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Photos and More: Big Celebration Welcomes New Rain Garden, Mural at Vacant Lot Site

We want to send out a big thank you to all who came out to celebrate the new rain gardens and mural in Hestonville yesterday! Below you’ll find photos from the event and coverage from local TV stations:

Photo Gallery:
West Philly Vacant Lot Transformed with GSI, Mural

Coverage from CBS Philly:

Coverage from 6 ABC:

Watch the Ribbon Cutting:

About the Event:

Philadelphia Water Dept. Commissioner Debra A. McCarty, Hestonville Civic Association President Sheila Buchanan, Fourth District Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., Deborah Cahill, design and construction project manager at the Dept. of Public Property, artists Eurhi Jones and Michael E. Reali, Philadelphia Mural Arts COO Joan Reilly and Pa. State Rep Morgan Cephas, of the 192nd District, joined West Philadelphia residents in welcoming a new rain garden and mural at a formerly vacant lot.

Located at 55th and Hunter streets, the site is now a vibrant green space open to the community and also features a new fence and gazebo.

The mural, whose title, “Your Hands Shimmering on the Legs of Rain,” is borrowed from a haiku by local poet Sonia Sanchez, features the Schuylkill River, local streets, and aquatic wildlife like shad and otters.

In addition to the partners at the dedication, the project was made possible with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and the support of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which has maintained the lot with residents. Philadelphia Parks and Recreation also worked with PWD to create improvements at an adjacent site.

Read more about how the rain garden and other green infrastructure at the nearby Baker Playground are helping to keep 1.56 million gallons of polluted water out of the Schuylkill each year: