By Mykyah Vessels, Alliance for Watershed Education Fellow
Over the last 12 weeks I have been a fellow for the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, and it has been a blast. When I first heard about the opportunity to be a fellow, I was excited to give back and form deeper bonds with my community.
As a fellow, I helped keep the Tacony Creek Park’s gateways clean and tidy during Wednesday Cleanups. I canvassed and tabled, spreading the news about cool upcoming events and programs. During the Block Parties, I manned the Creekmobile, informing others about Stormwater runoff, our sewage system, and how everything ends up in the creek. I was even lucky enough to do a takeover of the Circuit Trail Instagram account.
For my capstone project, I hosted two foraging walks and wrote blogs about five edible plants commonly found in Tacony Creek Park (TCP) and Philadelphia in general. But before I could write the blogs and plan the walks, I had to know what grows in TCP. After doing research and walking the entirety of the park, I chose plants that were in season, easy to identify, and plentiful.
My main goal for the project was to make it as accessible and accurate as possible. The foraging walks were a great success! The participants were engaged and eager to learn more. Everyone seemed to leave the walks with at least one plant they could more easily spot in the future as well. That made me really happy because it meant two things to me: that tangible knowledge was being passed on and that people were feeling more comfortable with the nature around them.
Being a fellow has taught me many things. The first is how to be a leader and an advocate for my creek. It has shown me more about my neighborhood wants and needs. Deepened my love for nature. Connected me to TCP. It gave me a better understanding about the history of the land on which I live. And finally, proven that I am capable of some pretty great things.
Thank you, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and the Alliance for Watershed Education for giving me the opportunity and memories that I will cherish for a long time.
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