More than 200 ‘green’ enthusiasts of all ages convened in South Kensington to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Green City, Clean Waters.

On Thursday, October 21st, the Water Department hosted the Green City, Clean Waters: A Decade in the Community event outside of the Crane Arts building on North American Street.

Stretching from Girard to Indiana Avenues, the revamped streetscape spans 17 blocks with green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) that has the capacity to divert close to 90 million gallons of stormwater annually from the area’s combined sewer system. To put that in perspective, this two-mile stretch can capture the equivalent of 48 SEPTA buses full of stormwater during a 1.5-inch rainstorm.

During the event, Katie Drake, a lead Water Dept. engineer on the American Street project, gives a tour of the new green stormwater infrastructure.

With improvements spilling beyond stormwater management, this massive green project truly represents the transformative power of Green City, Clean Waters, as multiple agencies worked closely together for the residents of Philadelphia to make this project possible.

The green upgrades are encompassed in the federally-funded American Street Improvement Project, which enlivens the once industrial corridor with bicycle/pedestrian safety, more vegetation, and improved street lighting, sowing the seeds for a residential revitalization.

From chalk art to GSI tours to sustainably-focused tables, the 10-year milestone celebration featured festivities for families and water warriors alike.

The official American Street ribbon cutting was commenced by speeches from City representatives, including Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman, Esq., Chief Engineer and President/Board of Surveyors at Philadelphia Streets Department Darin L. Gatti, and Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez.

Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman kicks off the official American Street ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Though implemented to help the City meet state and federal water quality standards, Green City, Clean Waters is so much more than that because of the additional benefits that come with a green approach,” said Commissioner Hayman. “This program allows us to educate the people we serve about why these investments are needed, and inspire Philadelphians by improving our city environmentally, socially, and economically. And American Street embodies the very essence of that vision!

The event would not have been possible without the following partners and tablers:

Thank you to each and every partner and attendee and to all the educators and environmentalists working the tables.

Green City, Clean Waters: A Decade in the Community Celebration!

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