Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Water Partnership Education Van Gets Makeover For Drinking Water Week

The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership tackles projects that improve local water quality and provides environmental education to communities in Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
To better support its clean water work, the organization fundraised to purchase a “TTF Dream Van;” and in time for National Drinking Water Week (May 5 – 11), the van has been wrapped with their mascot the Great Blue Heron, a bird that calls Tacony Creek home.
“We’re on the move every day, from Jenkintown to Frankford, and everywhere in-between, teaching, cleaning, planting, and advocating for clean water in our watershed. Owning our own van opens so many doors for us and allows us to better serve the community,” said Executive Director, Julie Slavet. “We’re able to transport trees and shrubs for creekside plantings, wheelbarrows and supplies for trash clean-ups, and rain barrels and tables for neighborhood events with ease. We’re looking forward to being more visible, more productive, and more involved in our watershed communities thanks to this beautiful vehicle.”
For the past 13 years, TTF Watershed Partnership has relied both on personal vehicles and rental vehicles, but it was inefficient and failing to meet the demands of their programming.
Owning a Sprinter Passenger Van will allow the organization to transport more people, tools, and the Creekmobile, an 8-foot-long mobile environmental education center.
Through strategic fundraising, which set a new internal fundraising record, $15,000 was raised in the final months of 2018.
The once “TTF Dream Van” was named through an email voting campaign to supporters, and the popular vote decided on “Creek Force 1.”
Creek Force 1 was enhanced with an art piece on May 6 by Evan Lovett and Justin Bertsch of V.U.R.T., an art advocacy nonprofit, just in time for National Drinking Water Week, which is observed each year to recognize the critical role drinking water plays in our daily lives.
This year's theme, “Protect the Source,” encourages the public to learn more about the source of their drinking water and why its protection is critical to our health.
The van will help with TTF Watershed Partnership’s creekside plantings, trash clean-ups, and outreach which lead to cleaner, healthier waterways for the people and wildlife that rely on it as a source of drinking water.
Creek Force 1 will make its first official public appearance at TTF’s Watershed Milestones Award Ceremony and Reception on May 15.
Located in southeast Pennsylvania, the 33-square-mile TTF watershed flows into the Delaware River.
The Tacony-Frankford Creek section of the watershed lies within the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Bridesburg, Cedarbrook, East Oak Lane, East Mt. Airy, Feltonville, Fern Rock, Fox Chase, Frankford, Germantown, Harrowgate, Hunting Park, Juniata Park, Lawncrest, Logan, Nicetown, Northwood, Ogontz, Olney, Oxford Circle, Port Richmond, and West Oak Lane.
The Tookany Creek section lies within the Montgomery County municipalities of Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Rockledge, and Springfield.
For more information on how you can get involved, visit the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership website.
(Photo: Before and after.)

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