Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas tree recycling day!

The Mt. Airy Business Association in partnership with GRINCH and the Allens Lane Art Center is sponsoring a Christmas Tree Recycling Day.
When: Sunday, January 10, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Allens Lane Art Center -- 601 Allens Lane, Philadelphia 19119
We are asking a $5.00 donation to help cover our costs.
Trees will be chipped into a pile which will then be available in the Spring as free mulch!
Why? Because it's the right thing to do. Trees are just like any other trash that gets sent to landfills and becomes pollution. By chipping the trees and re-using the mulch, you are helping to save our precious planet.
Please contact Kim Miller, executive director of the Mt. Airy Business Association at 215-242-0777 or if you have any questions or if you would like to volunteer to help that day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

City of Philadelphia passes Green Building Legislation!

Last week City Council voted unanimously to pass Bill No. 080025, green building legislation introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. The bill requires large city-controlled construction projects that are primarily funded by city capital dollars to meet LEED-silver requirements. To emphasize energy efficiency, the bill requires that projects be designed and constructed to use at least 20% less energy than basic structures. The bill applies to capital projects undertaken by all departments and agencies across the city, including the airport.

This piece of legislation furthers the Next Great City recommendation that Philadelphia build energy-efficient, healthy city and school-district facilities. Next Great City testified before Council’s Committee on the Environment in support of the bill because it exemplifies the long-term vision that Philadelphia needs to make us the next great city with a sustainable future. We applaud City Council for taking this important step.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

GRINCH tours Eforce Compliance

Grinch tours Eforce to see where all that ewaste goes.
Eforce is located in S. Philadelphia on 3114 Grays Ferry Ave. They've been there for years, fixing up old electronic items and selling them in their retail location called Selectronics. But they've branched out and now they handle the dismantling and recycling of most electronic items, such as computers, televisions, healthcare equipment and many others that can be found on their website at Personally, I felt really good after our tour that all the ewaste we collected on our Weird Waste Day went to one of the only environmentally responsible e-waste recyclers in Philadelphia. Many of the other recyclers ship it out overseas to developing countries that do not have the environmental regulations that we have here, leading to public health hazards and toxic dumps that will be polluting their land for centuries. As Charlie said, "If they got overseas containers outside their facility, they are shipping the waste overseas." Another way to know if your waste is being handled environmentally is that if you're not paying to have it recycled, it's most probably not being recycled properly. It costs money to do it right.
Thanks to Charlie Nygard, Managing Director, for our very informative tour!

These are one of the component parts of CPU's. They are hand dismantled and sorted into large boxes and then sent to be recycled.

All this wiring will have the copper and other metals taken out of it for reuse. It takes one of Eforce's workers 7 to 10 minutes to take apart one CPU and sort the parts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Details about Philly RecycleBank plans

You can find out more about the specifics of the new, and ultimately citywide, recycling program, and when it will be coming to your neighborhood. You can set up an account now even if your actual service won't begin for several months.

This link to the program's homepage is a good place to start. At least for the moment, RecycleBank is offering to automatically give you 100 points (I have no idea how much that's worth) when you open an account. I just went through the registration process, and as long as your address is in it's database, it seems pretty straightforward; and there were indeed 100 points in my account when I logged in. It seems smart to me to make a big publicity effort now, and to make it easy for people to get engaged early on in the process even if the direct benefits haven't yet started in your particular neighborhood. It will be wonderful if this program really works and makes a real difference in our behavior and significantly reduces the amount of trash currently going into landfills.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Recycle Bank returns to Philly!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sustainable Business tax credit in the works!

Philadelphia City Council's Finance Committee recently approved an amendment to Bill No. 090119

introduced by Councilman Kenney to create tax incentives for certified sustainable businesses located in the City of Philadelphia

This legislation is well timed as it coincides with unprecedented investment in the green economy from the federal level, and supports the city’s goal to “Double the Number of Low- and High-Skill Green Jobs” it set for itself in Target 14 of Greenworks Philadelphia

. By creating a more supportive climate for green businesses in Philadelphia, the city is working to grow local businesses so they will be here to hire the graduates of all the new federally-funded training programs that will come online in 2010.

City Council is expected to vote on the amendment early this week. You can let them know that passing this legislation is important to you by emailing them today


Sunday, November 22, 2009

GRINCH outreach at Jenks School for America Recycles Day!

To highlight America Recycles Day, November 15th, GRINCH (GReenInChestnutHill) organized a Three R's assembly for students of the Jenks School in Chestnut Hill. Principal Mary Lynskey was excited about the outreach program and facilitated the assembly organization. GRINCH leaders Ann King-Musza and Jennifer Reed spoke to grades K-5 and 6-8 on Friday November 13th about the three R's of waste--Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. Ann and Jennifer showed the students videos explaining where most of our waste goes and how we can divert much of our garbage from landfills to new products. An Australian video focused on student's efforts, Down Under, to reduce their impact on global warming. They collect used cell phones to refurbish, plant veggie gardens and consume the veggies for afternoon snacks. They raise awareness about energy reduction around the school by turning off lights and computers when classrooms are not in use. After the videos, the Jenks students were eager to participate in a skit performed by Jen and Ann in which they needed to choose how to best dispose a variety of items. Jen held up items that may have been thrown away but instead diverted to boxes marked "donations", "electronics", "recycling". Students shouted out where they thought the TV and the used sweater ought to go. The participation and excitement nearly shook the building showing appreciation and an eagerness to participate in solving environmental challenges.

