TTF presented our successful third annual Watershed Milestones Award Ceremony & Reception on May 21. Hosted for the first time in our own watershed at the Juniata Golf Club, this event brought together leaders from across our region to celebrate all of our accomplishments in improving the health of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed.
We honored some fantastic watershed stewards — learn more about them below! We also raised critical dollars to support our many valuable watershed education and restoration initiatives. All this happened as guests networked, enjoyed dinner provided by the Juniata Golf Club, and bid on Silent Auction items.
Join us in thanking and learning more about our amazing Sponsors and Silent Auction Donors here.
The program included remarks from TTF Executive Director Julie Slavet, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Director of Strategic Engagement Ed Fagan and Philadelphia Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug.
Friend of the TTF Watershed
TTF would like to acknowledge Aine Doley for her outstanding volunteer work, particularly her leadership of Tree Germantown, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Tree Tenders® group in TTF’s former home neighborhood. TTF supports Tree Tenders across our watershed, because trees are key to stormwater management and neighborhood health.
Aine not only established the West Rockland Street Project (along with her sister Emaleigh), but she makes sure that her community participates in citywide efforts from the Philly Spring Clean Up to Tree Philly. She also effectively promotes community programs, challenges, and successes through social media, which is so important. We are proud to honor Aine for the ways that she demonstrates her commitment to community and watershed improvement.
Since he was a teenager, Hasan has been a leader both in the Northeast and the City. An engineering student at Temple University, he founded the Northeast Tree Tenders, part of the PHS program, in 2008. Working with this Tree Tenders® group, he has been responsible for planting hundreds of trees in Northeast neighborhoods.
Hasan leads volunteer events that engage community residents and get people from other parts of the city involved in our watershed. We’re especially excited to work with him in his new role as a PWD Green Stormwater Infrastructure Maintenance manager, and are delighted to recognize his environmental leadership!
Friends of High School Park
We are so pleased to honor our longstanding partner, Friends of High School Park (FHSP), for their impressive work along the Tookany Creek in Cheltenham Township. Their story is one of turning community activism and concern into environmental stewardship and protection. The Friends are an inspiring model for our watershed’s people and communities.
Formally incorporated in 1995, this group worked to form a visionary plan to turn the former 11+ acre home of Cheltenham High School into a park. The property was purchased by Cheltenham Township under Montgomery County’s Open Space Acquisition Program, and the Township agreed to FHSP’s visionary plan for creating a public space.
FHSP is devoted to restoring the park’s native plant communities and ecology. The park serves as a valuable educational resource to schools and gathering point for the community. FHSP hosts regular workdays and educational workshops from birding to maple sugaring, and operates a community-based Meadow Monitors Program. To raise funds, FHSP has created a number of beloved signature events including Arts in the Park, an annual crafts and music festival.
TTF Watershed Municipal Leader
Rick Howley & Rob Armstrong
Working together, the team of Rick Howley, Environmental Engineer with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and Rob Armstong, Preservation and Capital Projects Manager with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR), has made a significant impact on improving Tacony Creek Park access and health. Rick leads PWD’s stream restoration efforts and Rob leads PPR’s trail and gateway initiative.
Rick and Rob are valuable sources of information and expertise, enabling the City to communicate effectively with park neighbors and stakeholder. As a team, they garner support for the park and ensure that stream and trail design respect both the park environment and public concerns. Their partnership demonstrates that it is critical that City agencies work together – through the land and water partnership — to make Tacony Creek Park a community and natural destination.
TTF would like to recognize PowerCorps Philadelphia for its outstanding service in Philadelphia’s watershed parks, particularly Tacony Creek . PowerCorpsPHL is an innovative, new AmeriCorps program designed to address Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s environmental stewardship initiatives as well as the City’s youth workforce development and violence prevention priorities. Partnering with EducationWorks and the Philadelphia Youth Network, each year, PowerCorpsPHL will enroll 100 individuals, ages 18-26, in a 9-month program: 6 months of full-time service as AmeriCorps members with City departments followed by 3 months of intensive job placement support.
PowerCorpsPHL will make a significant impact on the city’s water quality with its three year plan to plant 3,000 trees, revitalize 3,000 acres of public land, and educate 18,000 residents on the importance of watershed preservation. We are so proud that our City is home to this important new watershed stewardship training program!
Corps members have improved Tacony Creek Park since participating in the Love Your Park Fall Service: they have planted 100 new trees and pruned many large trees, removed invasive plants, and removed tons of trash from the park. We would especially like to honor The Power Pack at Pennypack and Wolf Pack at Cobbs Creek crews for taking special interest in Tacony Creek Park and recognizing their potential to improve our watershed.
