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Cayuga Triangle Rain Garden Completes a Circle of Green in Juniata Park

Pastor David Scudder at right and, at left, members of the community with PWD, Councilwoman Sanchez and TTF Watershed Partnership. Credit: PWD
 Members of the community with PWD, Councilwoman Sanchez and TTF Watershed Partnership. Credit: PWD

When we build the green tools that make Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program work, our engineers and planners are thinking about how much stormwater we can manage with a given rain garden, tree trench, planter or other green infrastructure system. Protecting local waterways and dealing with water from storms that can create pollution is a big part of what we do at the Philadelphia Water Department.

But we also like to highlight the way these green investments can benefit a community—raising neighborhood pride, adding beauty to our streets, providing little pockets of nature—in addition to managing stormwater.

At a ribbon cutting held in November for a rain garden along Castor Avenue in Juniata Park, we heard a story that reminded us what a little extra green can mean for the people living nearby.

David Scudder, a pastor at the local Bethel Chapel Church, spoke at the event for his son Derick, a member of the Juniata Action community group. Derick and Juniata Action helped guide neighborhood input on the rain garden construction.
Scudder told the story of how the space had changed of the years, explaining that, most recently, the area where Cayuga Street and Wingohocking Street meet Castor Avenue had been a concrete triangle where not much good happened.

But, decades before, the patch of open land had served as a community victory garden where produce was grown during and after World War II. Scudder said that, for the community, having the space transformed from a patch of barren concrete to a beautiful rain garden represented a full-circle return to a better time.

For us, that kind of story is what Green City, Clean Waters is all about: we helped protect the nearby Frankford Creek from stormwater runoff, and members of the Juniata Park community have a beautiful new rain garden filled with native plants and flowers.

Below, you can hear Pastor Scudder speak at the ribbon cutting along with PWD’s Marc Cammarata, Director of Office of Watersheds and Deputy Commissioner of Planning & Environmental Services, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez, and Julie Slavet, Executive Director of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF).

As strong advocates for their watershed and Green City, Clean Waters investments, TFF played a key role in the Cayuga Triangle garden and other local projects.

Juniata Park Cayuga Triangle Ribbon Cutting