Check out this great article about rain barrels from Sandy Bauers in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer!
We’ve made some really great progress cutting back invasive plants and planting native ones (with the help of 75 fourth graders) at Glenside Elementary School. Two weeks ago, over 30 volunteers removed invasive vines and bushes overrunning the area. Lat week, Glenside Elementary students, PTO members and local volunteers planted over 400 native trees and shrubs. At the end of the project, an educational sign and seating area will be installed for student use.
The planting project will improve the health of the creek while providing students with hands-on learning about watershed ecology and protection. Over 5000 square feet of lawn grass along the fence by the creek will be replaced with native trees, shrubs and grasses. These plantings will provide a much-needed buffer between the lawn and the creek. Native plants help absorb stormwater to slow flooding, prevent erosion of the creek’s banks, and keep fertilizers, salt, trash and other pollutants out of the creek’s waters. Native plants also provide important habitat for birds, fish, and other native wildlife crucial to the ecosystem.
Here’s a picture of some of the awesome volunteers from our invasives removal.
The Philadelphia Water Department, Villanova University, Temple University and partners are currently accepting submissions for the 2009 Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Recognition Program.
They are looking for innovative stormwater management projects that are already in the ground and that could serve as model demonstration projects. The selected projects will be highlighted at the Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Symposium, held at Villanova University, in October, 2009.
Deadline for submissions = June 1st, 2009
For more information and to submit your project, please click here.
KNEE DEEP, a documentary that follows volunteers from the Center in the Park Senior Environment Corps of Germantown, is being rebroadcast on WHYY Channel 12.
It will be shown the following times:
April 19th Sunday at 10:30 p.m.
April 24th Friday at 5:30 a.m. (after Frontline: Poisoned Waters, which looks like a really great special as well!)
If you miss these showings, you can see KNEE DEEP in person on May 8 at Scribe’s River’s Edge Screening. The event starts at 7 p.m. and the cost is $5. In addition to KNEE DEEP, you’ll get to see these other cool local water-related short films: Hooked: Philly’s Urban Anglers (a documentary about our local urban fishers); Free the River Park (about the fight to keep community access to the Schulkill River); and Manayunk Canal: Past, Present and Future.
Here’s a great quote from the article, which was orginally posted in 2007:
“Trees not only mitigate greenhouse gases, improve stormwater quality, lower emissions by reducing energy use and improve air quality, but they do all of these things at the same time,” said Michael F. Galvin, DNR Urban Forestry Supervisor. “No other environmental mitigation device provides these multiple benefits, in addition to others like aesthetics and wildlife habitat. Improving the condition and extent of tree canopy in urban areas is vital to community livability as our cities grow.”
Check it out! We need more street trees!
We were just informed of this cool opportunity for high school students. It’s in Delaware, and the application deadline is soon, but it looks like a neat program!
Science cruise, marsh exploration in store for high school summer campers
Applications are being accepted for TIDE Camp Summer 2009, which is an instructional program designed to give high school students exposure to the scientific processes at work in Delaware Bay. TIDE, which stands for Taking Interest in Delaware’s Estuary, is hosted by the University of Delaware’s College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES).
Students attending TIDE Camp will spend 13 days living on the UD campuses in Newark and Lewes, Del. They will learn about topics such as marine animals, tides, habitat loss, species adaptation, wind power, autonomous underwater vehicles, and climate change.
Sure to be popular is this year’s addition of a research cruise aboard UD’s 146-foot R/V Hugh R. Sharp. Campers also will participate in activities that include visiting oceanographic and atmospheric laboratories, going on field excursions, and taking part in discussions and lectures. They also will have opportunities to interact with faculty, design and complete experiments, and learn about UD program offerings.
Applications, which include completing a form available on the program’s web site, are due Friday, April 17. Applicants also must submit a grade transcript and a letter of recommendation. Any high schooler with solid math and science skills and an interest in the marine environment may apply.
The residential camp runs Monday, July 6, through Saturday, July 18. Students will spend the first week at UD’s Newark campus and the second week at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Tuition is $1,300 and covers room, board, lab and class materials, the research cruise, and scheduled out-of-class activities.
For more details about the camp, including application information, visit: www.ocean.udel.edu.
The Friends of High School Park is conducting a job search to fill a newly created position of Park Restoration Manager. This new position will help us implement the recently completed Ecological
Restoration Master Plan for High School and Ogontz Parks. This is a part time (24 hours per week) position. Core responsibilities include 1) managing native plant restoration projects conducted by
volunteers, 2) recruiting, training and supervising volunteers, and 3) record keeping and fundraising support.
Please see the .pdf flyer for more information.
We wanted to give a great big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our ethical electronics recycling event this weekend, especially our hardworking volunteers. We’ll be posting detailed coverage of the event shortly, but in the meantime, here are a few of your questions answered.
Many of the people who dropped off their electronics had questions and because we were so busy, we didn’t always get the chance to answer every question in as great detail as we might have wanted. Here is a brief recap that answers the most common questions we heard.
