On Saturday, November 7, 90 volunteers joined the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TFF Watershed) for a Community Planting Day at Ethel Jordan Park along the Jenkintown Creek. Aiming to beautify the area, improve water quality, prevent erosion and create a new wildlife habitat along the Tookany Creek tributary, community members planted 270 trees and shrubs.
“Establishing this creekside buffer is essential for the health of the watershed,” said Julie Slavet, executive director for TFF Watershed. “It was wonderful to see so many neighbors out in the chilly, damp November weather taking an interest in greening the area and learning about the watershed.”
The planting was supported in part by a mini-grant from the PA Carbon Reduction Fund, managed by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and funded by WGL Energy Services, Inc. (WGL Energy) and Sterling Planet. Consumers in metropolitan Philadelphia, by choosing natural gas matched with PA Carbon Offsets from WGL Energy, generate funding for clean air and water projects such as tree plantings in the greater Philadelphia area. PEC, a leading statewide environmental advocacy organization, manages the Fund; identifying eligible tree planting projects that align with water quality objectives. The PA Carbon Reduction Fund mini-grant matched funds obtained from a TreeVitalize Watersheds Grant Program.
“This unique partnership with WGL Energy is helping watershed organizations in the greater Philadelphia area,” said Patrick Starr, executive vice president for PEC. “By thinking creatively and aligning our common goals, this unlikely pairing of an energy company with watershed restoration objectives has been impactful in greening Pennsylvania while addressing the challenge of climate change.”
While natural gas is one of the cleanest fuel sources, it still has a carbon footprint which WGL Energy customers can choose to counterbalance with carbon offsets, as well as support additional carbon reduction projects through this unique partnership with PEC. To date, grants have been made to the TTF Watershed Partnership and the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association for a first order tributary of the Jenkintown Creek and the Four Mills Preserve, respectively. Additional funds targeted to upstream suburban Philadelphia watersheds will be allocated in the Spring of 2016.
About the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Founded in 1970, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council is the leading environmental organization in the state, and was instrumental in the passage of nearly every major piece of legislation and regulatory initiative affecting clean air, clean water, land use and conservation, hazardous materials, and other major public policy actions since that time. Today, the organization is heavily engaged in a number of critical initiatives surrounding the development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, trail and green space development, green energy and climate change programs, water quality, and watershed protection projects. PEC serves as the coordinator of the Philly Upstream Watershed Cluster funded by the William Penn Foundation. For more information, visit www.pecpa.org.
About Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership
TTF’s mission is to improve the health and vitality of the 30 square mile Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek and watershed — which includes neighborhoods in North, Northeast, and Northwest Philadelphia and Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Rockledge, and Springfield in Montgomery County — by engaging its communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy.