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Nicetown neighbors monitor air quality in anticipation of the pollution SEPTA’s natural gas plant will bring

In November 2019 the City of Philadelphia approved SEPTA’s request to operate a natural gas–burning power plant in the Nicetown neighborhood of North Philadelphia. This approval marked a defeat for the neighbors opposing the plant, who are now preparing for the next phase in the struggle: taking oversight of the new plant’s emissions into their

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5 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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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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A federal rollback of wetland and stream protections could affect Philadelphia

Refuge manager Lamar Gore watched as Tropical Storm Isaias tore up footpaths and surged over the boardwalk at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.  “It was too much for the banks to hold,” says Gore. Gore’s place of work, John Heinz, is the first and largest urban refuge in the United States. It is responsible

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11 mins read
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The Missing Link: Refuge works to build a bridge for pollinators—and peace for city dwellers

by Bernard BrownImagine you’re a pipevine swallowtail butterfly flying around the rowhouses of southwest Philadelphia. You look like a swatch of velvet. On top, your wings are black toward the front and an iridescent electric blue towards the back; underneath, they flash an array of bright orange spots as a warning to predators. You hatched at

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3 mins read
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With the opening of the Discovery Center, the East Park Reservoir is once again an oasis in Strawberry Mansion

In 1970, the City of Philadelphia closed off the East Park Reservoir at the edge of the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. A gate blocked the ramp up from Fairmount Park. “I grew up in Strawberry Mansion, and the reservoir was used by the community as a recreational space,” explains Tonnetta Graham, president of the Strawberry Mansion Community

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2 mins read
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Cover Story: A Natural Fit

The ultimate vision of an eco-friendly and educational urban oasisby Natalie Hope McDonaldThe sounds along Lancaster Ave. in West Philadelphia’s Overbrook neighborhood don’t usually include chirping. But on one overcast day in May, across the street from the U-Haul rental center and footsteps from a fruit and vegetable bodega, a small red-breasted bird whistled over

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9 mins read
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