Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Announces
Watershed Milestones Award Winners
PHILADELPHIA, PA September 27, 2021 – Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) will celebrate watershed heroes for the tenth year at its Annual Watershed Milestones Ceremony on October 20, 2021. The virtual ceremony recognizes local individuals and organizations who have supported clean water efforts in the TTF watershed community. Honorees include outstanding volunteers, a local educator, and corporate and nonprofit stewards who have made an impact in our watershed. They will join a community of over 124 people, organizations, institutions, and businesses that have contributed to improving the health of the impaired 30 square mile watershed they share. This year, the program’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Jamē McCray, Director of the Alliance for Watershed Education.
- Siani Colón will receive the Friend Award for being a dedicated volunteer and advocate for the TTF watershed. Siani ignites passion in people to get involved in TTF’s clean water work and shares resources with the public, such as TTF Bird Guides. They are involved in many park programs such as WeWalk, yoga, Little Library Story Time, and have even led a nature tour of the park. They have contributed to grant projects and have worked on creating new, exciting programs for Tacony Creek Park.
- John Raisch will receive the Friend Award for being an enthusiastic leader in the TTF watershed. He serves on the Cheltenham Environmental Advisory Council, chairing the Mobility and Healthy Living subcommittee. He 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, encouraging other watershed residents to share their ideas for future trail plans. He also ensured that neighbors were able to have access to bikes for TTF’s annual Block Parties. John is doing important work to expand the accessibility of trails for biking and walking in our community.
- Olney Culture Lab will be honored with the Nonprofit Steward Award for being one of TTF’s most valued and critical partners in 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 fostered community in Olney for over a decade, shining a bright light on the Olney community’s homegrown talent. Ambrose collected stories of Tacony Creek Park’s past by recording interviews with residents and preserving the memories they shared in an oral history repository. OCL and TTF have collaborated twice to host photo contests that encouraged people to capture the everyday beauty of Tacony Creek Park and the watershed. OCL recently worked with local artists to host a series of Revival Walks through Tacony Creek Park and local musicians to compose an inspiring Tacony Creek Suite based on impressions of this special landscape.
- Garfield Refining will receive the Corporate Steward Award for its valued partnership and dedication to give back to its local community. Located right around the corner from Tacony Creek Park’s Ramona Avenue Gateway, Garfield Refining employees often join TTF for clean-ups and plantings in the park. For the past few years, enthusiastic groups of employees have attended Earth Day events, planting trees near the Roosevelt Boulevard underpass, as well as a native plant garden by the Ramona Avenue Gateway. A proud Partner Alliance member, the company supports TTF’s work financially.
- David White, a Science teacher at John Marshall Elementary School, will receive the Educator Award for being an active participant in TTF’s work. He has introduced students to the creek and watershed, 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. TTF is grateful to David for his dedication and enthusiasm in encouraging today’s youth to be stewards of their environment.
- Joyce Miller of J. Miller Associates LLC will win the Legacy Award for devoting many years of excellent accounting services to TTF. We are grateful for her expertise and commitment: at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she quickly completed the extensive paperwork for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which was approved and forgiven. Her quick, diligent action helped keep TTF afloat during those challenging, tumultuous months, offering stability and peace of mind during an uncertain time.
We will also honor our Partner Alliance members including Essential Utilities, Mom’s Organic Market, REI Co-op, Pixel Parlor, Roofmeadow Services, AquaReale, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, and many other businesses and organizations that support TTF’s work.
Milestones will include an online silent auction featuring an assortment of items and experiences, such as a guided kayak tour on the Delaware River with Glen Foerd, unique jewelry by Stacey Lee Webber, delicious coffee from Rival Bros, and much more. The auction goes live a week before Milestones on Wednesday, October 13 at noon. Funds raised from the silent auction will support clean water work across the TTF watershed.
About the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership
TTF connects watershed residents to their creeks. Through hands-on education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy, TTF empowers watershed constituents to take care of and improve the impaired waterways, parks, and trails across its 30 square miles. Working with neighbors, TTF has planted thousands of native trees, shrubs, and flowers along creeks and in rain gardens at schools, parks, places of worship, and even backyards to slow down and clean pollution before it enters creeks. TTF uses lots of tools to share a love for water and nature with people of all ages and to show how we can all make a difference.