“Green City Teachers” Program gearing up: sign up now to become an eco-educator

We’re thrilled to announce that the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is the newest Community Partner in our ever-expanding EcoExpress program, and that we’ll be incorporating EcoExpress into PHS’ Green City Teachers training program, starting this fall.

Green City Teachers dovetails perfectly with EcoExpress, because it is designed to provide Philadelphia educators with the skills necessary to integrate horticultural and environmental education into curricula, after-school programs and service-learning projects, and to help students appreciate the role of nature in their lives.

Become a “Green” Teacher

Philadelphia educators are invited to join PHS Green City Teachers Basic Training, which takes place in five sessions this fall. Teachers will :

  • Integrate horticulture and environmental education into the classroom
  • Join a network of teachers
  • Participate in a forum for sharing ideas
  • Gain up to 16 hours of Act 48 credit

Thursdays, October 21 & 28, November 4 & 11. 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Saturday, October 23. 10 am – 1 pm

For more information on Green City Teachers, contact Sally McCabe at 215-988-8846, or by email.

If you haven’t done so already, check out EcoExpress>>

Come out to Philadelphia City Council Hearing on Gas Drilling, Sept. 28

The City of Philadelphia will not be able to escape the effects of gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed.  36% of the Delaware River Watershed is underlain with Marcellus shale, including the upper reaches of both the Delaware River and its major tributary, the Schuylkill River, which join together in Philadelphia and supply 1.5 million people in the Philadelphia region with their water.  Pollution, water depletion, the transformation of upstream watersheds to industrial conditions will all combine to degrade downstream water quality.  Philadelphia’s intake is the furthest south and acutely vulnerable to the effects of inadequate fresh water to meet its requirements to supply clean drinking water.

What is Philadelphia City Council doing about it? Councilman Jones has called a Hearing to examine the potential impacts of natural gas drilling on the Delaware River and Philadelphia.  An impressive roster of experts will present testimony, including Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Who: The Committees on Transportation & Utilities and the Environment

When: Tuesday, September 28th 10:00AM — 2:00 PM

Where: City Council Room 400, City Hall (enter at southeast door of building)

What: “Marcellus Shale” Philadelphia Council Hearings

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. will hold “Marcellus Shale” hearings on Tuesday, September 28th at 10am, in City Hall to the joint committees of Transportation & Utilities and the Environment. These hearings will examine the environmental and economic impacts for Philadelphia of hydraulic drilling (Fracking) onto Marcellus Shale .The Marcellus Shale formation is the one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country.

There are many unresolved questions regarding this natural state possession, and the paramount issue for Philadelphia, as the “down-stream” community is the safety of our drinking water. We, Philadelphians, can not isolate ourselves from the economic and environmental impacts that affect the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.. This hearing will carefully explore and balance all the issues; job creation and environmental preservation yet my focus is to protect Philadelphia, first and foremost.

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.

The Marcellus Shale hearings will serve as the foreground to create safeguard policy for Philadelphia’s water supply. There will be several panels to address the concerns of Philadelphians, from regulation, scientific experts, the input of utility and water commisioners, as well as those who represent the drilling industry. Several council members are weighing in their concerns as well as the benefits and direction of Philadelphia legislation for Marcellus Shale.

This is a very important issue, that has potential implications on our environment and water supply, council must closely examine this issue before haste decisions are made forward.

Councilman William Greenlee

Further study of fracking is needed to insure that ground water and other environmental resources are protected. We should also explore more environmentally responsible methods of extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell

As the author of the first resolution calling for no fracking in the Delaware River Basin until an environmental impact study is completed, I see this hearing as an essential next step in providing the public with the information necessary to form an educated decision on this important environmental issue.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown

Marcellus Shale natural gas offers significant advantages for Philadelphians over petroleum (cleaner-burning and less dependence on foreign energy), but we need to make certain that the fracking process does not irreparably damage our natural resources.

Councilman Frank Rizzo

Invited Witnesses include: Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia Water Department, Protection Our Waters, Dr. Engelder, Dr. Boufadel, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Academy of Natural Sciences, National Fish & Wildlife, Senator Casey, Congressman Sestak, Regional and National Environmental Protection Agency commissioners, Water Keeper Alliance, and the Department of Environmental Protection.

September 28th is our time to be in direct contact with the experts to create the best supported by evidence legislation and regulations. Government is the job of risk-management and secured implementation and direction. As a councilmember it is my obligation to promote legislation that will benefit our region, instills exceptional protocols for our city and to be on the forefront of what is best for Philadelphia.

Councilman Jones, Jr.

Eco Arts Festival Hits Manayunk This Weekend

On Saturday, September 25th from 11-7 and Sunday, September 26th from 11-6, eco-minded artists, green businesses and ecologically-concerned community groups will gather at this free event to share resources and education about green and healthy living.

Location: Main Street Manayunk

Date: September 25th & 26th

Time: Sat. 11am – 7pm | Sun. 11am – 6pm

Highlights include:

  • the presentation of “EcoChampion” Awards to invited guests, musician Schooly D and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson;
  • the Philadelphia F/M Film and Music Festival presenting live music on Cotton Street;
  • the Art of Recycling Rain Barrel Design contest funded by Friends of Manayunk canal and showcased by Nicole Miller Philadelphia in partnership with Venturi Scott Brown Architecture;
  • the HYDRA which is the worlds only system that provides pure drinking water from 100% renewable solor and hydrogen power;
  • and Destination Schylkill River will have art displayed along the canal and towpath for people to enjoy.

Get Complete Details Here>>

Philly Joins National Parking Day on Friday, Sept 17

The number of parks throughout Philadelphia will increase dramatically on Friday, September 17, 2010, when activists, artists, architects, and other citizens transform metered parking spaces into temporary public parks.  Known as Park(ing) Day, this annual event re-imagines the possibilities of 170 square feet of public space.  The event celebrates parks and other public spaces in cities across the country, and raises awareness of the need for more pedestrian-friendly spaces in our urban areas.

This year, over 30 non-profit institutions, community development organizations, academic institutions, and private companies will create temporary parks for Park(ing) Day.  Parks will be created in Center City as well as in Manayunk, Southwest Philadelphia, Mount Airy, Northern Liberties, and University City.

Park(ing) Day was founded by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, in 2005 to raise awareness of the need for green spaces in urban environments. Philadelphia celebrated Park(ing) Day for the first time in 2008 with over 25 installations for relaxing, cycling, creating art, education, and socializing.

You can find a map of Philly’s Park (ing) spaces here >>