Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership presents honors

| October 22, 2021

Olney Culture lab to receive Nonprofit Steward Award
Olney Culture Lab will be honored with the Nonprofit Steward Award for being one of Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership's most valued and critical partners in Tacony Creek Park community engagement work. Led by Ambrose Liu, (on the left) founder and project director, the Olney Culture Lab (OCL) has brought passion for the arts and has fostered community in Olney for over a decade, focusing on the Olney community’s homegrown talent. PHOTO CREDIT TTF

The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership honored its watershed heroes for the 10th year at its Annual Watershed Milestones Ceremony, recognizing individuals and organizations that have supported clean water efforts in the watershed community.

Honorees include outstanding volunteers, a local educator and corporate and nonprofit stewards who have made an impact in the watershed. They joined a community of more than 124 people, organizations, institutions and businesses that have contributed to improving the health of the watershed they share. 

The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watershed covers a 30-square-mile area in southeast Pennsylvania, in and just outside Philadelphia. It is one of Philadelphia’s five main watersheds, all of which flow into the Delaware River.

The partnership connects watershed residents to their creeks. Through hands-on education, stewardship, restoration and advocacy, it empowers watershed constituents to take care of and improve impaired waterways, parks and trails. The partnership has supported the planting of thousands of native trees, shrubs and flowers along creeks and in rain gardens at schools, parks, places of worship and backyards to slow down and reduce pollution before it enters creeks. 

Those honored by the watershed partnership include:

Siani Colónreceived the Friend Award for being a dedicated volunteer and advocate for the TTF watershed. Colón ignites passion in people to get involved in TTF’s clean water work and shares resources with the public, such as TTF Bird Guides. They are involved in many park programs such as WeWalk, yoga, Little Library Story Time and have even led a nature tour of the park. They have contributed to grant projects and have worked on creating new, exciting programs for Tacony Creek Park.

John Raisch received the Friend Award for being an enthusiastic leader in the TTF watershed. He serves on the Cheltenham Environmental Advisory Council, chairing the Mobility and Healthy Living subcommittee. He leads walks and kids’ bike rides along the Tookany Creek trail. This past year, he was instrumental to the success of the Tookany Creek Trail Feasibility Study, encouraging other watershed residents to share their ideas for future trail plans. He also ensured that neighbors were able to have access to bikes for TTF’s annual block parties.

Olney Culture Lab received the Nonprofit Steward Award for being one of TTF’s most valued and critical partners in Tacony Creek Park community engagement work. Led by Ambrose Liu, founder and project director, the Olney Culture Lab (OCL) has brought passion for the arts and has fostered community in Olney for over a decade. Liu collected stories of Tacony Creek Park’s past by recording interviews with residents and preserving the memories they shared in an oral history repository. OCL recently worked with local artists to host a series of Revival Walks through Tacony Creek Park and local musicians to compose an inspiring Tacony Creek Suite based on impressions of this special landscape.

Garfield Refining received the Corporate Steward Award for its valued partnership and dedication to give back to its local community. Garfield Refining employees often join TTF for cleanups and plantings in the park. For the past few years, enthusiastic groups of employees have attended Earth Day events, planting trees near the Roosevelt Boulevard underpass, as well as a native plant garden by the Ramona Avenue Gateway. 

David White, a science teacher at John Marshall Elementary School, received the Educator Award for being an active participant in TTF’s work. He has introduced students to the creek and watershed, attended teacher workshops, brought students to learn about wildlife by participating in bilingual bird walks and organized groups to visit Tacony Creek Park for volunteer cleanup days. 

Joyce Miller of J. Miller Associates LLC received the Legacy Award for devoting many years of excellent accounting services to TTF. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she quickly completed the extensive paperwork for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, which was approved and forgiven. Her quick, diligent action helped keep TTF afloat, offering stability and peace of mind during an uncertain time.

Also honored were Partner Alliance members, including Essential Utilities, Mom’s Organic Market, REI Co-op, Pixel Parlor, Roofmeadow Services, AquaReale, Philadelphia Insurance Companies and many other businesses and organizations that support TTF’s work.

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.

Leave a Comment