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Stable shorelines give residents a way to connect with waterways and wildlife

Two beavers sat in the shallows of the Delaware River eating breakfast as I met Jim Fries, project manager at Riverfront North Partnership, for a tour of the living shoreline at Lardner’s Point Park in Northeast Philadelphia. True to their reputation, the large rodents busily stripped the bark off branches they had clipped from willows

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3 mins read
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A City Council bill proposed banning all pesticide use on Philadelphia’s public land—until environmentalists spoke up

At the start of December, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill to restrict the use of pesticides on public land. Titled “Healthy Outdoor Public Spaces,” the legislation was originally introduced by Councilwoman Cindy Bass to include an all-out ban on synthetic herbicides. This was later walked back to be a restriction in response to criticism,

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8 mins read
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Philadelphia’s Black-owned radio station takes on environmental racism and injustice

On October 12, Indigenous People’s Day, radio station WURD (96.1 FM/900 AM) held an on-air Environmental Justice Summit in partnership with Bartram’s Garden and From the Source Reporting Collaborative. Part of the station’s EcoWURD initiative, the day-long summit included speakers and panels discussing high-level topics such as leadership in environmental justice as well as grassroots

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3 mins read
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Program instructors teach students how the city’s waterways shaped our past and affect our present

Some classrooms keep guinea pigs or guppies as pets, but last year at Cook Wissahickon School in Roxborough, sixth-graders tended young freshwater mussels. “The students feed them and then, when they reach a larger stage, the Fairmount Water Works will place them in a creek,” says Jose L. Ramos, a middle-years reading and English language

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3 mins read
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Watershed fellows create video series to promote Camden nature preserve

With birds singing in the background, three fellows at the Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) walk through Camden’s Cramer Hill Nature Preserve. They point out a frog in a puddle, examine bones and feathers of a wild turkey, and point out invasive plants, among other conservation challenges. They wrap up with a request for visitors

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3 mins read
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Philadelphia is considering restricting the use of pesticides on public land early next month week—but the protective measure would make it harder for us to fight invasive plants

In late October, the Public Health and Human Services Committee of Philadelphia’s City Council sent a bill that would regulate the use of pesticides on public land to the full council for a vote Thurs. Dec. 03. The bill, titled “Healthy Outdoor Public Spaces,” was introduced by Committee Chair Councilwoman Cindy Bass. The bill only targeted

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9 mins read
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Bilingual birding tours make the natural world more accessible

Ten adults dressed in layers, hats and face masks gathered on a chilly September morning to go birding in Tacony Creek Park. They kept a couple yards apart from each other while peering through binoculars at local birds such as robins, kingfishers and cardinals along with some recently arrived winter visitors like a red-breasted nuthatch

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3 mins read
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Spotted lanternflies have infested the region and researchers are hard at work trying to control their spread

Spotted lanternflies landed on my hat, my face and every other available surface of my body on August 5, at The Woodlands in West Philadelphia. I was there tagging along with a team of Penn State researchers on a mission to collect 3,000 of the bugs that morning. Alongside me were entomologist Osariyekemwen Uyi; Michelle Niedermeier,

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13 mins read
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Pollinator gardens improve the well-being of neighborhoods, and our watershed

An assortment of bees were hard at work on native flowers at Wyalusing and Belmont avenues in the Belmont neighborhood of West Philadelphia in late July. A colorful row house-sized mural of Ed Bradley, the late award-winning journalist and West Philly native, towered overhead, blending into the bright yellow of the sweet coneflowers, the pink

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3 mins read
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