Friend of the TTF Watershed
Cheltenham School District has a strong record of caring for the Tookany Creek and its tributaries through incorporating state-of-the-art green stormwater management in both new and rebuilt school facilities. At Glenside Elementary School, rain gardens and infiltration beds manage all of the roof, parking, and driveway runoff; and at Cheltenham Elementary School, rain gardens and bio-infiltration areas are fully integrated into the beautiful landscaping.
The District has also served as an excellent partner, working with us to plant and maintain riparian buffers at Glenside Elementary along the Tookany Creek and at Cedarbrook Middle School along Rock Creek. Cheltenham teachers use these buffers as outdoor classrooms, and have led students in water quality testing for many years. We look forward to working with the administration, faculty, and students to plant a third riparian buffer at Elkins Park Middle School in the fall, as well as continuing to collaborate on watershed education programs for students and the community.
Olney Tree Tenders
John and Evelyn Dodds started the Olney Tree Tenders group in 2011. The group’s main focus is planting street trees in front of homes in their Olney neighborhood. John and Evelyn, along with other volunteers, solicit property owners who may want trees planted near their home, pass homeowner tree planting requests on to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and organize volunteers as well as tool and tree pickup. They then plant the trees and follow up with homeowners to make sure these new trees are cared for.
Since joining the regional Tree Tenders program, the Olney Tree Tenders has planted close to 300 trees around their neighborhood! As community members work together, the Olney Tree Tenders group has both unified and beautified Olney.
Tony Smith currently volunteers for the Frankford Community Development Corporation as a park steward to care for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Rain Garden at Womrath Park. Tony visits the park twice each week to ensure that debris and litter is removed and does not block the rain garden’s outlets. Tony has also been a strong advocate and volunteer for two local pocket parks.
He serves as President of the Frankford Parks Group, organized in 2011 as the Friends of Wilmot Park and the Friends of the New Park (Hedge Street Park). Tony has worked with this group through two capital renovations, for which he helped advocate with the help of Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez. Tony works closely with Parks & Recreation to schedule regular cleanups and coordinate daily trash pick-up. Tony was recently hired by Parks & Recreation as a garden educator for a few recreation centers in the lower Northeast. He also volunteers during the summer to support the Frankford Neighborhood Advisory Committee Jr. Gardening Club.
The school, teachers, and students demonstrate a commitment to care for the park across the street, viewing it as a community asset to steward and improve. We have partnered with OCS on numerous programs including a recent Earth Day celebration that included cleaning up along the trail and planting native shrubs and flowers, as well as student bird watching sessions using the Celebrate Urban Birds project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
We hope you’ll join with us to recognize these watershed heroes at our Milestones Award Ceremony & Reception on May 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at our home at the Globe Dye Works in Frankford. Information here.
See you soon!