Tikkun Olam (Heal the World): Volunteers plant 2,000 Natives at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel!

Jamilee Hoffman
Aug 21, 2023

4.16.23 Reform KI Planting (12)

Can you guess how many TTF volunteer hours were contributed when people planted two thousand native perennials at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel (KI) in Elkins Park? Read on to find out!

During the weekend of April 15, community members met at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel (KI)in Elkins Park to plant 2,000 native perennials including

soft rush (Juncus effusus)

black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia fulgida v deamii)

Blue flag Iris (Iris versicolor)

little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and 80 native trees and shrubs, including:

arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum)

silky dogwood (Cornus amomum)

sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis).

Over 30 volunteers joined us between both days for a total of almost 100 volunteer hours! A special thank you to Temple University’s Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

At many of our restoration sites, the work doesn’t just stop after the first project is installed. Such is the case at KI.

In the fall of 2021, subsurface storage tanks were installed to manage the 1.25-acre roof of the building. We continued working with the Congregation, and in the fall of 2022, a series of rain gardens, parking lot islands, and curb cuts were installed to manage stormwater from the remaining 3.25 acres of the property. In addition, 11,000 square feet of asphalt were removed from the parking lot. In total, 3 rain gardens and 2 parking islands were installed equal to roughly 5,500 square feet. There are nine curb cuts strategically installed along the parking lot to funnel water into the gardens.

These parking lot retrofits serve a number of purposes. First, these features manage the overland flows of the entire parking lot, slowing the rush of water to the creek, infiltrating it into the ground, and also filtering out pollutants and sediments. They also serve to beautify the landscape and reduce the thermal effects of large parking lots, reducing the temperature during the summer. Funding for this project was made possible through a Delaware River Restoration Fund Grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). You can read more about this funding here.

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel is the first property that we have worked with along Shoemaker Run, a small tributary to the Tookany Creek. This tributary is adjacent to Jenkintown Creek, which has been the focus of our restoration work for the last several years. We are excited to continue this focused restoration work in additional small areas to magnify its impact in our upstream communities.

Keep an eye out for our other upcoming restoration sites, including KI’s upstream neighbor, the Abington Club — which also received NFWF funding and should be under construction in 2024!

View More Photos Here.

Looking for a volunteer project for yourself or a group? Call us at 215-744-1853 or visit here.

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top