Drumroll, please: Our 2021 Milestones Watershed Heroes!

Jamilee Hoffman
Sep 13, 2021

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TTF Watershed Partnership is only able to achieve our clean water work with the help of our exemplary watershed heroes. This year, we are recognizing 6 honorees for this year’s Watershed Milestones Award Ceremony in the following categories:


Nonprofit Steward

Corporate Steward


Legacy Award


Some of our closest connections are TTF Friends, who help us reach our goals and spread our mission in the community. We are thankful for our Friends and are excited to honor them this year!

Siani Colón

Siani is a perfect representation of what it means to be a Friend of the watershed. For the past three years, Siani has been deeply engaged with our work, devoting their time to educating others about the Tacony Creek Park and the importance of green, natural spaces in Philadelphia. Siani ignites passion in people to get involved in TTF’s clean water work and shares resources with the public like our bird guides and even suggestions for bird walks. They are involved in many park programs such as WeWalk, yoga, Little Library Story Time, and have even given a nature tour of the park! They have contributed to grant projects and have worked on creating new, exciting programs for Tacony Creek Park.

An experienced steward and advocate, Siani has taken action directly with city officials and participates in public meetings. Siani has continued to make Tacony Creek Park cleaner, greener, and safer by gathering neighbors to participate in volunteer clean-ups in the park, often leading their own cleanups. 

Thank you Siani for being such an outstanding Friend of TTF! You can watch Siani’s interview here.

John Raisch

John is a big believer in the importance of trails and the benefits of being active in nature. His passion follows him wherever he goes. He serves on the Cheltenham Environmental Advisory Council, chairing the Mobility and Healthy Living subcommittee. He also leads walks and kids’ bike rides along the Tookany Creek trail in his spare time. This past year, he was instrumental to the success of the Tookany Creek Trail Feasibility Study by encouraging other watershed residents to share their ideas for future trail plans. He has done incredible work expanding the accessibility of trails for biking and walking in Montgomery County. John was key to making our Block Parties a success this summer by lending us a supply of bikes so that Tacony Creek Park neighbors could participate in bike rides along the trail.

In addition to being a trail advocate, he’s an environmental role model. John and his family have  replaced most of their lawn with native plants, a burgeoning meadow, and a vegetable garden!

Thank you, John, for all of your amazing work! You can watch John’s interview here.

Nonprofit Steward

TTF appreciates the productive partnerships we have with other nonprofit organizations to keep our watershed healthy and thriving. 

Olney Culture Lab

Olney Culture Lab is one of our most valued and critical partners in our Tacony Creek Park community engagement work. Led by Ambrose Liu, founder and project director, the Olney Culture Lab (OCL) has brought passion for the arts and has been fostering community to Olney for over a decade. Through the Olney Youth Arts Festival, N. 5th Street Food Tours, Jazz & Music Festivals, Open Mic Night, and more, OCL has shined a bright light on the Olney community’s homegrown talent. 

The OCL is committed to bringing people together through art. For many years now, the organization has collaborated with TTF on projects that intermix creativity with nature. The scope of this work has expanded, as OCL initiated the Olney Embrace project.

The Tacony Creek Park Stories project celebrates the park through storytelling, poetry, photography, dance, and music. Ambrose collected the stories of Tacony Creek Park’s past by recording interviews with residents, and preserved the memories they shared in an oral history repository. We’ve collaborated twice to host photo contests that encouraged people to capture the everyday beauty of Tacony Creek Park and the watershed, and to create new memories in that space. OCL worked with artists to host a series of Revival Walks led by an ensemble of artists, performers, and facilitators through Tacony Creek Park.  Some of the works that were inspired by the park were showcased at the Olney Youth Arts Festival. The music composed has become a moving, beautiful Tacony Creek Suite, which will be performed at the Park next month.

Thank you, Olney Culture Lab, for your creative partnership to raise up the beauty of Tacony Creek Park and its artistic and cultural communities. You can watch our interview with the director of OCL, Ambrose Liu, here.

Corporate Steward

TTF’s mission of connecting people to their creeks is accomplished only by buy-in from local businesses!

Garfield Refining

Ever since we were introduced to Garfield Refining in 2019, the company has found ways to give back to their local community and parks. Located right around the corner from Tacony Creek Park’s Ramona Ave Gateway, Garfield Refining employees often join us for clean-ups and plantings in the park. For the past few years, large, enthusiastic groups of employees have attended Earth Day events, and planted trees near the Roosevelt Boulevard underpass, as well as a native plant garden by the Ramona Ave Gateway. No task is too difficult or tedious— the Garfield team is happy to help weed, mulch, cut back and remove tangled vines from trees, and clean up litter. A proud Partner Alliance member, the company also supports our work financially. 

The energy and enthusiasm to volunteer and give back to the environment and community is inspiring, and an inspiring example of Corporate Stewardship! You can watch our interview with Terry Smith, the COO of Garfield Refining, here.


Education is one of our tools to share the importance of clean water. That’s why we are so thankful for our Educators! 

David White

When TTF connected with the John Marshall Elementary School in the Fall of 2019, David White, a Science teacher, became an active participant in our work!

David has introduced students to their local creek and watershed parks, attended teacher workshops, brought students to learn about wildlife by participating in bilingual bird walks, and organized groups to visit Tacony Creek Park for volunteer cleanup days.  

We are very grateful to David and his dedication and enthusiasm for encouraging today’s youth to be stewards of their natural environment. You can watch David’s interview here.

Legacy Award

TTF’s Legacy recognition goes to an individual who has endlessly dedicated their work to keep TTF thriving. 

Joyce Miller

Joyce Miller of J. Miller Associates LLC has devoted many years of excellent accounting services to TTF. We are incredibly grateful to have her expertise: at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she quickly completed the extensive paperwork for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which was approved and forgiven (she also secured our second PPL loan). Her quick, diligent action helped keep TTF afloat during those challenging, tumultuous months, offering our organization stability and peace-of-mind during an uncertain time.

Thank you Joyce for continuing the legacy of TTF. You can watch Joyce’s interview here.

Thank you to all our Milestones honorees for devoting your time to improving our watershed!

Want to celebrate with these heroes on October 20 at our Virtual Watershed Milestones Award Ceremony & Silent Auction?

More information here.

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