Ask not what your community can do for you-ask what you can do for your community

We love sharing, borrowing, and/or paraphrasing quotable quotes, and there’s no better time than Earth Month to revisit the spirit of giving back that President Kennedy sought to instill during his historic inaugural address.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what can you do for your country.

President John F. Kennedy, Jan 20, 1961.

President Obama’s United We Serve initiative picks up on the theme — and a couple of weeks ago, highlighted a great story on the intersection of service, learning, and preparing our youngsters for the demands of the 21st Century. Check it out here >>

Closer to home, there are literally hundreds of opportunities to answer the call in the coming weeks, from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Great PA Cleanup events to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Plant One Million Trees initiative; from the Schuylkill Scrub watershed wide beautification efforts to a variety of events being hosted around the City of Philadelphia.

If running’s your thing (like ours), you can support the Clean Air Council’s work while hammering out a 5K on the Drives.

April 16: 30th Anniversary 5K for Clean Air >>

For change of scenery, venture out to the Cobbs Creek Parkway for the inaugural 5K hosted by the Darby-Cobbs Watershed Partnership.

April 23: Cobbs Creek 5K >>

Take the plunge and get Involved. Somehow, somewhere, you can start making a difference.

Do something TODAY.

Lend a Hand at the Plymouth Creek Restoration Project — and Help the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers along the way

The Plymouth Creek restoration project is an excellent example of cooperation in action and demonstrates how applying stormwater best management practices (BMPs) can have a positive downstream effect. In case you haven’t seen it, check out our video on the project’s first phase, which took place in Fall 2007.

Plymouth Creek Restoration Project from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

If you want to see how the restoration effort is holding up, what better way than visiting the site and getting involved. Here’s your chance:

Plymouth Creek Restoration Project Workday
Friday, September 10th & Saturday, September 11th, 2010
9:00 am – 2:00 pm

You are invited to join the Montgomery County Conservation District and partners in an effort to stabilize the stormwater BMPs, perform invasive species control, and provide general maintenance at the Plymouth Creek restoration project.

The site is located below the Cracker Barrel at 2095 Gallagher Road in the Metroplex Shopping Center in Plymouth Meeting.

Please dress appropriately and bring gloves. Some heavy lifting involved.

Please RSVP here>> by September 8th if you are planning to attend.

Major Advances in Pennsylvania Water Quality Protection

Thanks to the hard work of dozens of organizations that are part of the PA Campaign for Clean Water, as well as other advocacy groups, independent water suppliers, and state legislators, a pair of important new regulations cleared a major hurdle when they were passed by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).

The new regs, which fall under Chapters 95 and 102 of the Pennsylvania code, strengthen protections on water resources, drinking water, and watersheds. They still need to go through final House and Senate approval, but despite opposition from gas and construction interests, they are expected to pass.

For more information, check out the update on StormwaterPA>>

Impact of Storms on Water Quality on Triathletes Minds

As 4,500 athletes prepare to converge on Philadelphia for this weekend’s Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon, all eyes will be on the skies, in hopes that no serious storms hit the area within the 24-48 hour period leading up to the race. First up in the event’s swim-bike-run format is a swim in the Schuylkill River–which, contrary to popular belief, is surprisingly clean.

As of mid-day Monday that is, when Philly RiverCast indicated the Schuylkill’s water quality was Green, or suitable for all activities. Here’s what it’s showing right now:

The problem is, the water quality in our rivers and streams can drastically change when we’re hit by a storm.

Why? When it rains, the dirt, animal waste, and other contaminants that build up on the surface of the ground or pavement are washed off into the streams and rivers. Though there is more water in the streams and rivers during storms, there are more contaminants as well. That’s not only a problem for triathletes, rowers, and anglers, but for the entire ecosystem that’s linked to a watershed’s health.

It’s no wonder we’re so wrapped up in promoting better stormwater management by pushing for Buffer Legislation,¬†working with the Philadelphia Water Department to highlight the City’s Green Infrastructure movement, and continuing to grow our flagship program, StormwaterPA.

Check out these efforts and learn more about the things you can do to prevent water pollution.