From Roots to Re-Entry: Green Job Training Behind and Beyond “The Walls”

Did you know that putting just 100 currently unemployed, formerly incarcerated individuals back to work would produce an additional $1.9 million in city wage tax revenue over these individuals’ post-release lifetimes?

Join us to learn about PHS’s Roots to Re-Entry job training program, a new employment initiative that provides inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System with meaningful opportunities and practical job training while fostering healthy green communities.

Representatives from the Job Opportunity Investment Network, a partnership of regional funders, will moderate a panel of Roots to Re-Entry partners and stakeholders to illustrate how this initiative helps its alumni gain high-demand, accessible jobs in the landscaping industry.

Panel participants include:

  • Jennie Sparandara, Executive Director, Job Opportunity Investment Network, Moderator
  • Diane Cornman-Levy, Executive Director, Federation of Neighborhood Centers
  • Troy Davis, 2010 Roots to Re-Entry Graduate
  • Louis Giorla, Commissioner, Philadelphia Prison System
  • Tom Innes,  Attorney, Philadelphia Defender Association
  • Fran Lawn, Roots to Re-Entry Project Manager, PHS (pictured above)
  • Joseph Pyle, President, Scattergood Foundation
  • Ken Kolodziej, Program Employer, KJK Associates

The discussion will take place at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, on Thursday, September 20, with a reception: 6:00 pm; the program begins at 6:30 pm. The fee is $5. To register, click here.

The Delaware River and Bay: Rebirth of a Natural Treasure

Attend the Urban Sustainability Forum and discover the rich ecological history of the Delaware Estuary. In this evening presentation we’ll learn how human activity has threatened life in the estuary and get more information on current efforts to enhance and rebuild its living resources.

The forum will feature Jonathan H. Sharp of the School of Marine Science and Policy from the University of Delaware. It takes place on Thursday, November 17, 2011, beginning at 6 pm with a networking session. The program starts at 6:30 pm. Make sure to register here.

We Are Our Water: An Urban Sustainability Forum

Attend the Urban Sustainability Forum on Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 pm to tackle pressing water-related issues. Representatives from the Philadelphia Water Department, major building owners and operators, community groups, and concerned citizens will come together at the Academy of Natural Sciences for We Are Our Water: How to Protect Our Health, Communities, and Pocketbooks by Using Water Wisely. This is free and open to the public.

It’s time to stop waffling about water. Join us on Thursday! Click here for registration and more information.

Generation Green: A Discussion, Feb. 17

February’s Urban Sustainability Forum will demonstrate the need for students and teachers to have awareness, knowledge, and skills to create a new and more sustainable approach to living in southeast Pennsylvania. The forum will showcase examples from local programs and institutions that are successfully taking on this challenge.

Join us for what will surely be a revealing conversation. Click here to register. Details below. Continue reading

Urban Sustainability Goes on Tour

For years the Urban Sustainability Forum has provided enlightening evenings of dialogue for industry leaders and laymen alike. Last month, the organizers took the show on the road, so to speak, by offering the first Urban Sustainability Tour.

Tour takers saw a park in progress at U-Penn.

On August 19, 35 people joined PHS, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and other partners on a trip to see heralded green spaces across the city. The theme was “Innovations in Green Infrastructure,” so the guided tour revealed past, present, and future plans to provide a more natural approach to systems typically addressed by pipes and concrete.

Find the full story at planphilly.com, but highlights included the green roof at Radian, a new residential building; Clark Park and its porous basketball court; and the always-progressive Mill Creek Urban Farm.

Participants also saw the in-the-works 24-acre park on the University of Pennsylvania campus. This site is surely innovative, and the tour leaders spoke on the stormwater management system that will supply the park’s irrigation.

As one tour-taking said, “This gives great hope for the future of our city!”

Be sure to attend the upcoming Urban Sustainability discussion, this one on ways of cutting your energy costs.