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Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Milestones Award Winners, May 23 Awards Ceremony

The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties will host the 7th Annual Watershed Milestones Ceremony on May 23 to honor this year’s award winners.

The ceremony recognizes local individuals and organizations who have supported clean water efforts in the community.

These honorees include outstanding volunteers, regional educators, and corporate and nonprofit stewards who have made a difference in the watershed.

The 2018 categories and award recipients are:

-- Nonprofit Stewards:Click Here for photos of these winner.

​Police Officer Lauretha Vaird Boys and Girls Club is located on Whitaker Avenue across from one of Tacony Creek Park’s gateways.

Two years ago, 24 young campers came to travel along the Tacony Creek Trail to engage in a green stormwater infrastructure program, taught in partnership with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. They learned the importance of plants along stream banks and how it slows and filters stormwater runoff, while also reducing pollution and erosion.

This past fall, children from the club participated in a Watershed STEM program that included 8 lessons from the World of Water curriculum. These sessions engaged the kids with hands-on activities to explore water and learn how they are connected to our watershed. They also identified ways to better conserve the water and protect the environment.

The Lauretha Vaird Boys & Girls Club has been a wonderful TTF partner by providing meeting space and sharing our events with their community. They are actively educating young minds about environmental health and safety. The Boys & Girls Club is truly a watershed hero!

-- Corporate Stewards:Click Here for photos of these winners.

The AstraZeneca Philadelphia Community Impact Committee reaches out to us every year to organize an event for Earth Day. Over the last several years, the team of volunteers has cleaned up trash along Tacony Creek multiple times, planted shrubs to improve the park gateway at Roosevelt Boulevard, erected fencing and cleared invasive plants along Rock Creek in Cheltenham. AstraZeneca also purchases materials and donates supplies for these volunteer days.

The AstraZeneca team is incredibly hard-working and always has fun while volunteering. We have grown to count on them and fondly look forward to working with them every year!

The Philadelphia Insurance Companies has been a long-time supporter of TTF work in a hands-on way. Employees have joined in for work days at numerous locations across our watershed over the past few years, enthusiastically cleaning up trash and removing invasive plants.

The company also hosted us at a well-attended lunch and learn at their office in Bala Cynwyd. Finally, their financial support has been critical in providing much needed unrestricted income for our efforts.

Astra Zeneca and Philadelphia Insurance Companies are inspiring models of corporate environmental partnership and investment!

-- TTF Watershed Educators:​ ​ Click Here for photos of these winners.

Dr. Wayne Morra, professor of economics in the Arcadia University School of Global Business teaches Natural Resource Economics. Dr. Morra, Professor Emeritus, has served the University community since 1982 and has taught each Master of Business Administration cohort since the program’s inception.

In 2017, Dr. Morra and his students created short-term, mid-term, and long-term restoration plans for a tributary of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek which runs through their campus. This work was supported by the Honors Program’s Big Idea Competition.

TTF staff and volunteers were invited by Dr. Morra to discuss and demonstrate our work, project opportunities, and water quality testing in his classroom and at the creek.

Student efforts focused on cleaning up trash along the creek while also planting native trees and shrubs and protecting these from deer and other animals with plastic tubing and mesh netting.

Dr. Morra is making a significant impact on the creek and is eager to move forward with bigger goals. His commitment to education, ecological stewardship, and water quality makes him a watershed hero--  he is growing a new generation of environmental leaders, literate in the need for healthy waterway design and function.

TTF looks forward to working with he and his students, as well as Arcadia University, to improve our shared watershed and build environmental leaders.

Susan Mburu is a chemistry teacher at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She eagerly took on the responsibilities as chaperone of a Women on the Water (WOW) program at the Poconos Environmental Education Center.

She recruited 15 girls to participate, planned pre-trip meetings, and served as a wonderful leader while on the river. Although it rained a lot, she found ways for the girls to test the water in ponds at PEEC, which eventually drain into the Delaware River. She joined right in with all the hikes and paddles and encouraged the girls at every step.

Susan hosted a TTF storm drain marking lesson and demonstration for her students, so that they can enhance and share the lessons that were learned during WOW here in Philadelphia. Susan is a conscientious, caring, dedicated and devoted teacher/scientist.

She truly is a watershed hero-- we need more teachers just like her.

-- TTF Watershed Youth Champions​:

Emma Montroy, a student at Jenkintown High School, went around her neighborhood in Jenkintown marking storm drains. She marked the storm drains with the new markers created by the Philadelphia Water Department in an effort that aims to connect communities to their creeks and create an awareness for their potential impact on local waterways.

Over an 8 hour period, Emma marked a total of 112 storm drains around Jenkintown High School while informing neighbors of the storm drain connections to Tookany Creek and the Delaware River, a drinking water source for over 15 million people.

