Delaware Valley Environment

The Environmental Concerns Working Group hopes to raise awareness of environmental issues that affect the lives of everyone and about which we can make a difference. Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of a sustainable lifestyle.

–> See our Calendar for Environmental Concerns

–> See our blog on Global Environmental Concerns

–> See our Sustainable Living Resource Page

–> See our list of local green resources: Urban Farms in Philadelphia

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Jan 3, 2017

Natural gas pipeline construction in Pennsylvania awaits court hearings.

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Feb 9, 2016

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board has approved new oil and gas regulations.

In Susquehanna County construction of the Constitution Pipeline will start felling trees soon.

Learn about Philadephia’s new Energy and Green Jobs Campaign.

Read about the impact of fracking and pipelines on the economy and health risks in Pennsylvania.

Transporting shale gas has boosted Delaware River port traffic.

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June 16, 2015

Read about safe energy from the Philadelphia Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The Amtrak disaster in Philadelphia happened just feet away from oil train rail cars.

Read about the challenge for Earth Day 2015.

A recent report says that a refinery in South Philadelphia creates jobs but also toxic air.

A recent report asks whether a Philadelphia Energy Hub can help bridge our use of energy to fully sustainable.

Read an article that asks us to save Philadelphia from being a dirty-shale-energy hub.

Read about how Philadelphia may become our nation’s next energy hub.

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Dec 27, 2014

Read about how gas boom will affect residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Aug 24, 2014:

See commentary on the Pipeline proposal for the Pinelands.

See a profile of the ecology of Delaware Bay.

Read an interview with the author of Life Along the Delaware Bay.

Learn about Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers.

Learn the history of Wingohocking, Tacony, and Frankford creeks.

Learn about Philadephia’s watersheds and remaining streams.

Read how the Wingohocking Creek in Logan was covered over, and its consequences.

Learn about the history of Monoshone Creek.

See a “gigapan” of Monoshone Creek.

Learn about water quality in the Schuylkill River watershed.

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May 24, 2014:

Read about why the Pinelands Commission rejected the gas pipeline. But this may change.

A call has been announced to make the moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River watershed permanent.

Learn about how to become a Tidal Delaware River Ambassador.

Check out the Penn’s Landing feasibility study.

Learn about Revolution Recovery, Phila’s Professional Dumpster Divers.

Check out an App that makes buying sustainable easy.

Businesses in Philadelphia are required to recycle. Read about how the Phila Streets Dept is encouraging commercial recycling.

Learn about the PHS City Harvest Program.

PHS sponsored a Memorial Day Weekend Sale at Meadowbrook Farm.

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March 6, 2014:

Read about the campaign to reduce use of plastic bags in Philadelphia. Sign the Petition for Philadelphia Bag Reduction.

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February 2, 2014:

See a list of local wind and solar suppliers of electricity.

Philadelphia is one of the top cities for hosting green meetings.

Philadelphia will join other cities in an program to boost energy efficiency of large commercial buildings.

A new exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo explains how saving energy can help wildlife.

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January 28, 2014:

See a report on the City Harvest program.

See the behind the scenes tour of the Philadelphia Flower Show.

See the latest news on how oil and gas drilling is affecting Pennsylvania.

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June 9, 2013:

Although damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the beaches of Delaware Bay are still supporting the red knot.

A new form of bait allows the use of many fewer horseshoe crabs from Delaware Bay.

A local farmers market is forbidding the use of plastic bags in produce sales.
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May 15, 2013:

A new plan has been developed for the lower Schuylkill River area.

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April 17, 2013:

A recent article explains that the level of stress in city dwellers is lowered when walking in a park.

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February 12, 2013:

The Delaware River Basin Commission will review two recent decisions that allowed natural gas pipelines to be constructed through the Delaware State Forest in northeast Pennsylvania.

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Jan 29, 2013:

Read about the new recycling law: electronics must be recycled. Find the recycling sites here.

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Dec 26, 2012:

See how a green city house can be inexpensive to own.