Photo credit- Alix Rabin

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

E-Waste Recycling
Follow this url to see a disturbing video shown on FrontLine.

On the outskirts of Ghana's biggest city sits a smoldering wasteland, a slum carved into the banks of the Korle Lagoon, one of the most polluted bodies of water on earth. The locals call it Sodom and Gomorrah.

Correspondent Peter Klein and a group of graduate journalism students from the University of British Columbia have come here as part of a global investigation -- to track a shadowy industry.

“I'm trying to get some ownership labels,” Anane tells reporters. “I'm collecting them because you need them as evidence. You need to tell the world where these things are coming from. You have to prove it. Now, just look,” he says, pointing to an old computer with the label: “School District of Philadelphia.”

This is why we need E-Waste Recycling here, on a regular basis

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weird Waste Day

GRINCH's huge WEIRD WASTE DAY success in Chestnut Hill last Saturday collected nearly 5 tons of E-Waste! People came from all over the city and suburbs including a couple from South Philly who came in their Philly Car Share car!
Proceeds will benefit The Jenks School and GRINCH.
IRN (Institutional Recycling Network) was hired to collect the electronics for responsible reuse and recycling. A big thanks to the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation for use of the Highland Ave. parking lot!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NW Philly Community Cafe

MARCHinG for Change, a Northwest Phila group that emerged from the Obama campaign, invites you to a NW Phila Community Cafe. This will be an opportunity to find out what’s going on, share information, and get involved. The Cafe will be held at the Sedgwick Theatre, 7137 Germantown Ave, on Sunday, November 15, from 2:30-5PM.

The format of the CafĂ© will be informal. First, help yourself to a cup of coffee or tea, chat with neighbors and browse through literature about what’s going on in the neighborhood. Then the program will start, consisting of repeating workshops on health care, city service and budget challenges, recycling, composting, weatherization, and public safety. A resource person will be present to present information and facilitate a discussion.

But the best thing will be rebuilding the great community and spirit of engagement that the Obama campaign brought out in so many of us. Let's renew our ties and refresh our vision at the first ever Northwest Phila Community Cafe on November 15.

For more information or to RSVP, please go to the Organizing for America Website: Community Cafe: Learn, Share, & Energize

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

How Weird is your Waste?

At 42 I am finally advanced enough in years to say "when I was a kid we didn't have cell phones or fax machines and we got on just fine!" As an adult, fully engaged in the 21st century, I cannot say that technology doesn't matter. My last business, a boxed lunch delivery service, relied on cell phones and faxed orders. My current business, The Night Kitchen, relies heavily on our website for information and pictures and email for inquiries.
I can also say with a curmudgeony voice " they don't make them like they used to!" Well there is a lot of truth to that. Replacing cell phones every year is now the norm. Upgrading technology on a regular basis is what the younger generation grew up on. My parent's 20 year black and white TV would never fly these days.
With all of this newly needed technology plus burgeoning populations comes lots of toxic waste. What do you do with that dead computer monitor, cell phone or TV? If you put it in the trash it will end up in a landfill and poison the soil or worse a trash heap in a developing country, poisoning their soil and water. Many of these electronics include heavy metals such as lead and mercury making them environmentally hazardous. How can we avoid the landfill?
Companies like Institutional Recycling Network (IRN), a local business, manage surplus for reuse. Things that we might otherwise throw away, are refurbished or reused in other products. They break the items down to reuse, right here in the good old US, creating American jobs.
Following the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the best way to meet the challenges of waste.
Trash reduction is always better than throwing something into a landfill. There is only so much space on the planet for landfills and they are living up to their name (filled).
To help combat this problem GReenINChestnutHill (GRINCH) and IRN have organized a Weird Waste Day Saturday November 14th from 1-4pm in the Valley Green Bank parking lot on W. Highland. Bring your computers, cell phones, and air conditioners. You pay 39cents per pound and IRN will recycle and reuse all of the dead technology you don't know what do with that is cluttering your basement and attic.
The proceeds will benefit GRINCH and The Jenks Home and School Association.
You declutter your home and feel good about it and your local school and environmental group benefit, too. Win-Win.

Complete list of what they will take:

Monitors- CRT, LCD, Plasma

PCs- Desktop, Laptop

Peripherals-Printers, Scanners

Accessories-Keyboards, Cables, Mice

Handhelds- Flash drives, Phones, PDAs

Equipment-TVs, Cameras, Stereos, Speakers

Flat rate charge of $15.00 for air conditioners (Freon!)

$1.40 for compact fluorescent light bulbs

$0.70 a linear foot for fluorescent lamps

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Talk by Farmer Brown

Weavers Way Co-op and Springside School Present Talk by Farmer Brown
Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Weavers Way Co-op and Springside School will be cosponsoring a talk on factory farms by Harold Brown, a.k.a. “Farmer Brown.” This event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the U.S. Auditorium at Springside School, 8000 Cherokee Street, in Chestnut Hill. The event is free and open to anyone interested in this timely subject.
Brown’s website,, is a resource for farmers who want to make the transition from animal based to plant based agriculture, for consumers to learn a different perspective on how food is produced, to help those who desire to reconnect with the land and become farmers, to support local food production, environmental and social justice issues, the rights of all living beings to be co-cohabitants of this planet, and how these things have everything to do with creating the peaceful world that all beings desire.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Weird Waste Day
Saturday, Nov. 14th 1-4pm
Celebrate America Recycles Day!!
Empty out your basement and garage of all those old
electronic items you didn’t know what to do with. For 39
cents per pound, your cpu’s, tv’s, printers, faxes, cell
phones etc, will be responsibly dismantled and disposed
of, instead of being thrown in a landfill. This event is being
organized by Green in Chestnut Hill (GRINCH) and the
Home School Assoc. Of Jenk’s Elementary School. For
more information visit

