September  2014
Dear Friends:

 

Philadelphia Team Update
Join me in welcoming Robin Irizarry, our Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator, who joined our team last month, just in time for our Tacony Creek Park block parties. (Yes, that's him in the tree.)
 
Robin will lead TTF's community watershed engagement and improvement efforts in Philadelphia along with Doryan DeAngel, Community Watershed Leader. They will work with key stakeholders to engage and educate residents about watershed and stormwater issues. Robin grew up in Olney, playing in Tacony Creek. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University's School of Environmental Design, and worked most recently as a Landscape Designer/Installer with Land Stewards, LLC and as an Adjunct Teaching Assistant at Temple. He's a native plant and permaculture enthusiast. He loves woodworking, is the owner/craftsman of Fiddlehead Toys and lives with his family near the creek in Cheltenham.
 
Back to School with Master Watershed Stewards
Doryan DeAngel and I are participating in the inaugural Master Watershed Stewards (MWS) program offered by Penn State Cooperative Extension. We are so excited to be part of a diverse 
group of environmentalists from across the region strengthening our capacity to protect our watersheds through volunteer education and empowerment! We've enjoyed the first two sessions of the twelve week program and have already learned valuable information that will enhance our impact. Let us know if you'd like to participate in a future program. MWS is a partnership among Penn State Extension, Montgomery and Lehigh Counties, the PA Environmental Council, Montgomery County Planning Commission, Appalachian Mountain Club, the Water Resources Education Network, Natural Lands Trust, Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley and Cerulean, LLC.

TTF Board Needs YOU
We are actively seeking Board members who are mission driven and can provide the "treasures, talent, and time" we need to continue to thrive. Interested in helping to lead our exciting watershed organization into the future? Looking to contribute to your watershed's health? Seeking to work with other stakeholders to transform our city through green stormwater infrastructure and restore our creeks? Do you have an employee, colleague or neighbor passionate about our work? If so, let's talk! Contact me at 215-744-1853 or julie@ttfwatershed.org. You can learn about our Boards of Directors and Advisors, plus staff here. I look forward to talking with you!
 
Hope to see you at a creek this fall!

Best,
Julie  
DOWNSTREAM NEWS
Alex Cooper gets ready to plant a mussel into the creek bed! More photos here. 

 

MUSSELS: HELLO, TACONY CREEK!  

 

On the last Friday of August, TTF worked with the Partnership for Delaware Estuary (PDE) to reintroduce freshwater mussels at two locations in the Tacony Creek. 50 freshly tagged Elliptio complanata, or Eastern Elliptio, were tucked into the silty substrate of the creek. 

 

The mussels, which average 2-3" long, are transplants from healthy populations farther up the Delaware River. The mussels were tagged with a number and small chip so that scientists can find them on return visits to monitor their health and growth.

 

Freshwater mussels filter the water in the creek as they feed. Years ago, streams throughout the region were loaded with many species of freshwater mussels. Now, due to pollution and other environmental factors, they are the most imperiled of all plants or animals in America. Transplanting small groups of mussels into the creek will help the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary determine whether Tacony Creek is ready for larger scale mussel reintroduction efforts.

 

We have participated in mussel surveying efforts across our watershed, after receiving PDE training, for three years. This mussel seeding would not have been possible without the hard work of over 60 volunteers at numerous surveying events. Here's our most recent mussel blog. We look forward to continuing to work with PDE on this very exciting, important effort! We were also happy that Karen Young, Executive Director of the Fairmount Water Works, a key mussel partner, joined us for this special morning. 

 

For more information about freshwater mussels, visit the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary or contact us at TTF.

 

NATURE'S HIDDEN SURPRISES 
 
Ever wonder where the creek in Tacony Creek Park comes from? Curious about the plants and flowers along the trails? Want to know what birds live in the park?

Attend "Nature's Hidden Surprises," our new free monthly nature walk and get answers! Join us the first Wednesday of every month for a guided trail walk with Environmental Educator Judith Gratz. Every month has a different theme.

Information in here.
AND THE PWD SPOKESDOG IS...
 
