What’s going on with water in Strawberry Mansion?

That’s what we’ll be talking about at a special open house event we’re holding for you and your neighbors on Tuesday, October 16 at 6 p.m.

RSVP now so we know you’re coming and can plan for refreshments!

Featuring local organizations, officials and more, this open house at the brand-new Discovery Center is your invitation to ask questions about how we make sure safe, clean water is always available – and learn about all the projects, programs, and opportunities you might not have heard about yet.

We’ll even have staff on hand that can answer any questions you might have about your water bill and other customer service issues!

A big topic at this event will be all the green upgrades in the works for local streets. Part of the nationally praised Green City, Clean Waters program, these projects will add new green spaces to the neighborhood that soak up and manage the water that flows down streets and sidewalks during storms.

A map showing planned <em>Green City, Clean Waters</em> stormwater infrastructure projects in the Strawberry Mansion area.

Green Stormwater Infratructure needed to manage stormwater in Strawberry Mansion.   Photo Credit: PWD

By letting nature take care of that water, we are taking pressure off of the local sewers and treatment plants, which means less overflows that spill polluted stormwater mixed with waste from homes into our rivers and creeks.

On top of that huge benefit, this way of managing the water Strawberry Mansion gets during storms also has a few other upsides: trees and gardens that residents can enjoy throughout the year. Blocks that have lots of green spaces can be cooler in summer, enjoy cleaner air, and generally create a better environment for the people who live there.

Below are the green investments you can learn about on Tuesday:

Some are ready to be built, but we still need your input on the Ridge Avenue plans. More work will be coming in the future too, so stay tuned-in and help us make these Green City, Clean Waters projects the best they can be:

Berks & Sedgley Greening: Our Oct. 11 ground-breaking event welcomed stormwater tree trenches, stormwater planters, and a rain garden at the intersection of Berks Street. Sedgley Avenue, and 30th Street. The rain garden, housed within a curb extension and new sidewalk, will transform an intersection which has been the source of community concerns into a safer place for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

East Park Greenway: A series of rain gardens and stormwater bumpouts along 33rd Street will act as gateways between Strawberry Mansion and East Fairmount Park.

Ridge Avenue Gateways: Stormwater bumpouts, stormwater tree trenches, and rain gardens on Ridge Avenue that will improve the area near Strawberry Mansion High School.

East Park Reservoir Improvement: A multi-million dollar project that adds state-of-the-art storage tanks to our drinking water system, while transferring former reservoir space to the just-opened Discovery Center.

In addition to the green projects, we’ll have tables and staff dedicated to a number of topics:

  • Customer Assistance and PWD Call Center staff who can talk about all the ways you can save money on your water bills (including senior discounts and the new income-based TAP option), paying for plumbing expenses (like replacing lead pipes), and more.
  • PowerCorpsPHL – a program that trains Philly residents under 26 years old for jobs in the growing field of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) and other related careers.
  • History of East Park, Strawberry Mansion, and local water infrastructure
  • PWD GSI project engineers – the staff who design all the green tools we mentioned here!
  • Fairmount Park Conservancy staff will also have some hyper-local swag in the form of playing card decks that feature Strawberry Mansion residents, monuments, historical figures, and more. Be sure to grab some for yourself!
  • Discovery Center staff will lead a nature walk around the site before the Open House. If you want to tag along, get there by 5:30pm!
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