What: Responsible Electronic Waste Recycling
When: Nov 14, 2009
Where: Parking Lot beside 23 W. Highland Ave.
Chestnut Hill, PA
Time: 1 pm-4 pm
Cost: 39 cents per lb, cash or check accepted
$15 flat rate for air conditioners


Weird Waste Day
Saturday November 14th from 1-4pm
W. Highland St. Parking lot next to Valley Green Bank(next to old WAWA) in Chestnut Hill
Dispose of your electronic waste (computers, cell phones, tv's etc.) responsibly for 39 cents a pound.
More details to come in next week's Local!
This is a GreenInChestnutHill organized event.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Local Food gets Federal boost


The Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia (RDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working together to promote urban production of fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables for local markets, in support of USDA's new "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

" initiative. The collaboration is believed to be the first between an urban government and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and will make it easier for the City to create pilot farming and gardening projects.

Check out the website

to learn more about how you can support local farmers while also improving your health and protecting natural resources.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Click on poster below for better viewing...

Fall For The Arts Recycling Volunteers!

These are some of the thirty volunteers that helped to promote recycling on Germantown Ave. during the Fall for the Arts Festival. We are grateful for their efforts and while their job may have seemed silly, to guard recycling containers and make sure people knew what they could recycle and what they couldn't, it made a huge difference in what was collected. Most of all, it demonstrated the tremendous need for both pedestrian recycling bins here in Chestnut Hill and education about what is actually recycled in the city of Philadelphia. This is GRINCH's priority this coming year and hopefully will become the priority of our own community association.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stormwater management incentive for businesses!



Listen to the PennFuture podcast at

Includes interviews with Urban Sustainability Forum speakers and more!

Questions or Comments?
Email Christine or call 215-545-9692

Don't forget to visit our website at:

The Next Great City coalition can check another agenda item off our list! Philadelphia Water Commissioner Bernard Brunwasser has approved a new rate structure and regulations for stormwater management that will provide incentives to businesses and institutions to reduce their water runoff.

“Managing stormwater is vital to our economy, our environment and the public health,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “And this decision moves us one giant step forward in meeting the federal clean water standards and implementing our Greenworks Philadelphia goal: to make our city the greenest in the nation.”

Previous stormwater charges were based on how much water a property used, which bears little relation to its contribution to stormwater runoff. The new charges will be based on the size of and amount of impervious surface. The decision will make it profitable for property owners to address stormwater runoff by planting more trees, installing a green roof or using porous pavement. PWD will also work with Next Great City on a pilot program to study expanding the credit program to residential customers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall for the Arts Fest Sunday Oct 4th 11-5

Chestnut Hill's 25th annual Fall for the Arts Festival with over 150 artists and craftsmen, live entertainment on two stages, kids amusements and art activities, delicious festival foods from the restaurants of Chestnut Hill...all outdoors on beautiful, historic Germantown Avenue. Enjoy a fun-filled fall afternoon in one of Philadelphia's lovliest neighborhoods. for more info

Upcoming events at Laurel Hill Gardens

All workshops start at 11am

Saturday – Oct 10 – Composting

Saturday – Oct 17 – Wintering Tropicals/Preparing Houseplants for Winter

Saturday – Oct 24 – Putting Your Garden to Bed

Saturday – Oct 31 – Pumpkin Carving

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Take a Look at Weird Waste Day in Mt. Airy

Some additional images from Weird Waste Day that didn't make it into the paper. The overall feeling from most recyclers was "How great and horrifying at the same time". This is truly a monumental problem, but here is part of the solution. Thanks to all who came out and paid to have their electronics recycled in a responsible way!
It was eye-opening and inspiring. Over 5 tons were collected!

That's Ann King-Musza with the clipboard....Good Work!

Evan and Noah Weinstein with one year's worth of batteries!

After the Rain Tour

After the Rain Tour



Watershed Van Tour
Sunday, October 4, 2009
2:00-4:30 pm

Meet at
Washington Lane Train Station
R-7 (in-bound side)

Join a guided tour of the Awbury/Cliveden Model Neighborhood and discover what happens after the rain: where does the rain go; is there any way to slow it down? The tour, led by Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) and Fairmount Park staff, will visit some of the latest projects designed to control stormwater. See what has been done at Awbury Arboretum, Cliveden Park, Waterview Recreation Center, and learn about the newest block chosen to turn green with the Philadelphia Water Department's, "Green Cities, Clean Waters" initiative.

All welcome. Free. Due to limited van space, preregistration is strongly suggested. For registration and information call 215.685.9285.

Discover the opportunities offered by the Philadelphia Water Department and Fairmount Park to make your community a Model Neighborhood.
For information on Model Neighborhood events and opportunities in the local area, visit

Green Cities,
Clean Waters

Wissahickon Environmental Center
Tree House
300 Northwestern Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reminder--this Saturday at the Mt Airy Valley Green Bank!

