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Happy Earth Day! Here’s what Philly loves about our Green Scene
Philly

Happy Earth Day! Here’s what Philly loves about our Green Scene

We asked you, our readers, to submit love letters about your favorite parts of Philly’s sustainability. Here’s “To Philly, From You: Green Philly Love Letters”

Happy Earth Day!

Over this Earth Month, we’ve been asking our followers questions on social media about everything from their favorite biking trail to the best places to get local produce. We got an outpouring of appreciation for some real hidden gems making waves in sustainability around the city and beyond.

Here are just a few of our favorites.

Earth Day: Green Philly Love Letters

Penn Treaty Park

“I love that it’s right along the river. Growing up in South Jersey, water was a really important part of my life. After moving to Philly, I’ve been placed in a completely different natural environment, but being able to sit right on the water and look across to Jersey and just sit in a big ole patch of grass is very grounding and much needed! I also enjoy the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s on the opposite side of the city from where I live, so whenever I’m up there, it usually means I’m having a fun, adventurous day!

– Love, Julia (@jr.bupkis on Instagram)

I love the community efforts going into beautifying Penn Treaty Park – the many tree planting and cleanup events. The willow trees, open space to relax, and access to see the water and birds along the river bed.

– Love, Lindsay (@lambchop8 on Instagram)
Photo: Amber Redfield

The Wissahickon Trail

There’s so much I love about the Wiss. It’s a hidden gem, being one of the largest natural spaces residing in a major city. I teach geology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, so this feature is probably why I love it so much. The Wissahickon rocks (compromised of mainly schist and gneiss) are roughly 500-600 million years old! To the untrained eye, the many folks who chill at Devil’s Pool have no idea they are standing on rocks from the Cambrian Period with massive chunks of garnet (which is used in sandpaper!). The outcrops show tons of formations that occur when rocks go under intense heat and pressure. This makes some great features for folks hiking the trails. I’m a hiker, and I used the trail to train to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail back in 2016. It has a lot of the features you see on the AT: rocks, roots, quick ups and downs, the beautiful mountain Laurel and rhododendron… it’s just so beautiful. The environment houses many important species, which is another thing I study at ANSP, and we use the Wiss for a lot of our fieldwork.

– Love, Amber (@amberredfield on Instagram)
Photo: ‘I Have a Dream of Taking Back MLK Drive’ on Facebook

MLK Drive

MLK Drive brings together communities, helps make the Schuylkill River beautiful, and keeps our residents safe while enjoying outdoor activities. There isn’t another place in Philadelphia where a child can learn how to ride a bike and an amateur cyclist can train for a race, in a safe way. MLK Drive is also a vital connection to Fairmount park, which allows cyclists and pedestrians access to one of the largest urban public parks in the country, providing necessary access to nature for our communities. Keeping MLK closed to traffic is a major benefit to public health in Philadelphia.

– Love, Greg (@gdonworth on Instagram)
Photo: Bar Bombón on Facebook

Bar Bombón

I love Bar Bombon’s tres leches cake!! Their menu is always changing and delicious, including brunch, which can be hard to find for a good vegan breakfast, especially in that area.

– Love, Sophie (@sophied.sf on Instagram)
Photo: Philly Foodworks

Philly Foodworks

Philly Foodworks is super convenient (since COVID, they deliver to your door) with awesome variety and all the fresh produce is delicious. Always fresh and more flavorful than the stuff I get in the grocery store. Obviously, limited to what’s in season, but I love that too. It makes me think more about the seasons and where our “fresh” fruit in the grocery store actually comes from. Oh, and since it’s all from local farmers I don’t have to do the leg work to research if it’s local.

Love, Amy (@amymkirby on Instagram

The farmers’ markets were super crowded last summer, and the reason I love them is to mill around and browse- so when I couldn’t do that, I found Philly Foodworks. They have lots of great local stuff- I found some amazing cheeses (a super melty vegan mozzarella), new veggies to try, and pastured eggs & meat. The delivery option is super easy and Covid friendly. I love seeing what new stuff they have each week!

– Love, Donna (@balanceddonna on Instagram)
Photo: Julie Hancher

Riverwards

They have great prices and try their best to source as much as they can locally. Everything is very fresh and well labeled as to where they source it! I grew up working on a farm selling fresh vegetables on the side of the road for SIW Vegetables in Chester County. I have such great respect for the hard work our local farmers do for us. Riverwards does a fantastic job supporting and highlighting our local agriculture industry. Side note: I am on the BOD for the Fishtown Neighbors Association. Vince has been incredibly generous and supportive of our COVID mutual aid program. He donated a lot of fresh food to our community throughout the pandemic.

– Love, Ellis (@ellis_fenwick on Instagram)
Photo Courtesy of Remark Glass on Facebook

Remark Glass

In addition to them having a great mission to reuse existing glass bottles, they also have a glass collection non-profit to properly repurpose or recycle glass contributed by the community. They also have a “keepsake” program for weddings and other celebrations (a great program for post-pandemic) that takes their used bottles and turns them into gifts. They’re also members of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, which is my organization (but I’ve been a fan before they joined)! And they have great workshops and demos when those are able to start back up again.

– Love, Alex (@alextcupo on Instagram)

Thank you to all the passionate sustainability-lovers who submitted their Green Philly Love Letters to us this month. To see more entries from Philly’s residents, follow us on Instagram (@greenphillyblog) and keep an eye on our feed in the coming weeks!

Cover Image: C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

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