Since 2014, PowerCorpsPHL’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Maintenance Crews have removed more than 132 tons of litter and organic debris from Philadelphia’s green spaces. These 132 tons consisted of 25 tons of residential litter, 80 tons of leaves and organic debris, 18.5 tons of construction debris, and 8.5 tons of other materials.
PowerCorpsPHL is a workforce development program through which Philadelphia youth complete six-month Americorps service terms with City departments to support their communities and Philadelphia’s environmental health. Some PowerCorps crews work with Philadelphia Water Department to maintain green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) sites — things like rain gardens, permeable pavement, and planters — across the city. At GSI sites, stormwater is treated where it falls, using plants and soil to infiltrate water and prevent it from overwhelming sewer systems.
The GSI Maintenance Crews visit GSI sites around Philadelphia to clear debris and litter, remove sediment, prune trees, plant vegetation, pull weeds, apply mulch, and provide other aesthetic maintenance to make sure the GSI systems look great and are functioning properly. The GSI Maintenance PowerCorps crews maintain a total of more than 270 GSI systems at 125 different locations across the city.
In addition to protecting water quality in local waterways, the PowerCorps crews’ work leads to less-littered, cleaner Philadelphia neighborhoods. The 80 tons of organic material collected since the program’s inception in 2014 were brought to the Philadelphia Streets Department’s Sanitation Convenience Centers and were ultimately diverted from the landfill and composted at the City’s Fairmount Park Organics Recycling Center.
A huge thanks to the PowerCorpsPHL GSI Maintenance Crews and all who make their work possible for their efforts to green and clean Philadelphia’s green spaces and improve local environmental quality.