Emma is a strong advocate for environmental sustainability and is a leader in her school.

-- TTF Municipal Leader:​ Click Here for photo of the winner.

Matthew Fritch is an Environmental Engineer at the Philadelphia Water Department who runs an initiative called GreenSTEM that engages local students in using technology and other STEM skills to better understand aquatic ecosystems.

This year he taught students at the Mariana Bracetti Academy to build an underwater drone that surveys the Frankford Creek. The drone captured streaming video footage of various fish species and revealed one of the creek’s biggest challenges: trash that has accumulated in the creek.

Matthew and his Watershed Stewards are now planning ways to to address the issues facing the aquatic organisms. His work with children to educate them on environmental engineering strategies has gone a long way in shaping their futures and is also benefiting the TTF Creek.

-- Friends of the TTF Watershed:​ ​Click Here for photos of the winners.

Cathy Callan, Alcynthia Cowell, Janet Everly, Steve and Judy Heath, and Terri Taylor.

TTF is so excited to recognize these five Cheltenham homeowners for their enthusiastic participation in our creekside buffer planting project in 2014.

They each matched the investment of volunteer planting hours and donated plants, purchased plants, and professional buffer design with a cash donation.

Since the planting, they have enthusiastically partnered with us to maintain these sites, home to over 200 native trees and shrubs as well as 500 flowers and grasses.

They have shared our pride that their backyards have been recognized by Audubon Pennsylvania as Bird Habitat.

 In June 2016, they welcomed visitors as part of our successful Creekside Bird Garden Tour, a fun way we spread the word about the clean water and habitat benefits of creekside and native plants.

These watershed heroes have not only helped to restore our creeks, they serve as important Ambassadors for clean water in their neighborhoods!

-- TTF Watershed Legacy Award:​ Click here for photos of the winners.

Ethel Jordan Family: Ethel Jordan Park was named after the late Ethel Jordan, a beloved crossing guard who worked at the corner of Jenkintown Road and Osceola Avenue in Abington’s McKinley neighborhood for 32 years.

Her extended family of has been incredibly involved and devoted to the clean water work we’ve done in the park, (home to the Jenkintown Creek) from trees to the riparian buffer to the newly installed rain garden.

Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren come to every planting event, demonstrating great enthusiasm and energy. Their commitment to their mother’s legacy of caring for the community is truly inspiring!

Leo Sheng is an avid fisherperson and environmentalist. His YouTube channel is a great place to learn about different species of fish as well as about the health of our creeks and rivers.

Leo regularly visits our watershed, creating wonderful videos that educate and entertain his 125,000 subscribers. He is inspiring people of all ages to get wet, and learn and care about our local waterways and creatures that live in them.

Check out his videos at Extreme Philly Fishing.

Partner Alliance Sponsors

TTF will also honor over 40 Partner Alliance Sponsors including:

-- Penn Master of Science in Applied Geosciences, Liberty Tree & Landscape Management, NV5, PECO, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Primex Garden Centers, Cardone Industries, Inc., Fine Garden Creations, J. Miller & Associates, Land Stewards;

-- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Pennoni, PA Environmental Council, Portfolio Associates, Roger Estes Design, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, ThinkGreen, Abington Friends School, A.D. Marble, Apex Fence;

-- Archewild Native Nurseries, Bassman Laserow Adelman & Weiss PC, Cerulean, Gilmore & Associates, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, I.U.P.A.T. District Council 21, Metz Engineers, North Creek Nurseries, Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union;

-- Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership, Weeds Inc., Advancement Company, Cedar Run Landscapes, Collins Nursery, David Brothers Landscape Services, Heritage Business Systems, NativeScapes, Paradigm Digital Color Graphics, Sustainable Choices, Teamsters Local Union No. 169, and Wyncote Audubon Society.

May 23 Ceremony

The reception will feature remarks from Rosanne Mistretta, the Director of Experiential Learning at Abington Friends School and the president of the TTF Board of Directors. Rosanne was instrumental in working with TTF to establish a creek buffer planting and rain garden at AFS as a part of TTF’s larger Jenkintown Creek Restoration Project.

The reception will also include an array of refreshments from Birchtree Catering, Good Spoon Soupery, Philadelphia Distillery, Original XIII Ciderworks, Anita’s Guacamole, Weckerly’s Ice Cream, High Point Cafe, Helen’s Pure Foods and Fill-a-Bagel in Jenkintown.

This year’s Watershed Milestones Award Ceremony and Reception will take place on  May 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the historic Globe Dye Works, , 4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia.  Tickets are available online.

For more information on programs, initiatives, other upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership website.  Click Here to support their work.

(Photo: TTF Municipal Leader: Matthew Fritch is an Environmental Engineer, Philadelphia Water Department.)


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[Posted: May 7, 2018]


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