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A decade of Green City, Clean Waters

Water Department Commissioner Randy Hayman and Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez cut a ribbon on N. American St. | Photo by Joe DiProsperos

The Philadelphia Water Department marked the 10th year of its Green City, Clean Waters initiative with an event outside of Crane Arts, at 1400 N. American St., on Thursday.

The event, which was catered by local vendors, highlighted the individuals, communities and projects that have been part of the decade-long program. It also included a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the improvements that have been added to American Street.

Speakers at the event included Water Department Commissioner Randy Hayman and Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez.  

“Ten years ago, Philadelphia caught the world’s attention with this new idea of greening the city, not running away from it,” Hayman said.

The Green City, Clean Waters program was launched in 2011 as part of Philadelphia’s 25-year plan to meet state and federal regulations by improving local waterway health using primarily green stormwater systems backed by investments in traditional infrastructure. The city is aiming to reduce pollution levels by 85% by the time the program ends in 2036.

“It will take time, it will take hard work, it will take partnerships and individuals like yourself, but I believe we can get there,” Hayman said.

Attendees were also able to tour street upgrades developed as part of the program’s American Street Improvement Project, which includes stormwater infrastructure tools that improve pedestrian safety and can help divert more than 90 million gallons of stormwater annually from the area’s sewer system.

While Hayman said that he is proud of what has been accomplished to this point, he noted that there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We have a long way to go to reach our year-25 goals, and there will be challenges ahead of us,” Hayman said. “But the same principles that have guided us to this 10-year anniversary will serve us well as we embark on the next phase of this project.”

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