Hi, I’m Thomas Doyle, TTF’s new Fellow as a part of the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE). AWE is a partnership of 23 environmental education centers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, supported by the William Penn Foundation. I first learned about TTF’s work through the Wooden Boat Factory. They often partner with TTF, so when I heard about TTF’s new Fellowship program in Tacony Creek Park, I jumped at the opportunity. As a TTF Fellow, I spend 40 hours a week in Tacony Creek Park serving as Trail Ambassador with my partner, Carlos. We bike along the trail, greeting park users, handing out maps and resources and cleaning up the park. In a few weeks, we will have a mobile environmental education cart called the Creek Mobile that we’ll be able to ride around Tacony Creek Park. The Creek Mobile will be full of fun environmental games and lessons, as well as park maps and other information about our watershed.
Many of my experiences with the Wooden Boat Factory were similar to my responsibilities with TTF. While the Wooden Boat Factory works on the water cleaning up the Delaware River, I do a lot of trash clean-up along the Tacony Creek Park trail. Tacony Creek flows to the Delaware River, so by keeping Tacony Creek Park clean, we’re helping keep the Delaware River clean.
I like working for TTF because we are a non-profit organization and we do a lot of great work for the community by trying to connect as many people to the creek as possible. So far, I’ve learned a lot about watersheds, and problems caused by runoff traveling so fast down pavement and rooftops that it causes sewers to overflow into the river. I’ve also learned about the different ways Philadelphia is slowing down runoff so that this doesn’t happen, using things like rain gardens, rain barrels, tree trenches, and permeable pavement.
When I’m not out on the trail, I enjoy being outdoors and riding bikes around the city. I’ve always enjoyed fixing things, so since I was about 9, I’ve been fixing bikes. I just started playing lacrosse and even though I just started this year, I like it a lot.