Barrels of Fun: Mt. Airy artists beat the blues

While useful, the typical blue rain barrel isn’t exactly beautiful. So, when the Philadelphia Water Department donated five barrels to the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District this past April, the Mt. Airy Art Garage, a community art nonprofit, volunteered their creativity. Neighborhood artists were recruited and soon word spread, attracting more local artists—adults and kids—to

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1 min read

Down in the Basement: A drug bust leads to an ag boom

You’ve heard of rooftop agriculture, but what about basement farming? The Partnership CDC, a 17-year-old community development organization, is raising peppers, collard greens, tomatoes and tilapia, all in the basement and first floor of their building on 60th Street. By using an aquaponics system, where fish are raised and produce grown

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1 min read

Raising the Stakes: Communal meals fund community-minded projects

There are so many creative individuals and groups in Philadelphia,” says Theresa Rose, founder of Philly Stake, “but their grassroots organizations have few ways to get funding, especially on a small level.” Rose credits Philly Stake’s success to its ability to fill this unique niche: boosting community-based projects with recurring fundraising events centered around a

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2 mins read

Serve Philadelphia

In September 2010 the city launched SERVE Philadelphia, an online database that allows users to enter their age, interests and skill sets to find volunteer opportunities that are personally fulfilling and beneficial to the community. The site is part of Mayor Michael Nutter’s SERVE Philadelphia Act and his role with the Cities of Service Coalition,

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1 min read

Getting There: Drexel’s Ridaroo makes carpool connections.

The brainchild of Drexel grads Aksel Gungor and Andy Guy, Ridaroo is an online application that solves one simple problem: carpool coordination. After spotting an on-campus “ride board” where students and faculty would tack Post-it notes offering and requesting transportation, Gungor had the idea to streamline the process—eliminating the time needed for the board’s one-woman

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1 min read

Growing Grayer? A crucial state environmental fund is in danger of withering away.

Think of Growing Greener as the massive invisible partner to Pennsylvania’s environmental movement. Hardly anyone has heard of it, and yet the state granting program supports countless local organizations—including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Penn Future and The Pennsylvania Environmental Council—with thousands of conservation, recreation and educational projects. Now, as the natural gas industry takes hold,

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2 mins read

Open Studio: Arts Street Textile Studio

It’s tempting to lump Art Street Textile Studio in with the current wave of DIY, sustainably-minded manufacturing. Handmade goods are produced using donated and repurposed fabrics, and you can see local flavor in the colorful array of hand-knit scarves, tapestries and holiday ornaments. But there’s something else going on here:

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1 min read
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