Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's up at the Tree House?

The Wissahickon
Environmental Center


At the Tree House
Looking for somewhere to visit this summer? The Tree House is
open Monday through Friday and the forest is always open!
Bring the kids to explore all of the amazing summer-woodland
creatures. And for little worm lovers...we can always use little
hands to find yummy worm meals for our turtles!

You can also enjoy a picnic lunch in our
wonderful backyard. The peaceful atmosphere is
a nice and cool way to spend a hot, summer day
in the city. (We have a carry in - carry out policy, so
be sure to take your trash with you.)

Hope to see you soon!

Our hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 -
4:00. (Please call ahead of time in case we are out at a
scheduled meeting.)

The Tree House is open the first Saturday of
every month from 10:00 am 4:00 pm.

(However, please note: we will be closed July

Incase of inclement weather please give us a call.

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

Friday, June 19, 2009

You are MY Sunshine

Harnessing the sun's energy. Creating clean, renewable energy. Yes please!!
Untill now solar panels for your home or business were cost prohibitive. Not according to Urban Eco Electric. www.Go-UEE.com
They will install solar panels on your roof with no upfront costs. Your energy bill is cut in half for the first 2 years then reverts back to the current average rate, pemanently. So you continue to save as your bill will increase significantly when the energy caps are removed in 2011.
Their website explains what they offer and Chris Metcalf, a company principal, is happy to answer all questions. (610)639-0528
This is only for Philly residents and your roof size and shape determine if it is appropriate for Solar.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Here Comes the Sun: Teaching about Solar

Here Comes the Sun: Teaching about Solar Science and Technology
2-day Professional Development Workshop for Educators
June 29 and 30
8:45am - 3:30pm
Halloween Hikes and Hayrides
Participants will learn and experience through hands-on activities how to teach about our sun's role in the solar system, how we can measure and make use of the sun's energy, how solar panels work, and how students can build solar car kits in the classroom that will help them consolidate their knowledge about these topics. Workshop activities will include simulation games about the sun and solar energy, some alternative assessment strategies, and construction of both solar car kits and pyranometers, instruments for measuring amounts of insolation (available sun energy) in the schoolyard. Activities are based on PDE science standards.

Attending teachers will receive a $50 stipend, 12 ACT 48 credit hours, a pyranometer and a solar car kit . Appropriate for teachers of middle school through secondary school. For more information:

Pre-registration required. To register, please contact Leigh Ashbrook at 215-482-7300 ext.124 or lashbrook@schuylkillcenter.org

Saturday, June 6, 2009

GreenWorks Philadelphia!!! A long post, but so much info!

Greenworks Header
June 2009
Greenworks Philadelphia Exchange
a newsletter from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability

In This Issue
PV America Conference
Philadelphia Throws Green
Free Compost At Fairmount Park
Solar Funding Available
Green Municipal Project of the Month: Biofuels Station
Bicycle Victory
Urban Sustainability Forum
A Final Note...
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

pic of Mayor Nutter at Greenworks Launch
Welcome to the Greenworks Philadelphia Exchange, the monthly newsletter from the Mayor's Office of Sustainability.
On April 29, Mayor Michael A. Nutter launched Greenworks Philadelphia at an event at the Franklin Institute. Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the Administration's sustainability strategy and learn how Philadelphia will become the greenest city in America. But, as the Mayor pointed out in his remarks, the harder work of turning Greenworks Philadelphia's ambitious goals into reality now begins.

In its role of overseeing the implementation of Greenworks Philadelphia, the Mayor's Office of Sustainability is developing a number of communications tools to keep residents informed of our progress. We have created a new Web site (www.greenworksphila.org) where copies of the report can be downloaded. Soon that site will be populated with data and more detailed information about initiatives so that the public can track results. It will also include a calendar of local events and regularly updated news about local sustainability efforts. The Mayor's Office of Sustainability is also on Facebook (search under Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability), and more than 500 fans are already engaged in the conversation about how to make Philadelphia more sustainable.
Finally, we have created this e-newsletter that we will distribute once a month to people who have signed up on either the Greenworks Philadelphia or Mayor's Office of Sustainability Web sites (www.phila.gov/green/mos.html). We'd love to get information about green projects happening in your neighborhood, so email us your news and photos (mos@phila.gov).

Please forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to register for future editions. In return, we'll do our best to keep you updated on all of the work underway to make Philadelphia more sustainable.

PV America Conference Comes to Philadelphia

PV America Logo

From June 8 to 10, the solar spotlight will be on Philadelphia. As the host city for PV America, the photovoltaic (PV) industry's premier annual meeting, Philadelphia will welcome 3,000 attendees and 250 exhibitors from across the country. The two-day event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center will showcase the latest innovations in PV design, manufacturing and installation. It will also raise awareness of the Mid-Atlantic region's already-existing solar companies and highlight the potential for more green jobs in the Philadelphia region. For more information go to www.seia.org.