And the winner is...the time has finally arrived to decide the Juniata winner of the Philadelphia Water Department's Spokesdog Competition!

Join us at the Juniata Festival where judges will select the top Juniata dog based on friendly nature, best canine smile, and charm. The winner will teach other dogs and their owners about the importance of picking up pet waste and how to be eco-friendly. 

Information here
UPSTREAM UPDATES!

Kick off of Jenkintown Creek Restoration Project

Visiting the future buffer site at AFS

Watch your email for news as we kick off the first phase of this project with a community buffer planting at Abington Friends School on the morning of Saturday, October 18. This stream restoration project is made possible with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, an anticipated TreeVitalize Watersheds grant funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and corporate sponsor Aqua PA, and Carbon Fund Reduction Partners Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) Sterling Planet. Along with host Abington Friends (AFS), we'll lead planting activities with school and community volunteers and provide fun, hands-on environmental education. This is just the first phase of our Jenkintown Creek restoration work, which will continue with the installation of a rain garden and bioswale at Abington Friends plus a wetland and bioretention area at the Sisters of St. Basil next summer and fall.

Go Streamkeepers!

Streamkeepers gathering in Lorimer Park

Our first team of Streamkeepers is off and running! These intrepid citizen monitors devote time every month to record data at a site in our watershed or with our partner the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust in the Pennypack watershed. We will use the data these volunteers gather, along with additional information, to generate a report card on watershed health.

 

This project is funded through the William Penn Foundation's Delaware Watershed Conservation Program and supported by the Academy of Natural Sciences and Stroud Water Research Center, which are providing guidance as we train and mobilize citizen scientists. Would you like to become a Streamkeeper? We provide training, support, and materials. Contact Alex Cooper at cooper@ttfwatershed.org.

 

Credit: J. Freeman, Montgomery Media
Congrats, Barb Duffy!
We'd like to congratulate TTF Board Member, 
Barbara Duffy, for being recognized by the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners 
for her longstanding work with the township's Environmental Advisory Council and Sustainable Cheltenham efforts! 

 

 

Read more about the honor here

URBAN WATERS ENCORE
Two years ago, TTF and lead partner the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society received an Urban Waters grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide green stormwater skills job training to local residents. Through this program, we expanded Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) awareness and hands-on expertise. 
TTF downstream team talks watersheds
Once again, we're pleased to announce that we will be part of an Urban Waters Small grant to develop Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) plans for three locations in the Delaware Direct and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watersheds, this time working with Temple University's Center for Sustainable Communities. We look forward to working with and learning from Dr. Mahbubur Meenar, Assistant Director of GIS Operations and Research as well as the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) and the Asociacion Puertorriquenos En Marcha (APM), the other community partners.

Read more about the program here.
WATER IS THE WORD: MUST READ WATER BLOGS
AND THE AWARD GOES TO...
 
TTF hosted two screenings last month of Water Blues, Green Solutions at the Juniata Golf Club in Philadelphia and the Towers at Wyncote in Cheltenham. 

We welcomed special guests at both locations: Maggie Wood of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) joined us in Juniata and Frank Christopher, the producer from Penn State Public Media, joined us in Cheltenham! Read more here.

Interested in seeing the film? Let us know!

Here at TTF we know that all 
water is connected. The health of our rivers, lakes, and bays depends on the streams and wetlands that flow into them.

We recently joined our partners to show our support for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Clean Water Rule.  

 Read TTF's statement here.
INTERN WITH TTF THIS YEAR

We're on the look-out for new TTF interns! Our interns support our watershed improvement activities by undertaking a a wide variety of tasks including:

  • Assisting with communications including writing blogs, taking photographs, updating lists, and distributing information.
  • Preparing materials for a wide variety of community events (plantings, cleanups, nature walks, resource fairs).
  • Providing support at community events including supervising volunteers plus greeting and informing the public.
  • Undertaking various research projects.
  • Assisting with general office administration.

Minimum intern commitment of 2 days/week. More internship information here

 

TTF is committed to providing a supportive and educational internship experience. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Contact Julie Slavet at 215-744-1853/julie@ttfwatershed.org.


