerships initiated by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) to address water quality issues around watershed rather than municipal boundaries, TTF was created in 2000 to support existing watershed efforts. PWD, Cheltenham Township and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council joined forces to create a strong coalition of watershed stakeholders, including non-profit organizations, corporations, local governments, and residents. In 2005, TTF became the first (and only) Philadelphia-area watershed partnership to incorporate as a nonprofit organization.


As a partner in the Philadelphia Water Department's groundbreaking Green City, Clean Waters initiative, TTF initiates and supports efforts to restore the health of the watershed and mobilize its communities as watershed stewards through outreach, education, and projects. TTF's strength is its ability to partner with public and non-profit organizations to connect environmental programs to watershed communities and residents. Through these programs, TTF improves the watershed while engaging watershed stewards. These hands-on activities are critical to recruiting and educating groups of concerned individuals to improve and advocate for their watershed.


TTF has implemented a number of successful restoration projects in Philadelphia and Montgomery County watershed communities. TTF's commitment does not end when the project is completed as the organization works with local stakeholders to ensure project maintenance.  All of these projects serve as ongoing watershed classrooms through signage as well as ongoing outreach and education. These projects include: rain gardens at Vernon Park in Philadelphia's Germantown and at the Olney Recreation Center and creation of three riparian buffers/outdoor classrooms at Glenside Elementary and Cedarbrook Middle Schools in Cheltenham and at Abington Junior High School.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized TTF's efforts in 2011 by awarding us a Mid-Atlantic Region Environmental Achievement Award. Restoration projects have been recognized with Community Greening Awards by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, as well as by the National Wildlife Federation as Certified Wildlife Habitat and by Audubon Pennsylvania as Bird Habitat.



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