On June 11th, the day after the official conference ends, the Mid Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association is planning tours of local solar installations. The tours will include one of Philadelphia-based sites, two focused on suburban projects (one will be more rural than the other), and one that showcases large-scale utility work. The tours are open to the public, not just conference attendees. To find out more and register, go to www.mseia.net.

Philadelphia Throws Green
pic of BigBelly trash and recycling container
Just one day after the Greenworks Philadelphia launch, the Streets Department introduced public space recycling to Philadelphia. By mid-summer, 500 BigBelly trash & recycling containers will be installed along Center City's heavily-traveled streets and outside major tourist destinations. The trash receptacles are designed so that trash can't spill out onto the sidewalk or blow away. They also contain solar-powered compactors which allows them to hold up to 8 times more trash than the old wire containers. Because of this capacity, the Streets Department will need to empty the containers only five times a week, saving the City $800,000 annually. But the ability to recycle bottles, cans and newspapers on the street is what's really attracting the attention of Philadelphia's many recyclers. Go to www.recyclingpays.phila.gov for more information about this Greenworks Philadelphia initiative.
Free Compost at Fairmount Park
pic of Lady Gardening
The City of Philadelphia is providing free compost, wood chips and herbivore manure to local gardeners. If you're a resident of Philadelphia, you can receive up to 30 pounds of compost material per week (about one garbage can's worth) from Fairmount Park's Recycling Center. Community gardens or commercial entities that wish to obtain more material are required to complete a registration form and pay a small fee. Rates range from $10 per half ton for wood chips to $18 per half ton for screened compost. The Recycling Center is located at 3850 Ford Road in East Fairmount Park. Summer hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 3 pm and Saturdays from 7:30 to 11:30 am. For more information please go to: http://www.fairmountpark.org/Recyclingcenter.asp
Solar Funding Now Available
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now accepting applications through the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program to help homeowners and small businesses fund small-scale solar energy installations. With $100 million available for projects, the program will rebate applicants as much as 35 percent of the cost of installing a solar-power system. Residential systems will need to generate 2 to 10 kilowatts to qualify, while small business systems must produce 3 to 200 kilowatts. For more information about this program and other ways to help fund your solar project, check out Philadelphia's Solar America City web site at www.phila.gov/green/solar.html or the Commonwealth's web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us/energindependent.
Green Municipal Project of the Month:
Biofuels Station Opens

pic of Biofuels Tank & Truck
On May 26, Mayor Nutter opened a new biodiesel fueling station that will service municipal trash and recycling trucks and construction vehicles. Currently 200 trucks in the City's fleet use biofuel, and the new station will enable an additional 40 vehicles to be serviced. Each vehicle running on biofuel produces 20% fewer hydrocarbons and results in a 10% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gases. The new station will help the Nutter Administration reach Greenworks Philadelphia's goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and improve overall air quality in the city. The new station was funded through a grant from the State's Alternative Fuels Incentive program.

The City's biodiesel program uses B20 fuel, which consists primarily of Pennsylvania-grown soy and recycled oils from poultry or yellow grease, and purchases it from the Energy Cooperative, a nonprofit based in Philadelphia.

Congratulations to the Health Department, Fleet Management and the Streets Department, which collaborated on the project.
Bicycle Coalition Rides to Victory
pic of Lady Riding Bike
On May 21, Philadelphia's City Council unanimously approved legislation to amend the city's zoning code to require bicycle parking for new zoning permits. The bill was championed by Councilmembers Blondell Reynolds-Brown, Jim Kenney and Curtis Jones and grew out of a 2008 report released by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on the city's bicycle parking shortage. For more information about the bill, go to www.bicyclecoalition.org
Urban Sustainability Forum on Greenworks Philadelphia
On June 18, the Urban Sustainability Forum will feature the Mayor's Office of Sustainability director Mark Alan Hughes in a discussion of Greenworks Philadelphia. The free and public event will take place at the Academy of Natural Sciences from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Learn more at: www.sustainablephiladelphia.com
A Final Note...
With great sadness, the Mayor's Office of Sustainability will bid farewell to its director, Mark Alan Hughes, on June 18. Mark led the office's effort to develop Greenworks Philadelphia, which sets the tone and direction for our future work. We will miss him, his energy and his sincere desire to make Philadelphia more competitive, more livable and more sustainable. Mark worked diligently this past year to make certain that Philadelphia becomes "the kind of city that the future demands." Now it's up to all of us to make it so. To read a message from Mark, click here:

The City of Philadelphia's Mayor's Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to help Philadelphia become the greenest city in America, linking our past as William Penn's "greene countrie towne" with our future as a thriving, healthy city that stewards its resources. The office oversees municipal efforts to use energy more efficiently and acts as a catalyst for work inside and outside government. In April 2009, it launched Greenworks Philadelphia, the city's sustainability strategy. For more information, please visit Greenworks Philadelphia and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability.

Mayor's Office of Sustainability | 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd | Suite 1000 | Philadelphia | PA | 19102