Weird Waste Day

As a service to the community the Mt. Airy Business Association in conjunction with Valley Green Bank invite everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to properly dispose of all unwanted electronics, including televisions, computers, printers, hard-drives, monitors, vcrs, radios, video games, transformers, and even batteries! Bring your weird waste to the Valley Green Bank parking lot on Sept 26th between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. and we’ll make sure that it gets responsibly recycled.

Cost to you is $0.32 per pound.

We have engaged, IRN, a recycling network that helps businesses and institutions find the most responsible, efficient and cost effective way to recycle all materials . All products are hand dismantled and shredded. Each item is directed to the right end market and recycled safely, in full compliance with all environmental regulations.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Student Volunteers for Fall Arts Fest needed!!

This is an official request for student volunteers ages 12 18 who want to help make a less trashy planet while gaining valuable community service hours. There will be 2 shifts to choose from--12-2pm or 2-4pm, Sunday October 4th at the Fall for the Arts Fest in Chestnut Hill. Students will man recycling stations along the festival route. Students will be required to attend a pizza party training session Saturday night (Oct. 3rd-5pm) in Chestnut Hill where they will receive their organic t-shirts and instructions for Sunday.
Those interested should contact Amy Edelman at or (610)505-6282 or Peggy Hendrie at the Chestnut Hill Business Assoc. (215)247-6696.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Upcoming Events and Activities at Wyck

Farmers Market Every Friday through November 2:00–6:00pm

House will be open for free, self-guided tours on Fridays from 1:00 - 4:00pm during the Farmers Market

Harvest Festival, Friday, September 18, 5:00 - 7:00pm

Join us for an evening of music, family activities, cooking demonstrations, and delicious food!

Activities will include:
Cider pressing

Dying natural fabrics with plant-based dyes

Collaborative writing project for kids and adults

Beekeeping demonstration

Admission: $5; $4 senior citizens

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Vacancy: Reimagining Vacant Land in Philadelphia

Urban Sustainability Forum
No Vacancy: Reimagining Vacant Land in Philadelphia
September 17
6:30pm - 8:30pm
urban sustainability logo
September's Urban Sustainability Forum at The Academy of Natural Sciences will take a look at vacant land as an environmental and economic sustainability issue. Experts from Philadelphia and beyond will address ways to effectively recycle vacant and abandoned space in the city, look at tensions between short-term and long-term use, and review best practices.
Speakers include Beth Miller, Executive Director of Community Design Collaborative, Mayor Nutter (invited), Terry Gillen, Executive Director, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority,
Dan Kildee-Treasurer of Genesee County, Michigan, and Farah Jimenez- Executive Director, Mt. Airy USA

Opening Reception from 6pm- 6:30pm.

Reservations recommended. Visit

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rain Barrel Workshop!!

Rain Barrel Workshop
Monday, November 2 • 6 pm
Location to be determined
The Rain Barrel Workshop will give homeowners a brief overview of the
rainwater cycle, information on the importance of stormwater management at
home, and instructions on the installation and use of a rain barrel. This event is
part of FOW’s Protect Our Watershed program.Visit for more details.Friends of the Wissahickon work to conserve the forest and creek and preserve historical structures.

