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Life Imitates Art: Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest Ceremony and a Green Grant for Nebinger School

Come out to the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center today at 4:00 as we congratulate the winners of the 2012 Green City, Clean Waters art contest. More than 700 entries were received this year, as students illustrated the various ways in which our local waterways become polluted, and how we can work together to make them healthy. First-place drawings such as the one by Liana Spiro of Germantown Friends School (above) will be used in a year-round advertising campaign on buses and subways. View all the winners of the drawing and video contests here. Congratulations to the winners, and special thanks to our friends at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary for organizing this contest.

But that's not all—in a case of life imitating art, students' depictions of how we restore our waterways will become a reality at George W. Nebinger Elementary School. The school, located at 6th and Carpenter streets in South Philadelphia, will be the center of an international model for green stormwater management and educational programming. Green infrastructure tools in the schoolyard (possibilities include porous play surfaces, rain gardens and stormwater planters) and on nearby streets will serve as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for the school's students. This project is a collaboration between the Philadelphia Water Department, the U.S. EPA and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary in tandem with the School District of Philadelphia. More details to come!

TV Guidance: Watch Green City, Clean Waters Documentary on WHYY This Month

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Set your DVRs: WHYY TV-12 will be airing the Green City, Clean Waters mini-documentary on Thursday, April 26 (5:30 p.m.) and Sunday, April 29 (2:00 p.m.). This 30-minute program explains the stormwater management issues facing Philadelphia and how PWD is implementing green infrastructure to help improve our local waterways and provide other benefits to the city. A short preview:

Seriously: Twin Cities Tap Water

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Here's a short list of things you should know about Minneapolis' campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of tap water:

  • The videos online at Tap Minneapolis are great. It's awards season—throw a gold-plated faucet statue at them or something.
  • That's just how Minnesotans talk.
  • There are big Snoopy statues around Minneapolis, birthplace of Charles Schulz.
  • If you drink bottled water, you are paying about $10 a gallon. Seriously.

Queen Village, Northern Liberties Spokesdog Competitions Are Under Way

Dog owners in Queen Village and Northern Liberties have unleashed their hounds (figuratively), as registration is now open for the 2012 Philly Water's Best Friend competition in those neighborhoods. To read about the prizes, perks and contest guidelines, check out the Spokesdog page, where you learn how picking up pet waste keeps our local waterways clean, enter your dog and size up the competition so far. Registration is open until Feb. 15, and the finalists will compete in a judging and awards ceremony in their respective neighborhoods.

In related news, here's Northern soul act the Olympics and their 1966 single "Baby, Do The Philly Dog":

Watch Now: Rowhome-Sized Stormwater Solutions in West Philly

Last year, PWD and Rebuilding Together Philadelphia joined volunteers and neighbors to install rain barrels, rain gardens and downspout planters in Cobbs Creek-area rowhomes. The short film below by GreenTreks tells the story: We can manage stormwater and prevent sewer overflows with rowhome-sized tools and community involvement.

Keeping Schuylkill Waters Clean: Agriculture Pollution

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The Schuylkill Action Network works with farmers to lessen the impact of agricultural runoff (fertilizer, cow manure) on the creeks and streams in the Schuylkill watershed. Approximately 37% of the land in the Schuylkill watershed is used for agriculture, so farm management is an important tool in improving water quality. Lights, camera... Schuylkill action!

Making News: Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed

Julie Slavet, executive director of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, recently appeared on Comcast's Newsmakers program to talk about the organization's efforts to restore and preserve the health of Tookany/Tacony/Frankford creek. (If you're confused as to why this creek has three names, click here.) Slavet discusses the stream and trail restorations happening in Tacony Creek Park, the site of a Love Your Watershed day on Dec. 17. Join your neighbors at the park from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., sign up for a free rain barrel and meet Molson the PWD spokesdog!

Philadelphia Hosts CitiesAlive Conference Nov. 30 - Dec. 3

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Philadelphia will host the 2011 CitiesAlive conference from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3; the event brings together members of the green roof and green wall industry for workshops, meetings and tours. They're coming to the right place—the Philadelphia Water Department's Green City, Clean Waters plan will devote billions of dollars over the next 25 years to green infrastructure that reduces the urban heat island effect, improves our waterways and saves money. Be sure to check out PWD's demonstration project, the green roof bus shelter at 15th and Market. Watch the welcome video:

Registration is now open. At this time, we cannot confirm whether the entire conference will be soundtracked by upbeat piano jazz.

Wrecking The Rec Center

Video: NewsWorks

Even if you don't care about stormwater management (and it's our sworn duty to insist you really should), who doesn't like to watch stuff get wrecked? WHYY's NewsWorks posted a time-lapse video (above) of the demolition of the old Venice Island recreation center. It's all part of PWD's two-year, $40 million project to install a 4 million-gallon underground storage basin and revamp the area with a new performing arts space, children's play area (including a sprayground) and parking space. Read the accompanying NewsWorks article here.

Click here to learn more about the Venice Island project and check out our recent post on how the storage basin may have controlled flooding in Manayunk due to Hurricane Irene.

2011 Philly Fun Fishing Fest: The Video

Click here for more info on the fishing fest. Be sure to register before September 6.

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