PHS just wrapped up its urban waters training program, which was funded by the EPA and presented in conjunction with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed. Through the program, 16 people—including Tree Keepers from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and graduates of the PHS Roots to Re-Entry program—received hands-on lessons in how to self-manage and maintain green infrastructure, including rain gardens, tree trenches, bio-swales, and other nature-based systems designed to reduce the strain put upon the sewer system.
As an initial task, the group went to the Wissahickon Charter School to tend to a long-neglected rain garden. After hours of removing invasive plants, replacing them with natives, and reshaping the garden bed to better catch and filter rainwater from the school parking lot, the space looked drastically better.
Additional trainings took place at Cliveden Park, Vernon Park, and other sites that already benefit from significant stormwater-focused installations. Here the participants had a chance to show off all they learned by identifying the different parts of the system and discussing how they would improve its functionality. Emma Melvin of PHS led the training and designed the curriculum.
The training participants were enthusiastic about all they learned. Do you need a rain garden? If so, this group is eager to install one. We expect great work from these trainees who already maintain various parks around the city and can now go one step further and take Philadelphia into the future by maintaining green infrastructure. One day ours will be the greenest city in the world, and this training brings us closer toward that goal. Good luck trainees!
– Marquita Heard