A s a homeowner in the Wissahickon watershed, you can
take important steps to improve the health of the creek by:
slowing the speed of water off your property to allow it to seep underground;
providing more porous and unpaved surfaces in your yard to soak up
stormwater; and striving to keep chemicals and soil runoff from tainting
the creek.
10 Simple Steps
The Friends of the Wissahickon invites you to
become a partner in safeguarding the Wissahickon
Creek by following these 10 simple steps:
1 Branch out
Plant native trees and plants. A mature tree’s massive network of leaves
slows rainfall during a storm, reducing the speed that raindrops hit the
ground and slowing the erosion of soil into the stream. Also, native
plants and trees absorb rain like sponges, and leaves drip rainfall onto
the ground for hours after a storm, giving more water a chance to seep
slowly underground. A tree’s roots hold the soil, which prevents soil
from washing into the creek. Contact FOW for help in choosing trees
and shrubs that are best for this purpose or consult the plant list
2 Roll out the barrel
Rainfall flows down rooftops into gutters and downspouts, then gushes
down driveways to flow into the street and storm drains. To slow water
down—and save money on your water bill—consider an old-fashioned
remedy, the rain barrel. Place the barrel under a downspout, then capture
water for garden and lawn. When you water with it, the rain returns to
the soil, just as nature intended. The FOW sponsors workshops in
conjunction with the Philadelphia Water Department on how to
use and install rain barrels and provides free rain barrels to
homeowners who attend workshops. Check the FOW website for
information and workshop dates.
3 Try porous patios and walkways
The large amount of impervious cover in the lower Wissahickon watershed
is a significant problem for the creek. Consider reducing the amount
of impervious surface on your property with driveways or parking areas
built from porous asphalt or special concrete blocks containing holes to
allow rainfall to trickle through. Or try a patio made from loose slate with
gravel between the rocks.
4 Spout off in new directions
Re-direct your house’s downspouts to flow to your lawn or garden. You’ll
need to slow the stormwater’s velocity to protect soil from erosion, but
the water can be used where it’s needed—on lawn and garden—while
reducing your water bill. See information on dry wells and other
infiltration techniques at
5 Easy does it
Chemicals we place on our lawns and gardens—weed killer, fertilizer,
pesticides—can run into the creek through stormwater. Pesticides can
kill stream creatures, and fertilizers stimulate the growth of algae,
which blocks the light needed by fish and other creatures. Carefully read
all labels containing these materials, and apply them conservatively.
Listen to weather reports to refrain from applying just before a storm.
Consider less noxious brands of pesticide and weed killer, or take
advantage of the wide variety of organic practices available to maintain
a chemical-free landscape.
6 Don’t get dirty
Strive to keep all lawn, pool, and automotive chemicals—even animal
waste from dog walking and soaps and suds from car washing—from
tainting the creek. Remember that anything that goes down the storm
drain in your street eventually empties into the Wissahickon. Another
stream problem is sediment—soil washed into the creek from gardens,
sparse lawns and construction sites. Protect soil in every way you can.
Cover bare soil with mulch or hay. If your property is sloped, slow the
speed of rainfall by covering slopes with vegetation.
10 Simple Steps continued from previous page
7 Less lawn, more garden
Gardens, wooded areas, and meadows slow rainfall far better than lawn.
Capture more rainfall by replacing portions of lawn in corners and edges
with flowerbeds or native shrubs—you will have less lawn to mow as
well. Native shrubs and perennials demand less water than ornamentals.
Even better, add a rain garden or wildflower meadow to your property. A
meadow can dramatically slow the flow of runoff from your property
while it absorbs lawn-care chemicals. FOW can arrange a free “environmental
audit” of your property to provide suggestions about
environmentally-friendly landscape improvements.
8 Mow easy, leave some leaves
A close-cropped, well-manicured lawn may look attractive but allows
stormwater to flow across it too quickly. Consider maintaining grass at a
height of at least four inches—this height slows the growth of weeds while
better absorbing stormwater. In addition, refrain from raking autumn’s
leaves from every corner and edge of your property. Leave some leaves
where they will form natural mulch to soak up stormwater like a sponge.
9 Just a dash
Many homeowners and business people salt roads, driveways, and walkways
during snowstorms, and much of the salt flows with melted water
into the creek. Use salt conservatively and consider using non-toxic
alternatives like sand.
10 Get wild and edgy
If you are lucky enough to own property adjacent to the Wissahickon Creek
or one of its tributaries, help the creek in an additional way: Instead of
mowing your lawn right up to the stream’s edge, allow a vegetative buffer
to grow—or plant one yourself. A lush buffer of trees, shrubs, and wetland
wildflowers protects the stream from your property’s runoff, slowing the
flow of rain and reducing the amount of chemicals that enter the creek.
Streamside trees and shrubs shade the water, increasing the amount of
life-giving oxygen in the water and encouraging clean-stream life. FOW
can assist by talking with you about which materials are best to
plant as buffers and can provide free native plant materials for
certain properties.
Many thanks to the Lower Merion Conservancy for granting
permission to adapt the material in this brochure.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Urban Girls' Farmstand open through October

Tuesdays, through October
2pm - 6pm
children playing on shelter
The Schuylkill Center Farm Stand is now offering fruits and vegetables grown at The Schuylkill Center farm by the Urban Girls Produce farmers. The produce is seasonal and the varieties are abundant. The Schuylkill Center Farmstand is open every Tuesday, from July 28 through October. Bags and boxes are available but in the spirit of sustainability please bring your own shopping bag if possible. Visit the Schuylkill Center Farmstand at our main building, and let us add a little something to your shopping basket!
For more information, or for a weekly list of available produce: Farmstand

Energy Workshops for Older Homes

September 9 6:30 PM
Energy Efficiency in Older Houses

Presented by:
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
and The Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust

In Collaboration with:
The Historical Society of Tacony
Tacony Civic Association
Tacony Community Development Corporation
Historic Germantown
Historic RittenhouseTown
The Germantown Historical Society
The Chestnut Hill Historical Society

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is pleased to announce the next in our ongoing series of workshops for owners, and aspiring owners, of historic homes. Attendees will have a great opportunity to learn about the best practices for the restoration and maintenance of older and historic homes.

These workshops are free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Reservation/ information: Contact Patrick Hauck, Director of Neighborhood Preservation Programs, 215-546-1146 x4 or patrick@preservatio nalliance. com.

6742 Torresdale Avenue
Philadelphia, PA

Weird Waste Day in Mt. Airy

Mt Airy Business Association & Valley Green Bank Sponsor

Weird Waste Day

As a service to the community the Mt. Airy Business Association in conjunction with Valley Green Bank invite everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to properly dispose of all unwanted electronics, including televisions, computers, printers, hard-drives, monitors, vcrs, radios, video games, transformers, and even batteries! Bring your weird waste to the Valley Green Bank parking lot on Sept 26th between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. and we’ll make sure that it gets responsibly recycled.

Cost to you is $0.32 per pound.

We have engaged, IRN, a recycling network that helps businesses and institutions find the most responsible, efficient and cost effective way to recycle all materials . All products are hand dismantled and shredded. Each item is directed to the right end market and recycled safely, in full compliance with all environmental regulations.

