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Op-ed: The SCEE Attempt to Sell Boy Scout Tract a Violation of Trust

Fourteen years ago, I began stewarding portions of land in the Upper Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. At the outset, it was a mere 2,400 square feet in the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE) organic community garden plots. I worked shoulder to shoulder with SCEE staff and fellow gardeners to clear invaders from fence lines

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4 mins read
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What Will Become of the Boy Scout Tract? Civic Associations Engage

On Thursday, June 30, 2022, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s plans to sell a 24-acre parcel of land called the Boy Scout Tract met with sharp questions and numerous objections from neighbors at a public virtual meeting of two local civic associations, the Upper Roxborough Civic Association and the Residents of Shawmont Valley Association.

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2 mins read
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Somerton Woods on the Chopping Block?

About 80 acres in the Somerton neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia have been conspicuously left out of Philadelphia City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson’s legislation to improve the city’s tree canopy protections, which passed City Council on June 16, 2022. The Somerton Civic Association is lobbying to change that. Northeast Avenue comes to a tree-shaded end in

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2 mins read
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The dispute over Edgely Field highlights systemic failures in park maintenance

The Parkside Saints finally found a home. An October 4, 2019 announcement from Philadelphia’s Rebuild initiative announced the completion of a practice field for the youth football club at the Parkside Evans Playground in West Philadelphia. The Saints, founded in 2010 by Coach Cliff Smith, had practiced in whatever open space they could find in

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14 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Battling for Transparency

When it comes to how the City manages public land, the deck is stacked. When the City leased the Cobbs Creek Golf Course to the Cobbs Creek Foundation, a West Conshohocken-based nonprofit, for $1 for 30 years, there were no competing bids. There was no discussion about how people in the community might like to

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2 mins read
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The Neighborhood Gardens Trust hits a major milestone, but the work continues

You’d think that after protecting 50 gardens, the process would get easier. But for the Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT), a nonprofit tasked with preserving gardens, securing each parcel of land is a unique challenge. This spring NGT and members of Brewerytown Garden at 27th and Master streets celebrated the protection of some of the garden’s

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5 mins read
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Politicians, nonprofits and tribal leaders are working to recognize the injustices and crimes colonists committed against the Lenape

In 1737, William Penn’s son Thomas and Penn’s secretary, James Logan — Logan Circle’s namesake — did one of the dirtiest deals in the country’s history. The Walking Purchase, specified that the Lenape Indians, whose homeland of Lenapehoking, stretched from the Chesapeake to New York, would sell Thomas Penn as much land as a man

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6 mins read
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Tree Regulations Bill Advances (but Amended)

Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Rules voted on June 15 to advance Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson’s bill to close some loopholes in Philadelphia’s tree regulations. As Grid has reported, highlights of the bill include a community notification process for tree clearing, expanding tree replacement rules to public land, and fees in lieu of replacing cut

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1 min read
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