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.

Schuylkill Center Teacher Workshops

Additional Educator Workshops at The Schuylkill Center Teacher Workshops
Green Building and Green Roofs
July 20 & 21
9am - 3pm
Solar Energy
July 27 & 28
9am - 3pm
SCEE Solar Panels
Green Buildings and Roofs: How green is your school? At SCEE's 2-day teacher workshop, environmental experts will discuss strategies for getting your school and your students to go green! Also learn ways to incorporate green technologies in your teaching. Guest speakers will present on a range of topics including a school's energy use, green roofs, stormwater plans, and dealing with waste.

Solar Energy: Learn from industry experts about grant and incentive programs for solar energy projects. Receive lesson plans that use solar energy as a topic in science and math classes, as well as social studies and civics. Receive a free pyranometer or multimeter, and small PV cells to use in the classroom!
Attending teachers will receive a $50 stipend, 11 ACT 48 credit hours, and valuable classroom materials.
For more information, please call 215.482.7300

Green Roofs & Green Buildings – A Smart Choice for Schools!
July 20th and 21st 2009, 9:00 AM—3:30 PM
Teachers of all grades
Attendees will receive a $50 stipend plus $150 in free classroom and resource materials! Presented by The Schuylkill Center and Philadelphia University.

 Participants will learn about the science of green roofs and other green building strategies that can be utilized in school settings, and how these technologies can become teaching tools in the classroom! Participants will receive lesson plans that tie together scientific and environmental concepts and address the Pennsylvania Academic standards for Environment & Ecology.

BIODIESEL – Fuel for the classroom!
Date TBD, July 2009, 9:00 AM—3:30 PM
Middle School & Secondary Teachers
Attendees will receive a $50 stipend plus free classroom and resource materials!

Captivate your students by making your own biodiesel and be part of the green economy! During this workshop participants will learn what biodiesel is and how it is manufactured. Learn how you can make it in your classroom, and make the Environment & Ecology standards come to life!

Register by contacting Beatrice Kelly, 215-482-7300 x 110

Who is ocean friendly?

LOCAL SUPERMARKET CHAINS HELP OR HURT THE OCEANS Wegmans is most ocean-friendly, Whole Foods is #3, Genuardi's #5, Superfresh #12 in Latest Greenpeace Sustainable Seafood Scorecard. Trader Joe's (#17) receives worst ranking of National Supermarket Chains: they “have made no visible effort to increase the sustainability of their seafood operations and continue to ignore scientific warnings about the crisis facing global fisheries and the marine environment” by stocking “red list” seafood like orange roughy, swordfish, or Chilean sea bass – some of the world's most critically imperiled species. None of the companies featured in the report guarantee that they won't sell seafood from fisheries that are harming sea turtles, dolphins, seals, sea lions, or other marine mammals.” Jillian Costigan (216) 789-7386

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Solar Power comes to Philly!


Not that type of big belly- Philly stopped being the fattest city in America long ago! We're not even in the top ten these days. Now we're looking to claim a more enviable number one spot: the greenest city in America.

As part of this effort the city will be taking a big step to reduce litter and improve recycling in the city by installing the last of the 500 new Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors and over 200 pedestrian recycling containers.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Morris Arboretum

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Tree Adventure

Tree Adventure

Click here to read the Tree Adventure Blog

Get a bird’s eye view of the forest from 50 feet up as you climb into a giant suspended Bird’s Nest or scamper down onto a Squirrel Scramble of netting between towering trees. Experience trees as you never have before with a dramatic new exhibit called Tree Adventure.

Armed with a Passport to Adventure, visitors will travel the expanse of the Arboretum’s 92-acre garden to five interactive stations to learn why we need trees, and trees need us, all while having fun engaging with trees.

Tree Adventure
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Designed by Metcalfe Architecture & Design, the exhibit will be a fully accessible, fascinating learning experience for both children and adults.