Kim Miller

Executive Director

Mt. Airy Business Association

7208 Germantown Avenue, Suite 7

Philadelphia, PA 19119

Office: 215-242-0777

Cell: 215-681-1471

Edible Landscape Festival

Down to Earth Opening Reception and Edible Landscape Festival
Saturday September 12, 2009
2pm -6pm
Down to Earth: Artists Create Edible Landscapes is an exhibition that
highlights the growing focus and emergence of “green” principles and
sustainability in relationship to food, art, design and agriculture. Guest curator
Amy Lipton, Co-Director of New York’s ecoartspace, selected six artists and
artist teams who are working to create socially engaging interventions in the
landscape related to food and agriculture, creating an aesthetic and cultural link
between art and farming.
After the artists formally introduce their work, visitors will have the opportunity
to meet the Edible Landscapes artists at this family friendly event! The Edible
Landscapes Festival will include an artists’ talk and tour, activities for all ages
led by the artists, as well as hay rides, a composting station, a guided edible
plants trail walk, and much more!
Reception/Festival Highlights
Artists’ talks and tours of the Garden Installations
2:30pm – 3:45pm
Hayrides to The Schuylkill Center’s Organic Farm
4pm – 6pm
Edible Plants Hike
5pm – 6pm
Ongoing Activities
2pm – 6pm
Composting Demonstration
Beekeeping Demonstration by local beekeeper Joe Duffy
Farmstand featuring organic produce from The Schuylkill Center’s Market
Garden Farm
Location: The Down to Earth Exhibitions and Edible Landscapes Festival will be
held at The Schuylkill Center’s Second Site, located at the corner of Port Royal
Avenue and Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128. For directions, please
visit our website at

Support: Down To Earth: Artists Create Edible Landscapes is supported by The
William Penn Foundation, and an award from The National Endowment for
the Arts.
Media Contact: Lisa Sonneborn / Communications Manager
The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
Tel. 215.482.7300 x 139
Cel. 215.284.4045

It's the GreenFest!!

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GreenFest Philly
is just around the corner!
The 4th Annual GreenFest Philly is just a couple weeks away!
Join us on Sunday, September 13 from 11am to 6pm at 2nd and South Streets in Philadelphia. Over 200 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors will fill the streets to learn & share how fun it is to be green!

EXHIBITOR SPACE is still available. For more information please follow this link:

so re faCalling Artists and Volunteers!

GreenFest Philly needs your help! Volunteer shifts are available on September 13th from 6am to 8pm and we can use all the hands we can get so bring a friend or put together a group. Visit our web site & fill out the application today!
Individual Volunteer Application
Group Volunteer Application

We're also still accepting applications for our Green Film Festival and Eco-Fashion Show.

'08 festival pic EVENT HIGHLIGHTS: From sustainable living tips to environmentally conscious fun for the whole family, there will be something for everyone at this year's GreenFest!
  • Eco-Fashion Show
  • Clothing Swap
  • Green Film Festival featuring FOOD, INC.
  • Kids' activities
  • Live Music & Entertainment
  • Local Produce
  • Bike Valet
  • Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic and Free-Range Food
  • Food Symposium
  • Yoga
Call For Plastics!

Please bring your unrecylable plastics (#3, 4, 5, 6 & 7), aluminum foil, milk cartons, styrene egg cartons, etc. that would otherwise be recyclable, but are not in Philadelphia. Please check out this list of goodies that we need to create recycled art with help from the Dumpster Divers!

'08 picFood

The theme of this year's event is sustainable FOOD. Highlighting everything from ORGANIC to BUYING LOCALLY to having a vegetarian or FREE-RANGE diet, this year's event will allow us to educate others on the importance of supporting our local farmers' markets as well as how to make more conscious decisions at the grocery store. Come and try some of the eco-friendly foods available and learn about the impact our food choices have on the environment. Find out how easy it is for you to grow your own food- even if you are living in a studio apartment in Center City! Come and learn the truth about food from the green leaders in the Organic Food Industry at our Food Symposium.

adopt a recycling bin
$50.00 Donation

Hand-made Recycling Stations will be located throughout the festival to teach everyone how to separate trash from compostables and recyclables. Show your support by putting your name on a Recycling Station today. Let's show Philly how easy event recycling can be!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Recently my husband and I were invited to a friends house for a Vermont cheese and wine tasting. It was a perfect summer evening for backyard dining and the setting was a foodie's fantasy. Surrounded by a bamboo grove, 12 hardcore Slow Food devotees, bowls of heirloom tomatoes, wines including mead and cheese, glorious cheese--my favorite food group. The variety and quality of the nearly local Vermont fromages rivaled anything I have eaten in Europe giving new meaning to "Made in America" and "Locally Grown". These are becoming the mantras in dealing with the challenges of fossil fuel dependency and Global Warming. And it begins with food.
Locally Grown is the new organic. Not that there is anything wrong with organic which is defined as fruits and veggies grown without chemical pesticides and insecticides. In the meat world hormone free, free range and grass fed are the equivalent and in the sea world wild caught fish trumps farm raised. After all, Organic is the way all food was raised and grown before the 20th century. While organic has become increasingly popular in the past decade, some of the standards have veered away from its original ideals. In addition, organic labeling is an expense many small farmers cannot afford. Some local Lancaster farmers employ organic methods but market their products as pesticide free. The wildly popular Saturday morning Winston Rd. Farmers Market has such farmers. They are often available to answer questions about their farming methods. Customers like the fact that they are supporting local businesses, getting a fresh products and helping to reduce the energy consumption involved in shipping.
Energy consumption is something to consider as well as a country's farming standards. A crate of tomatoes shipped from Holland consumes a tremendous amount of energy to get here. Asparagus grown in Central America? If I am warned not to drink the water in a particular country, why would I eat the veggies that were drinking that very water?
Locally grown has become extremely popular as people consider their food source more thoughtfully. And it's much easier to do this in the summer in the Northeast when produce is so abundant. Last week, on our way to Maine, we stopped at farm stands and quaint little towns from Kennebunkport to Cambridge and Salem to Portland. "Buy Local" was the common theme in promoting these communities and they appeared to be thriving. Supporting local businesses, particularly independently owned that craft their own products, results in more money kept in the local economy. Good for the community and good for the earth-win win.