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Nov 29, 2012:

PECO will discontinue its Wind Electric program at the end of December, 2012. Check out a listing of local renewable electricity suppliers. We recommend switching your electricity supplier to Community Energy or The Energy Co-Op because they are headquartered in the Delaware Valley and they generate electricity from renewable sources in Pennsylvania.

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Nov 26, 2012:

A local Germantown mill building will be soon be renovated into loft space for local businesses.

A new supermarket at Washington Lane and Chew Street is on track for approval.

Local residents were instrumental in preventing development of land adjacent to John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.

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Nov 20, 2012:

Read about Happy America Recycles Day in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department’s TreePhilly program gave out 2000 trees to residents.

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Nov 19, 2012:

Along the shoreline of Delaware, Hurricane Sandy damaged the beaches and exacerbated the rise in sea level of 13″ over the past century.

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Nov 14, 2012:

PHS recently presented the 2012 City Gardens Awards.

TTF, a local watershed organization, is working to restore natural watersheds in Philadelphia.

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Nov 9, 2012:

A recent essay explains that we need better protection of our waterways from development.

In the wake of Sandy, a recent article explains the need for Philadelphia to rethink how local streams are channeled.

See a listing of family adventures offered at local farms.

See a recent article on Earth Quaker Action Team’s spotlight on funding by PNC Bank of mountaintop removal.

See a recent article about research on the Germantown Potter’s Field near Queen Lane Apartments.

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Oct 25, 2012:

A downtown developer has set up a bike sharing program.

Check out advice on local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

The Philadelphia 2012 Bagged Leaf Drive goes from Monday, Nov 5, to Friday, Dec 14.

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Oct 21, 2012:

Evidently some urban farms have gotten too big. But this isn’t a problem yet for the Delaware Valley.

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Oct 16, 2012:

The health of the Delaware River and Bay is still improving. A report on the Delaware’s status explains the gains and losses.

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Oct 10, 2012:

See an urgent request to prevent fish kills in the Delaware River.

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Oct 5, 2012:

Clean Air Council and Community Energy have partnered to bring to PECO customers 100% Pennsylvania renewable energy.

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Sept 23, 2012:

A recent article in Science magazine showed that moving from a high-poverty region to a low-poverty region has beneficial effects on physical and mental health despite not affecting economic self-sufficiency.

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Sept 21, 2012:

Check to see how bad pollution is in your area.

The Philadelphia Water Department has established a program of partnering with local neighborhoods to improve our use of water.

The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainablity has established the Greenworks Program that reports excellent progress on several fronts over the last three years.

A must read: download the Greenworks 2012 Progress Report.

A local company that designs and installs solar photovoltaic systems has recently installed several rooftop PV systems.

A local contractor and educator shows his house is energy efficient.

The Solar Electric Power Association and Solar Energy Industries Association are sponsoring a trade show on solar photovoltaic technologies at the Philadelphia Convention Center, on February 5-7, 2013.

The Delaware Valley Green Building Council sponsors events to
teach about sustainable building practices.

Recently the Philadelphia branch of the NorthEast Solar Energy Association organized a project to teach about solar powered cars.

See this report on Delaware Valley Friends going solar.
The solar installation was a joint venture with Hudson Energy Solar Corporation.

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Sept 19, 2012:

From PHS Online:
PHS Pop Up Garden Grows onto Walnut Street for Park(ing) Day

On Friday, September 21, from 9 am – 3 pm, the PHS Pop Up Garden will grow onto Walnut Street for Park(ing) Day 2012, an annual international celebration of one-day “parklets” that take over parking spaces. PHS’s 19th and Walnut Street parklet, one of 50 citywide, will preview the Fall Garden Festival—happening the very next day—as well as the 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.

From PHS Online:
Learn About Community Gardening in October

If you think your neighborhood would benefit from a community garden (and what neighborhood wouldn’t?), consider joining PHS Garden Tenders, which is a tremendous learning opportunity for groups, individuals, teachers, and anyone interested in gardening with others. Topics include finding a site, getting permission, assessing your resources, organizing a group, and working with others.

