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Reeling in funds

Fishtown BID awarded PTSSD grant to expand Feed the Fish initiative

One of the original Feed the Fish receptacles, which will be joined by 20 new ones this spring. STAR FILE PHOTO

More fish will soon be visible in Fishtown – fish-head trash can lids, that is.

Fishtown Kensington Area BID announced it was one of the recipients of Penn Treaty Special Services District’s most recent round of grants.

“The Fishtown District works tirelessly to ensure we have a clean, and safe, commercial corridor for all to enjoy,” the BID posted in the announcement.

The $11,776 grant will go toward expanding the already-existing Feed the Fish trashcan program, which features waste receptacles adorned with artistic, colorful fish heads throughout the 19125, 19122, and 19123 ZIP codes.

Originally created by Fishtown Neighbors Association in 2014 and sponsored by Johnny Brenda’s and Fishtown Co in 2017, Fishtown District will add 20 new waste cans.

New businesses and individuals to sponsor a trash can location will include Friends of Palmer Park, Fishtown District, Palmer Doggie Park, Fabrika, Earl Court Neighbors, 2424 Studios, Four Sons, NKCDC, Park Bench Dog Daycare, Rivers Casino, Michael’s Decorators, Thrive Events, Heart of Gold, Perrystead Dairy, Nina Monzo, Em Martina and Fishtown District.

Discussion between the BID, FNA and East Kensington Neighbors Association began in spring 2021 to discuss the project and identify a map of existing trash cans and solicit new businesses and individuals to expand the program on neighborhood corridors, according to Kae Anderson, BID director of operations.

The Fishtown BID applied in August for the grant, which was to be awarded by PTSSD at Rivers Casino on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

A call for artists to design the fish heads will be released in mid-November.

Artists will receive a stipend of $150 to cover material cost and compensate them for production time.

Funds from the grant will cover the manufacturing of the physical trash lids and the rest of the project will be funded by Fishtown District BID, according to Anderson.

Currently, the timeline for the installation of the new trash cans is this upcoming spring.

“Feed the Fish” is not only about keeping the neighbors clean, but fostering community.

“This public art project is designed to foster community collaboration to unlitter the neighborhood,” said Anderson in the grant application. “The goal is to bring together local artists, civic communities, and the local business community towards a common goal of reducing litter and providing necessary public trash receptacles.”

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