Young Women Environmentalists Explore the Urban Watershed

Julie Slavet
Sep 10, 2013

Summer camp season may have just ended, but not before 9 young ladies participated in a camp focusing on water issues throughout Philadelphia and the TTF watershed!

Funded by the Society of Women Environmental Professionals of Greater Philadelphia, the two week program focused on environmental careers with an emphasis on water. Led by Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center (FWWIC) and TTF, campers traveled throughout the urban watershed to learn about water quality issues.

SWEP Summer Camp for Girls

These young women were eager to jump into the creek, uncover critters in the streambed, and take field notes on their observations. They were challenged to take measurements, analyze data and use critical thinking to find ways to improve the interaction between residents and their water resources. Several campers call the TTF Watershed home, and they were already aware of some of the environmental problems facing their neighborhoods. These students are learning the skills to improve their streets and share the water conservation message

Camp activities included:

      • Biological, physical, and chemical surveys at the TTF creek at Friends Hospital and Tacony Creek Park.
      • A mussel survey and green infrastructure design of their own in Northeast Philly
      • Meetings with chemists and engineers at the Philadelphia Water Department’s Bureau of Lab Services, operations technicians at water treatment plants, enforcement officers at Tacony Creek Park, and Fish and Wildlife Specialists at John Heinz Wildlife Refuge
      • Assisting Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection staff to design ways to capture stormwater at a large parking lot, before it caused a Combined Sewage Overflow to Tacony Creek.

SWEP Collage

While other students were at the beach during the last lazy days of August, these ladies took the initiative to learn about future careers. With aspirations to become doctors, lawyers, and engineers, these girls are taking the initiative early — most of them are entering 9th grade this fall!

One of the the students wrote in her camp journals, “I want to be a doctor, and have to take chemistry, so this (camp) will help.” 

As a celebratory send off, the girls embarked on an Independence Seaport Museum boat tour of the Delaware River. It was a great way to end an exciting two weeks!

SWEP Summer Camp for Girls See more pictures from the camp here.

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