TTF folks go to lots of tree and watershed programs across the city and region. These events are critical and often fascinating, but rarely funny and thought provoking. ”The City in the Forest: How Urban Nature Changes Lives and Saves the Planet” hosted by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (ANSP) on October 7 was both!
A very passionate Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis talked about the roots of his commitment to green space, and gave a shout of well-deserved thanks to PPR staff. He talked about PPR’s partnership with the Philadelphia Water Department on the groundbreaking Green City, Clean Waters plan. He introduced how PPR’s new Parkland Forest Management Framework will be a key tool for guiding the management of the city’s natural resources over the next decade, and how local stewards can participate in this work.
Featured speaker and author Emma Marris shared her important insights on nature in this century. In a warm, accessible, humorous talk, she called on us to tend the urbanized environment as a “rambunctious garden,” a hybrid of wild nature and human management. Her urge for us to redefine nature resonates for TTF — most of our urban watershed constituents may never have the opportunity to experience nature at Yosemite — and it is our job to make sure that they have access to and care about their green space — the park through the gateway right down the street.
I have already ordered Emma’s book, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World through TTF’s Amazon link — and hope you will too. What a great way to connect her wisdom to supporting our good work here in Philadelphia!
The evening also included ANSP’s presentation of the Ruth Patrick Award for Environmental Stewardship to Mayor Michael A. Nutter in recognition of his leadership in environmental stewardship, including the launch and implementation of Greenworks Philadelphia. Way to go, Mayor! TTF is proud to be a TreePhilly partner, helping to reach the tree canopy goal set forth in this sustainability plan. You can learn more about our work here.
Let us know what you think about Emma’s book and how we can work to make Tacony Creek Park a rambunctious garden for the people of Philadelphia.