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A new nonprofit works to shift our economy from linear to loop

Grid spoke in October with Samantha Wittchen, director of programs and operations at Circular Philadelphia, which she cofounded (with Grid’s Nic Esposito) in June 2021. Circular Philadelphia aims to drive the growth of a thriving circular economy in Greater Philadelphia through advocacy, education, infrastructure development and collaboration. The following interview has been edited for length

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4 mins read
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Philadelphians struggle with insufficient resources for park development and maintenance

On October 2 a large pile of tires was dumped below the Whitaker Avenue Bridge in Tacony Creek Park. One tire lodged in a forked trunk of a tree growing below the bridge. Two others had hooked a branch of another tree and remained suspended about 15 feet up in the air. A tire dropped

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15 mins read
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Twelve-year-old launches nonprofit to save butterflies by building one microhabitat at a time

If Noah Raven, founder of Monarch Defenders, dashes from plant to plant in his pollinator-friendly garden with the kinetic energy of a 12-year-old, there’s good reason: he is one. Raven’s Monarch Defenders website rivals that of any big-budget nonprofit. Complete with a mission statement, educational facts, resource citations, ways to take action and an interactive

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4 mins read
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Philadelphia businesses are trying to keep up with society’s shifting views on employment

After nine years working for a nonprofit organization, 41-year-old Erin Mattson was earning more seniority, more responsibility and more money than she ever thought possible. But she also experienced stress and anxiety levels that led to serious health problems. Her partner, Elissa Viscelli, 36, convinced her to quit her job because, far more than a

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7 mins read
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Philadelphia nonprofit uses innovation and creativity to support makers to impact their communities

Taped onto the front wall of a small office and studio in West Philly are a plethora of colorful pages marking locations throughout the city. Some places are easily recognizable, like Belmont Plateau or Mill Creek Playground, while others are lesser known community gardens and empty plots of land. To an outsider, it may look

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2 mins read
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Food rescue organizations mount a simultaneous, people-powered assault on two persistent problems

One behemoth of a building in Eastwick looms large, both literally and in discussions about food recovery in Philadelphia. At 700,000 square feet — about 12 football fields — the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) is the largest refrigerated structure in the world. Eighteen of the largest produce vendors in the Mid-Atlantic share warehouse space

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5 mins read
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