Since a big part of our mission at the Philadelphia Water Department includes protecting and advocating for our rivers and streams—our drinking water sources—Earth Day is a natural fit for us.

Earth Day 2017 will be celebrated this Saturday, April 22, and we'll be there for one of Philly's biggest green events: the official opening of Bartram's Mile, a brand-new, 1.1-mile leg of the Schuylkill River Trail that also features streetscape improvements to connect nearby residential streets.

As partners in this project with Schuylkill Banks and Parks and Recreation, we are adding pollution-reducing Green City, Clean Waters green tools to the improved streets, and we're thrilled to be there as the ribbon is cut and residents take in this brand-new recreational amenity.

The ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. at Bartram's Garden's new 56th Street Plaza. Residents and trail enthusiasts are encouraged to meet at the historic park for a fun-filled Earth Day following the ceremony.

Events and activities include a parade of local high school marching bands, horses, and cyclists with the Bicycle Coalition, an outdoor performance by Orchestra2001, free river boating, tours of the Bartram House and garden, Bartram's famous annual spring plant sale with rarities like heirloom roses, and free samplings and demonstrations by Philly Homebrew.

Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Debra McCarty will be on hand to welcome green infrastructure improvements coming to three nearby streets. Combined, these landscaped improvements can keep over 73,000 gallons of polluted water out of the Schuylkill River during a typical 1-inch storm.

Others joining the ribbon cutting ceremony include Mayor Jim Kenney, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Senator Anthony H. Williams, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Pa. State Representative Joanna McClinton and more.

RSVP here and get directions to Bartram's Garden here.

More Earth Day Action around Philly

Can't make it out to Bartram's but still want to do your part on Earth Day? Here are few more events taking place on Saturday for the watershed-minded Philly environmentalist:

Rain Check workshops

You can go green and beautify your home at the same time by signing up for one of two free Rain Check Workshops scheduled for April 22!

Our team will provide you with all the information you need to make your home more sustainable with tools like free rain barrels and PWD-discounted downspout garden planters. You can sign up here to join in the fun and help protect our waterways.

The first workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, located at 100 N 20th Street.

Then, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., a second workshop will be held at Weavers Way Co-op at 559 Carpenter Lane in Mount Airy.

(Leading up to Earth Day, we'll also have a Rain Check workshop on April 20 at PHS Town Hall. Details and signup. )

Fairmount Water Works Shad Festival 2017

12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Fairmount Water Works
640 Water Works Drive
Free. No reservation required.

Join the Fairmount Water Works in celebrating one of the Schuylkill River's finest fish with a host of programs and events for Shad Weekend. Catch a demonstration on fishnet-weaving out under our pavilion, and learn about catching shad in traditional Native American culture from Heart to Hearth Cookery. Make a colorful fish rubbing in our water lab.

Young guests can enjoy our “Fishin' Around” activity.
The FWW team will also be in the South Garden for a special Mommies and Minnows, Fathers and Fry session!

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Earth Day Service

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
8601 Lindbergh Blvd.

Come celebrate Earth Day with the Student Conservation Association and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a day of service at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers will pitch in to help with the annual waterfront cleanup along the Darby Creek.

Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and clothes you don't mind getting wet or dirty. Please bring a reusable water bottle. The refuge will provide lunch.

Please RSVP with Corrin Omowunmi at 215-365-3118 or

Pennypack Trust Creek Cleanup

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Pennypack Park Visitor Center
8600A Verree Road

Join this annual springtime effort to make Pennypack Creek more beautiful by removing trash from the creek and its banks. Bring work gloves and waterproof footwear. Lunch provided at the Visitor Center!

Please RSVP by Thursday, April 20 by emailing or calling 215-657-0830. (Rain Date: April 29)

Philadelphia More Beautiful Earth Day Clean Up

Cleaner streets mean cleaner rivers and creeks! Help the Philadelphia Streets Department's Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee for this Earth Day event and prevent litter from getting washed into your local waterways during the next rain storm.

This cleanup will target neighborhoods within the Philadelphia Police Department's 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 15th districts. Contact your neighborhood Clean Block Officer here to participate.