Community gardens provide more than just a place for gardens to get their hands dirty. The American Community Gardening Association states that community gardens serve to improve the quality of life for people in the garden; provide a catalyst for neighborhood and community development; stimulate social interaction; create opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education; reduce crime; reduce city heat from streets and parking lots; and provide opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections.

Garden Tenders will be held at PHS, 100 North 20th Street, fifth floor on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 10 am to 1 pm. To register, click here.

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Sept 18, 2012:

Bryn Gweled Homesteads, in lower Bucks County, will hold a free Homesteading Open House 11am-5pm on Sunday, 9/23/12. Founded in 1940, Bryn Gweled is home to 75 homesteads on 240 acres, and operates as an intentionally cooperative community. Come see how some of us tend a prize-winning sheep flock, keep bees, raise chickens, heat homes with wood, use solar power, garden organically, manage fruit trees, compost, care for septic systems, and remodel or build on modest budgets. Demonstrations during the day will include extracting honey from a beehive, spinning wool, how to build an 8′ x 150′ deer fence for $35 and make a bee jacket for under $10, felting and wool arts, how to build an inexpensive chicken tractor. Free potluck lunch at 1:30pm (1805 Meadow Rd., Southampton, PA 18966). RSVP 215-355-8849 if you’ll come for lunch.

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Sept 4, 2012:
The Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers plans workdays to restore the Wissahickon to its historical diversity. Typical work includes removing invasive species, replanting native species of shrubs and trees, and trail restoration.

The workdays will be held on:

  • Saturday, Sept 8, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
  • Sunday, Sept 16, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, Oct 6, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
  • Sunday, Oct 21, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, Nov 3, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, Dec 1, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm
  • Sunday, Dec 16, 2012, 9:45 am to 12:00 pm

Join fellow community volunteers and a WRV Crew Leader to help restore the wonderful Wissahickon! Volunteers meet at 9:45 am and work from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm.

WRV will supply the work gloves and tools. Volunteers should wear socks, sturdy shoes that tie, and dress to be working in the woods for two hours. Bring plenty of water, and remember that you will get dirty!

Site to be determined. Please check back during the week of the event. Groups: you are welcome to book your space early.

Volunteers: To RSVP email only your name and date of service to wrv.info@rhd.org. If you have questions please call. Groups of 5 or more please email and call to confirm at 215-951-0330 ext. 2175. Thank you volunteers!

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Sept 3, 2012:

Greensgrow Farms, an urban farm located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia,
is having:

The 5th Annual Subaru Fall Festival at Greensgrow Farms

Saturday, October 6th, 2012, 11:00am–4:00pm

Rain or Shine, Free to the Public

Join Subaru at Greensgrow Farms for a celebration of fresh, local food, crafts and farm fun! Whether you are from Philly or from out of town, get off the beaten path and checkout Greensgrow Farms, THE nationally recognized leader urban farming and quite the little gem. Come see how a former galvanized steel plant became a model for urban agriculture. Sample harvest dishes, enjoy various crafts, visit the farmer’s market and bring the kids to partake in loads of children’s activities!

For directions, event highlights and all of the latest details,
click HERE

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Sept 2, 2012

Science on Tap

Science on Tap is a monthly science café in Philadelphia for anyone who is interested in getting together with other people to discuss a range of engaging science topics. It’s held at National Mechanics, a relaxed, convivial bar in Old City, and features a brief, informal presentation by a scientist or other expert followed by lively conversation.

Science on Tap is held on the second Monday of every month at 6 pm. This program is for people age 21 or older, but folks under 21 can come with a chaperone who is older than 25.

Science on Tap is sponsored by a consortium of five Philadelphia institutions: the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, The American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

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Sept 1, 2012:

Kennett Square Mushroom Festival

Sept 8 – 9, 2012
$2 per person (ages 12 and up)

Mushroom lovers across the nation converge in historic Kennett Square each year, the weekend after Labor Day. They come to celebrate the humble fungi with a two-day festival of food and family fun.