Monday, August 10, 2009




Listen to the PennFuture podcast at

Includes interviews with Urban Sustainability Forum speakers and more!

Questions or Comments?
Email Christine or call 215-545-9692

Don't forget to visit our website at:

Next Great City applauds the City of Philadelphia and you for making big strides in recycling. According to the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, residential recycling in Philadelphia has reached an all time record with a 46 percent increase in household recycling over the last year. For fiscal year 2009 (July 2008 June 2009) the Streets Department collected 75,060 tons of waste from Philadelphia households, a 23,734 ton increase from last year. The average household with City collection recycled 278 pounds of their waste last year, 88 pounds more than in the previous year. The diversion rate, the amount of residential waste that ends up in recycling compared to trash, is now nearly 12-1/2 percent, an increase of over 5 percent since Mayor Nutter took office in January 2008. This amounts to saving of nearly $5,000,000 in avoided landfill costs.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Get Your Veggies!!


The Schuylkill Center’s Market Garden Farm and Urban Girls Produce

Fresh produce will soon be coming to you from The Schuylkill Center’s market garden farm! The Center has partnered with Urban Girls Produce (UGP) to begin growing a variety of fruits and vegetables in an organic manner. The Schuylkill Center has dedicated 2 acres for food production, and UGP will plant, tend, and harvest from spring through fall to bring fresh produce to the Philadelphia market.

The Schuylkill Center Farmstand
The Schuylkill Center Farmstand will open on July 28, and will offer fruits and vegetables grown at The Schuylkill Center farm by the Urban Girls Produce farmers. The produce is seasonal and the varieties are abundant. The Schuylkill Center Farmstand is open every Tuesday, from July 28 through October. Bags and boxes are available but in the spirit of sustainability please bring your own shopping bag if possible. Visit the Schuylkill Center Farmstand at our main building, and let us add a little something to your shopping basket!

Farmstand hours:
Tuesdays, July 28 through October
2pm – 6pm
The Schuylkill Center, Main Building

See our Pick of the Day

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Mayor Nutter lead the way

Nurturing the green economy

WHILE "going green" has long been associated with protecting the environment, we believe it should also be associated with saving and earning money. Clean, sustainable and livable communities go hand-in-hand with economic growth.

In these tough economic times, many American cities and towns are searching for innovative ways to go green, seeking to make investments that will ultimately save taxpayer dollars and increase local property values.

These efforts come in many forms - revitalizing municipal parks and public spaces, landscaping neighborhood gateways and key corridors, planting trees, constructing green roofs, cleaning and maintaining vacant lots. Collectively, these green infrastructure investments make neighborhoods healthier by improving air quality and lowering surface temperatures, increase property values and help municipalities effectively manage stormwater runoff.

For many cities and communities green infrastructure is integral to addressing short- and long-term economic challenges.

Philadelphia, thanks to local leadership, and strong state and federal partnerships, is a national leader in urban greening.

Our city believes in the economic merit of green infrastructure, and for good reason. Trees, parks and other green space change peoples' perception of their neighborhoods, adding economic value and enhancing real-estate values. Planting trees and creating new public open spaces also creates jobs.

At a recent congressional hearing in Philadelphia, experts from across the region and the U.S. noted Philadelphia's national leadership in thinking, planning and building green. Through Greenworks Philadelphia, Mayor Nutter's visionary sustainability strategy, Philadelphia is on track to become the greenest city in America by 2015. Greenworks Philadelphia sets up goals related to reducing local energy demand, lowering greenhouse gases and creating new green jobs, as well as significantly increasing the city's green infrastructure.

One of the reasons Greenworks Philadelphia could set forth an aggressive green-infrastructure strategy is that we have a wealth of local experts, including our own Water Department, to turn to for guidance.

Other areas of the nation are not so fortunate. Despite strong agreement on the economic benefits of building a green infrastructure, many cities and communities often lack the knowledge and technical expertise that has allowed Philadelphia to be such a leader.

To meet this challenge, Rep. Schwartz wrote the Green Communities Act (HR 2222), a plan that encourages public-

private partnerships in 80 cities to educate local governments on the best strategies to plan, build and maintain green infrastructure. These cities will then be eligible for grants to help implement their green initiatives.

Business and environmental leaders recognize how important policies strengthening green infrastructure are to sustainable communities and economic growth. Already, more than 50 business, community and environmental organizations, including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Pennsylvania Nursery and Landscape Assn. and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies have endorsed the Green Communities Act.

Mayors from around the country also recognize the economic importance of green infrastructure. Recently, at its annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution endorsing the ideas outlined in the Green Communities Act and recognizing the impact that green infrastructure has had in Philadelphia.