Our Ethical Electronics Recycling event was part of Christopher Swain’s TOXTOUR. On April 22, 2009, Christopher will begin a 1000-mile swim down the Atlantic coast to Washington, DC. Along the way, he will work with thousands of students and citizens to implement projects designed to improve the health of our ocean planet.
Several people mentioned they had seen a 60 Minutes expose that tracked e-waste that was shipped to China. We can assure you that not one scrap of e-waste you dropped off was shipped to a developing country or dumped in a landfill. Christopher works with several different recyclers in the United States that make sure nothing we collect is incinerated as solid waste, tipped into landfills or sent to developing countries where it can hurt people, animals and the environment. All of the recyclers used have signed the Basel Action Network‘s Pledge of True Stewardship [.pdf]. Here is some more information on the Basel Action Network from the very same 60 Minutes piece:
In an ideal world, all municipalities would guarantee that electronic waste is recycled ethically. However, that is not the current reality. This means that we have to pay to get our e-waste recycled in an ethical manner. If that makes you angry, contact your representatives to push for ethical recycling in your area. And please don’t stop at the local level: As of now, unlike the 27 countries in the European Union, the United States has not passed legislation providing a national system to finance and responsibly deal with toxic e-waste.
To find a certified ethical recycler in your area, see the Basel Action Network’s “Find Your Local e-Stewards.”
And be sure to check back here for more information on our VERY SUCCESSFUL event!
The City of Philadelphia wants to understand the level of interest residents have in street greening. Please help us gauge the interest by completing the Green Streets Survey and passing it on to anyone else who might be interested. Thanks!
TTF Watershed Partnership Hosts Ethical Electronics Recycling Event to Protect World’s Waterways
Ethical Electronics Recycling at Cedarbrook Middle School
on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 29, 11am-3pm
Next Spring, Massachusetts resident Christopher Swain will dive into the Atlantic Ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and begin a 1000-mile swim to Washington, DC, in an effort to plead the case for protecting the world’s oceans.
But first, he’ll visit Philadelphia and Montgomery County Schools with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF).
The forty year-old father of two puts it this way: “We live on a water planet. If we want to live healthy lives, we need to go the distance to protect and restore the waters that we all depend on. I’ve decided to do just that: go the distance–all the way to Washington to plead the case of the oceans. Along the way, I want to help schoolchildren find ways to make our water planet a healthier place to live.”
The ocean swim is part of Christopher Swain’s TOXTOUR project, an ongoing campaign to collect and recycle, ethically, one billion pounds of used electronics. Discarded computers, TVs, telephones, etc., commonly known as “e-waste,” are full of toxic chemicals and heavy metals that are fouling the world’s waterways and ecosystems.
Swain, an environmental educator, was the first person in history to swim the entire lengths of several dirty waterways including the Columbia River, the Charles River, the Hudson River, and Lake Champlain—all in support of clean water.
Last December, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) collaborated with Swain to collect over 10,500 pounds of e-waste at their ethical electronics recycling eventTM at Cheltenham Middle School.
In addition to collecting e-waste, TTF runs dozens of programs and workshops designed to connect residents to their local creeks, rivers and streams—from rain barrel workshops and stream clean-ups, to their model neighborhood project, combining neighborhood beautification with stormwater management and watershed education.
Since 2007, Swain has led carbon-neutral, ethical electronics recycling events and cross-curricular projects in schools throughout the Northeast. Upon his return to Montgomery County, he will work with students at schools in Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown and Philadelphia.
During his school visits, Swain will report on last year’s ethical electronics recycling event and discuss his upcoming ocean swim. And in small groups, Swain will work with students to problem-solve ways to make their everyday activities and purchases more ocean-friendly.
Says Karen Shaffran, a science teacher at Cedarbrook Middle School, “We teach our students that there are a variety of threats to the world’s oceans, but that two of the biggest are global warming and toxic pollution.”
On Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine, TTF will host an ethical electronics recycling event at Cedarbrook Middle School at 300 Longfellow Road in Wyncote, PA. Members of the public can recycle their used electronics for a fee of $1 per pound.
Items that will be accepted at the event include: Televisions, Computers, Monitors, Keyboards, Drives, Cables, Cords, Peripherals, Copiers, Printers, Cartridges, Fax Machines, Scanners, Laptops, Stereo Equipment, Speakers, CD & DVD Players, Telephones, Remote Controls, VCR’s, Projectors, Digital Cameras, PDAs, Speakers, Radios, Answering machines, Camcorders, Electric Typewriters, Video Game Systems, Pagers, Microwaves, Toasters, Ink Cartridges, USB Media, and Magnetic Media like Zip Disks, Audio Tapes, and Floppy Diskettes.
Nothing collected at the event will be tipped into landfills, incinerated as solid waste, or dumped in developing countries. That’s what the majority of the fee ensures.
Net proceeds will benefit the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership’s environmental programs in local schools.
“Borders and labels aside,” Swain says, “We are one people sharing one watershed. We are islanders, surrounded by ocean. In the end, every choice we make affects our entire world.”
For more information please contact: Christopher Swain, TOXTOUR Team Leader at: www.toxtour.org or 617-233-4120, or Sarah RobbGrieco at .