Expect to taste your way through a competitive line-up of soups and other mushroom dishes prepared by local restaurateurs on Sunday, and you won’t want to miss what the group of celebrity chefs and culinary arts students will be serving up throughout the festival.

But mouth-watering food is the just the start. Kids and adults alike will love the live entertainment, the mushroom farm tours and the Growers’ Exhibit, where the secrets of mushroom cultivation are revealed.

Come Prepared

The festival is free of charge, but there is a fee to park. Follow signs to designated parking areas and be prepared to take a shuttle bus into town. Expect congestion — the festival typically attracts more than 100,000. More info is available at Mushroom Festival.

Don’t Miss

The Mushroom Ice Cream – it tastes like Cream of Mushroom soup and it sells out every year.

Outsider’s Tip

The Mushroom Festival, featured on the Food Network’s All American Festival show, has been voted by Travelocity.com as one of the top 10 festivals in Pennsylvania, listing it as a “Local Secret, Big Find.” Kennett Square, known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” is also the smallest town in America to have its own symphony orchestra.

Penn Park

The University of Pennsylvania has created Penn Park, a new green space on the
west side of the Schuylkill River, from Chestnut St. to South St. The new park has revitalized the river access from University’s campus in West Philadelphia. See http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/current/node/4152.

Morris Arboretum

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a local treasure of 13,000 labeled plants and green space. Recently the Arboretum built a new LEED-certified horticulture center.. It is a must see for the environmentally-conscious!

The Morris Arboretum holds a series of “Native Trees Tours” on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in September (1 &15), October (6 & 20), and November (3 & 17) at 11:00am. Evidence suggests that native tree species support the rich diversity of fauna within forest ecosystems. Take a tour of the native trees at the Arboretum and learn about the many ways native trees can support increased biodiversity when planted in a variety of non-forest settings, too.

The Morris Arboretum sponsors a lecture series on plants, people and place.

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Aug 31, 2012:

Seventh Annual GreenFest Philly is an exciting event not to miss!
Sunday, September 9, 2012 – 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Headhouse Square – 2nd and South Sts. Philadelphia
http://greenfestphilly.org

Greenfest Philly is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area. With over 100 exhibitors and vendors, Greenfest is the place to learn about living sustainably while having fun! This event has something for everyone: shopping for local green wares, great food, live music, live demonstrations, kid-friendly activities, and more. Greenfest Philly is scheduled on Sunday, September 9, 2012 from 11am to 5pm in the historic Headhouse Row. The festival is free to attend and all are welcome!

A concern raised by Delaware River Keeper:
http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org

Your voice and presence is needed to stop the Eastwick Land Grab

Philadelphia and the Korman corporation are pushing to develop 128 acres of floodplain near the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Southwest Philly, near the airport. The Eastwick community is already flood-prone so additional impervious surfaces will increase local flooding and be a missed opportunity to expand the Heinz Refuge. There will be opportunity in September to write to Phila. City Council and DRN will provide talking points that will come out of the 1st up-coming meeting. But right now we need you and your friends – ESPECIALLY Philadelphia residents – to attend some or all of these three important meetings. For details, Time and dates of these three important meetings click here

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has joined with the Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition to challenge this irresponsible development. These 128 floodplain acres should be cleaned-up of pollution and transferred to become part of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. There will be opportunity in September to write to Phila. City Council and DRN will provide talking points that will come out of the 1st up-coming meeting.

http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/act-now/urgent-details.aspx?Id=113

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Some slide shows about environmental issues:

Sustainable Solar
What is Our Carbon Footprint?
Home Energy Use
GMM Old Tennis Court Farm

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Links to lists of top environmental blogs:

Top 35 environmental blogs
Top 10 env blogs
Another top 10 env blogs
New York times Green Blogs

Some environment blogs for Philadelphia:

Protecting Our Waters
Philadelphia Green
Green Philly
Earth to Philly
Green Living
Philly-Green
U Wish U Nu
Green Philly Blog
Urban Environment
Phila Orchard Project Events
Awbury Arboretum

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