Guest blog by TTF intern, Bryan Porten-Willson
Martin Luther King Jr Day has become known as a day on, not a day off. Here at TTF, we celebrate this holiday by coordinating fun volunteer opportunities in our watershed. This year, we led projects upstream at Abington Friends School and downstream in Tacony Creek Park.
At Abington Friends School, approximately 25 students and their parents built bird feeders out of recycled materials for their homes. These bird feeders will attract wildlife into their backyards and provide food for birds that reside here in the winter. There were certainly some very creative and nicely-decorated designs!
Special thanks to Abington Friends School for inviting us to run this activity and supporting our efforts to restore the Jenkintown Creek – starting with the rain garden and riparian buffer right on campus!
Downstream in Tacony Creek Park, a group of 50 volunteers braved some difficult weather to tidy up the trail at Roosevelt Boulevard and D Street. Though it’s easy to dismiss things like empty soda bottles and plastic bags as simply unattractive, these and other various materials found in Tacony Creek Park contribute to both habitat degradation, as well as potential contamination of the environment. The most exciting item discovered during this clean-up was 10-15 pounds worth of car parts (cracked bumpers, siding, etc.).
Then, this group broke for lunch across the street at New Life Church where we also played some watershed games, including Watershed Jeopardy and a food-web exercise to illustrate how creatures/organisms interact and feed. Special thanks to the Wooden Boat Factory and New Life Church for helping us make this event possible.
Nuri Muhammad, a student from the Wooden Boat Factory program reflected on the experience, saying “Working with TTF was absolutely amazing and inspiring! I’d love to work with the group again. I learned a lot about the creek and how easily simple human actions can have a huge impact on the quality of the habitat. Seeing how much trash was around was insane and it really changed my mindset of littering and how often it occurs. When you live in a neighborhood where people don’t litter often you take for granted just how much trash can pile up over time, and that’s exactly what I went through at the Tacony Creek. Cleaning it helped restore my faith in the quality of our earth.”
Be sure to check out the photos from our MLK Day of Service!