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A job program has former inmates caring for young trees on the Delaware River Greenway

Someday the row of young elm trees will transform this sunbaked stretch of Delaware Avenue, but first they have to survive the next couple years. To the west is the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant. To the east is a Sanitation Convenience Center (where you can drop off hard-to-dispose-of items like tires and mattresses) and

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3 mins read
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A Penn State researcher learns what bees can teach us about urban ecology

An entomological research project might bring to mind expeditions through far-away jungles or at least meadows out in the countryside. It probably doesn’t conjure up an Old City chocolate factory rooftop. But to reach this field site we walked into Shane Confectionery. From there we hiked up the stairs through one of the most delicious-smelling

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Research center launches efforts to aid freshwater bivalves and shad

Racks of tanks with plastic tubes feeding in and out stand against the thick stone walls of the Fairmount Water Works. Together with the microscopes and other lab equipment, it looks like a mad scientist’s underground workshop—that is, until you start reading the cheerful interpretive panels about freshwater mussel restoration. “We’re demonstrating why we care about

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Action Mom: A Resourceful Grandmom Cleans Up

In 2005, Judith Robinson was fed up with the litter and illegal dumping plaguing her North Philadelphia neighborhood. A real estate broker and grandmother of two, Robinson refused to accept the status quo of garbage-filled lots, and she took her concerns to community meetings—as well as into her own hands.First, she noticed groups of teenagers

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2 mins read
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Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen releases new book; to speak at Academy of Natural Sciences

Check any biology textbook for an example of evolution through natural selection, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to read about the finches of the Galapagos Islands. Some have smaller beaks ideal for eating insects. Others have sturdier beaks that crack seeds. As Charles Darwin realized when he visited the Galapagos, all are descended from colonists

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3 mins read
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The River Wild

by Bernard Brown
I waded in from a rocky bank in the mountains of Schuylkill County and quickly forgot what I was looking for. My plan on that hot afternoon had been to snorkel for turtles, a pursuit that involves actively investigating underwater boulders and snags. Instead, I watched the fish and rocks on the bottom

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3 mins read
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