Events

 

PUBLIC MEETING: FERKO PLAYGROUND STORMWATER PROJECT

Ferko Playground and East Cayuga St. in Juniata Park, Philadelphia have been selected by the Philadelphia Water Dept. for an exciting Green City, Clean Waters storm water management project to help soak up rain and beautify the park! Join PWD, TTF and PPR for a community meeting to discuss the upcoming project. Your input is important to make this project a success! This is a rain or shine event. 

DATE: Tuesday, September 9

TIME: 7-8 p.m.

PLACE: Juniata Park Boys & Girls Club, 1101 E. Cayuga St., Philadelphia 19124

CONTACT: Maggie Wood at maggie.wood@phila.gov/215.971.6151

 

HOPE ZONE'S FAMILY FITNESS IN THE PARK 

Since July, Cheryl Lawrence of Hope Zone has been leading Family Fitness in the Park gatherings at Ferko Playground. This series of FREE Saturday morning workouts is designed so that participants of any level can set their own pace and exercise in the fresh air.

DATE: Saturday, September 6, 13, 20, 27

TIME: 10 a.m. 

PLACE: Ferko Playground, near I St. and Cayuga St., Philadelpia 19124

CONTACT: Cheryl Lawrence at Cheryl@thehopezone.org/267.318.4648.

 

BIRD WALK IN TACONY CREEK PARK

Join us for a FREE walk with expert birder Keith Russell of the Audubon Society. Expect some good bird spotting (woodpeckers, chickadees, hawks, oh my!) Donuts, coffee and binoculars provided.  

DATE: Saturday, September 20

TIME: 8-10:30 a.m.

PLACE: Roosevelt Blvd. & Bingham St. Philadelphia, PA 19120

CONTACT: DoryŠn De Angel at doryan@ttfwatershed.org/215.744.1853

 

PWD SPOKESDOG COMPETITION: WOOF! WOOF!

The time has finally arrived to decide the winner of the PWD Spokesdog Competition! Join us at the Juniata Festival where judges will select the top Juniata dog based on friendly nature, best canine smile, and charm.

DATE: Saturday, September 27

TIME: 12:30 p.m. 

PLACE: Juniata Park Boys & Girls Club, 1001 E Cayuga St., Philadelphia 19124 

CONTACT: DoryŠn De Angel at doryan@ttfwatershed.org/215.744.1853

 

NATURE'S HIDDEN SURPRISES

A monthly Wednesday morning walk series in Tacony Creek Park

Join Environmental Educator Judith Gratz for FREE themed nature walks in Tacony Creek Park! Learn about the critters that live in the water, the signs of a healthy creek, and how can help keep the creek clean.

DATES: Wednesday, October 1

TIME: 9:30-11:00 a.m.

PLACE: I St. and Ramona Ave., Philadelphia 19124

CONTACT: DoryŠn De Angel at doryan@ttfwatershed.org/215.744.1853


ADVANCED PHS TREE TENDERS TRAINING 
The Advanced PHS Tree Tenders Training consists of 8 advanced classes, designed for individuals with pre-existing basic knowledge, either from the Tree Tenders basic training or other life experience.  The 2-hour classes, each focused on a specific topic will be offered once a month, from September through April, on a Wednesday evening.  Students can attend the live session in Center City Philadelphia, view the real time webcasts of the classes, or see the archived version at a later time. Tuition for the entire 8-part series is $50 and includes class materials.  Pre and Post tests can be taken for students wishing to receive an Advances PHS Tree Tenders graduate card.   

DATES/REGISTRATION:  www.pennhort.net/treetenders

CONTACT: Mindy at mmaslin@pennhort.org/215.988.8844 for information on scholarships


After a classroom presentation, PDE will head down to the Brandywine River for a hands-on mussel survey training. 
DATE: Thursday, September 25
TIME: 10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
PLACE: Brandywine Creek State Park Nature Center, 41 Adams Dam Rd. Wilmington, DE 19732
CONTACT: Register at dross@DelawareEstuary.org
                  Questions? 800-655-4990 x106

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4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125 ∑ 215.744.1853