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EPA Awards $58,000 to Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to Revitalize Philadelphia-Area Watershed

Release Date: 08/15/2012
Contact Information: EPA: David Sternberg, 215-814-5548, sternberg.david@epa.gov and PHS: Alan Jaffe, 215-988-8833, mobile: 267-968-0859, ajaffe@pennhort.org

PHILADELPHIA (August 15, 2012) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society today announced a $58,000 grant for a new initiative for restoring clean water, improving neighborhoods and supporting green jobs in the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed in Philadelphia, Pa.

“EPA is committed to restoring our urban waters and supporting green techniques to control pollution,” said EPA Deputy Regional Administrator William C. Early. “This funding will benefit waterways, neighborhoods and livelihoods in the watershed.”

The funding will support green projects for controlling stormwater pollution to streams, creeks and rivers in the watershed. EPA is providing the funding from its Urban Waters program to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for 10 green infrastructure projects to help restore local waterways, and for training, outreach and educational activities teaching green skills and promoting green jobs. In addition to the federal grant, PHS is also providing $10,500 for this initiative.

“PHS is looking forward to working with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Greentreks Network, the Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and communities throughout the city on creative and sustainable approaches to storm water management,” said PHS President Drew Becher. “We are very grateful to EPA for supporting this environmental work and the creation of green jobs.”

Project highlights include:

    Ten green infrastructure projects supported through hands-on training. One of the projects will help prevent flooding and restore the section of the Tacony Creek behind Friends Hospital on Roosevelt Boulevard, the site of today’s announcement.
      Training, outreach and education in green infrastructure techniques, including an economic development video; a skills training curriculum; targeted group presentations for approximately 150 people, including 40 green job trainees; and on-line resources designed to help participants implement green infrastructure projects.

    The initiative is designed to link community priorities, such as neighborhood beautification, improved recreational amenities, crime reduction and employment with environmental improvements. The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed includes neighborhoods in North, Northeast and Northwest Philadelphia, and parts of Montgomery County.

    EPA’s Urban Waters program funding supports communities’ efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and surrounding land.

    Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, economic, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities.

    Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program: http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/index.html.