AS WE WORK to stimulate our economy, put Americans back to work, and improve the environment, it is clear that one essential way forward is through green infrastructure investments. The Green Communities Act and Greenworks Philadelphia are leading the way to a cleaner and more sustainable America for all of us. *

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz represents the 13th District. Michael Nutter is the mayor of Philadelphia. Both are Democrats.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reshaping the City: New Visions for Urban Infastructure

July 29, 2009 (6:30 pm-8:00 pm)

Cost: Admission to panel discussion is free; pre-event reception $15-20
Organized by Penn Institute for Urban Research, PennDesign, PennPraxis, Next American City Magazine, the Academy of Natural Sciences, & the City of Philadelphia
William Penn Foundation
With infrastructure and sustainability being discussed both locally and in Washington, our region has the opportunity to create a model for an economically competitive city that successfully leverages its transportation and natural systems for growth. You will hear from national thought-leaders in such areas as transit, urban design and green infrastructure, and an exciting panel of local implementers who will discuss how the Greater Philadelphia region should think about its long-term infrastructure investment strategy. RSVP at

Alex Krieger, Founding Principal, Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Trent Lethco, Senior Transportation Planner, ARUP Inc.

Local Respondents:
Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities, City of Philadelphia
Michael DiBerardinis, Commissioner, Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Philadelphia
Alan Greenberger, Acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, City of Philadelphia

Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean and Paley Professor, PennDesign

The panel discussion will be preceded by a reception hosted by the Next American City magazine. Please join us from 5:00pm - 6:30pm at the Academy of Natural Sciences for snacks and refreshments with our lecture participants. Admission is free for subscribers. Admission for non-subscribers is $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and includes a one-year subscription to Next American City magazine and entry to all NAC events. To rsvp to the reception, please visit:

Reshaping the City: New Visions for Urban Infrastructure is a program of the Penn Institute for Urban Research 360 series, and is co-presented by PennDesign, PennPraxis, Next American City Magazine, and the Academy of Natural Sciences, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, and with the support of the William Penn Foundation.

Introduction to Permaculture

August 2, 2009 (10:00 am-12:00 pm)

Cost: Suggested donation: $5-10
Organized by Preston's Paradise,

Join us for this introductory workshop on urban Permaculture, led by Phil Forsythof the Philadelphia Orchard Project and Forsyth Garden. Permaculture principles guide participants in observing and re-creating patterns in the natural worldfor the production of food and preservation of ecosystems. A perfect skill for urban living and growing food in small spaces.This workshop will introduce Permaculture to participants and assist themin re-shaping the landscape to benefit health and the environment.

Registration Required by emailing

Preston's Paradise
839 N. Preston St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
See map: Google Maps

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Philadelphia Orchard Project Bike Tour of Urban Farms

Philadelphia Orchard Project
Spend the weekend with POP! A great opportunity to see some POP orchards on Saturday's Urban Ag Bike Tour, followed by the POP Music Festival on Sunday. See below for details and please join us for other upcoming volunteer opportunities.

We invite you to participate in this season's POP events, working alongside volunteers from our community partners to plant and maintain orchards all over the city. Volunteers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. These events often involve digging, planting, and spreading compost and mulch, so expect to get dirty. We can't guarantee tools for all; if you bring your own, it is advisable to write your name on them. Snacks and beverages to share are also welcome.

Orchard events can generally be expected to last between 2 and 4 hours. Please sign up for our volunteer email list for up-to-date info on events. We recommend that you check your email the morning of an event to confirm whether it will be postponed to the raindate.

NOTE: We have added a volunteer RSVP feature to our website (, so you can see where your help is most needed and we can know how many volunteers to expect. We strongly encourage you to use this RSVP function if you intend to volunteer.

Please contact for more information on a particular event.

July POP Event Schedule

Urban Ag Bike Tour
Saturday, July 18 @ 8:30am
Weavers Way Farm at Awbury Arboretum

The 4th Annual Urban Ag Bike Ride will visit a couple POP sites: the Woodford Orchard and the Teens 4 Good Farm. Starting at Weavers Way Farm, home of POP's nursery yard, the tour will also feature Mill Creek Farm, Greensgrow Farm, and the Spring Garden Community Gardens. See ( for details and directions. To sign up, please email

Cleanup: Cambria Orchard
Saturday, July 25 @ 10am
Cambria & D in Kensington, North Philly
Lend a helping hand with volunteers from Circle Venture and the neighborhood in an orchard cleanup day. Easily accessible by subway!
RAINDATE: Sunday, July 26 @12pm

Music Festival July 19th
Join us on July 19th for a summer music festival in Liberty Lands park! Hear more about the orchards POP is planting this year, listen to music by great artists, and enjoy beer crafted by the Philadelphia Brewing Company. Feel free to bring a picnic/lunch or dinner - or there are many nearby restaurants that offer takeout.

Philadelphia Orchard Project Music Festival
Sunday July 19th
3pm- 8pm
Liberty Lands Park
3rd & Wildey

Featuring music by:
LO Power Plane
Midlife Krisis
The Mean
Elliott Garland Ensemble

Suggested donation to attend the festival is $10. An additional $10 donation will buy a cup that can be used for Philadelphia Brewing Company beer. (If you bring your own cup, we still ask that you make a $10 donation to POP.)

All proceeds go to benefit orchards in the City of Philadelphia.

Volunteers are needed! Email for more information!


Thank you to our Sponsors!


Philadelphia Brewing Company
Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association
BioNeighbors Sustainable Homes, LLC

If you would like to sponsor the event or set up a table at the event, please contact for sponsorship info and pricing for tables.