TTF Watershed Educator
TTF recognizes Arcadia University for its significant contribution to its home watershed and Cheltenham Township. Arcadia University is a stormwater management leader through its implementation of green roofs and porous pavement, underground retention and irrigation systems, and rain gardens, swales and native plantings. The University has also worked as a partner in the development of the trail system, or Circuit, connecting its campus to the township and region. TTF recently featured Arcadia as the final stop on our Managing Rainfall Stormwater Project Tour.
Arcadia’s faculty, administration, and students have been longtime TTF supporters. We have benefited from hosting many exemplary interns and even some AmeriCorps staff over the years. Arcadia students have been active, enthusiastic project volunteers, helping mark storm drains and survey for trees. TTF staff has been welcomed as guest lecturers in classes. We look forward to continuing to partner with Arcadia on many different projects in the future!
Wissahickon Charter School
TTF honors Wissahickon Charter School (WCS) for installation of green stormwater infrastructure installation on their school property and for incorporation of this educational asset into their curriculum. Their Harmony Garden is a bioretention basin that captures and infiltrates runoff from their parking lot and rooftop. The garden includes a rain barrel as well as beehives that aid in plant pollination.
WCS uses Harmony Garden as a teaching tool for their environmental education program, not only for watershed concepts but also for native and invasive plant identification. The students spend fourth grade focusing on watersheds, spending time in the “garden” for interdisciplinary studies. Most recently, WCS collaborated with TTF and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to utilize Harmony Garden as a practicum site for green infrastructure maintenance training.
TTF Watershed Corporate Steward
We are proud that Cardone Industries, recognized as a leader in sustainability, calls our watershed home, with its headquarters located on 60 acres of land in Northeast Philadelphia. Protection and conservation of the environment has been a fundamental component of the Cardone corporate policy since the company was founded in 1970. Their remanufacturing processes following the principles of sustainability – Reuse, Recycle, Refurbish and they view their impact on the environment through the lens of social responsibility, not just profitability.
Cardone Industries has implemented green stormwater management practices on their property through a Stormwater Management Incentive Program (SMIP) grant from the Philadelphia Water Department. Their project has transformed 2.6 million square feet of impervious area into a stormwater mitigation system that can manage up to 1.38 inches of stormwater per storm and hold approximately 5 million gallons of stormwater on-site, to be released incrementally into the city’s stormwater system. We applaud Cardone for their commitment to stormwater management as an integral part of their environmental leadership.
TTF Non-Profit Steward
NorthEast Treatment Centers
NorthEast Treatment Centers is a non-profit organization that offers a range of behavioral health and social services to adults, adolescents, children, and families in Greater Philadelphia. In 2011, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) replaced 10,000 square feet of impervious concrete with 6 rain garden areas at their Bridge Street NET Center.
Bridge Street NET Center
The Bridge Street NET Center staff and their consumers are dedicated to maintaining and reporting on this green stormwater infrastructure area as a participant in PWD’s Soak It Up! Adoption program. They view the site at least once per week, as well as after heavy rainstorm events and collect trash, clear entrance to inlets and overflow drains, and look for any structural damage. We were delighted to feature this site during our fall Managing Stormwater Project Management Tour and are pleased to recognize the Bridge Street NET Center for being a neighborhood teacher and leader in embracing green stormwater infrastructure.
TTF Youth Champions
Chris Carrington, Sabina Knapp, Michael Le, Elizabeth Le
Chris, Sabina, Elizabeth, and Michael are Abington School District students who have been active members of the Green Thumbs Club at the Junior High School, have participated in our riparian buffer plantings and maintenance, and have volunteered at TTF events. They have lent a hand to planting and cleaning up, as well as helping with set-up and break-down and providing information to the public.
These enthusiastic environmental leaders in training have volunteered countless hours on campus and beyond. They are valuable assets to Abington and the greater watershed community. We look forward to watching them grow!
Gerry Kaufman is a an environmental and social activist and true mensch. TTF’s only President since the organization was established as a non-profit organization in 2005, he was active even before that! He participated in the many years of meetings when TTF was just an idea, because of his role as Executive Director of the Awbury Arboretum in Germantown.
Gerry is TTF’s greatest cheerleader and ambassador. He takes a personal interest in the (mostly) youthful staff and interns, applauds successes, and is a kind supporter when times are tough. He is actively involved but very cautious about micromanaging. Every watershed and watershed organization need an advocate like Gerry Kaufman. Although he is stepping down as President, we know that he will continue to be a source of valuable advice and a warm shoulder when needed. Gerry demonstrates that if you care about your children and grandchildren, you need to take good care of the Earth they will inherit.
Check out more pictures from the event here!