TTF was honored to be awarded a Delaware River Restoration Fund grant for the third consecutive year from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the William Penn Foundation (WPF) at a Race Pier press conference in July. Check out the Fox News spot!
TTF joined with NFWF and WPF representatives to announce grants totalling twelve awards $1.77 million, generating $3 million in match funds for a total impact of $4.77 million.
TTF was awarded a grant of $86,308 for continuing our work along the Jenkintown Creek at Ethel Jordan Park in Abington. Last fall, we planted 270 native trees and shrubs in a buffer along the creek as well as along the park’s streets. TTF will work with Abington Township once again to create a bio-retention feature and grassed swale, and implement streamback stabilization. The project will prevent 977,544 gallons of stormwater from entering the Jenkintown Creek. The grant will be matched by $34,158 from Abington Township and other grants.
Julie Slavet, TTF’s Executive Director, shared the following statement: This is a significant moment for TTF. These funds enable us to make real progress towards our mission to improve the health of our 30 square mile urban watershed by engaging our communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy. These Delaware River Restoration grants – and the access to the expertise of partners like the Academy of Natural Sciences, Stroud Water Resource Center, and Temple and Villanova Universities – have transformed our relationships with our upstream project hosts. These dollars have enabled us to leverage other resources including public and private grants, as well as match funds from partners. They have provided us with the opportunity to begin to identify sources of stormwater runoff and install, as well as test, features to mitigate these stresses and improve water quality.
Our projects – at the source and along one of the Tookany Creek’s headwater tributaries, the Jenkintown Creek – at Abington Friends School, the Abington Monthly Meeting, Manor College, the Sisters of Saint Basil, and Abington School District’s McKinley Elementary School – and now with Abington Township at a well-loved neighborhood park — have been embraced in ways we couldn’t even have imagined.
Here are two small examples: Louis, an Abington Friends junior who ran with his team by the buffer every day – got curious, talked to teachers, did some research, and wrote a guest blog for our website about what this project taught him about clean water. Noah, an AFS senior, decided he wanted to support our work – he organized a 5k, donating half of the proceeds to TTF. We know that Louis and Noah now get it – they understand the challenges our creeks face – what we need to do – they’re talking to their friends about it – and they understand that this important work needs community support.
These are just two small examples: the community engagement and stewardship developed because of these efforts have been inspiring and impactful. So – thank you for enabling us to get our hands wet and dirty, make solid friends, and begin the long-term job of improving water quality in our creeks and the Delaware River.
According to Mike LeFevre, Abington Township Manager, “We look forward to continuing our partnership with TTF towards watershed improvements along the Jenkintown Creek and are proud to be able to offer a match for this project. We very much appreciate TTF’s efforts to improve our community’s environment.”
TTF has completed restoration projects along Jenkintown Creek, a headwater tributary of the Tookany Creek, at Abington Friends School, Manor College, and the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great. Together, two rain gardens and two stream buffers of four hundred trees and shrubs are managing over 30,000 square feet of impervious areas at these two sites. Hundreds of students and community residents participated in these efforts. Learn more about these projects here.
Currently, TTF is working with Abington Monthly Meeting to plan and implement a bioretention area, rain garden, and buffer, and with Abington School District’s McKinley Elementary School to restore a streambank, implement a buffer, and enhance vernal pools and wetlands.