John Heinz Wildlife Refuge and Bartram’s Garden receive grants for restoration.
One of the best ways to improve mental and physical health is to increase access to green space around one’s living environment. Studies show that trees can improve air quality as well. Nature helps boost our mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Parks and green spaces are one of the most important aspects of city living. Here in Southwest, we are able to enjoy both John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, and Bartram’s Garden. John Heinz offers free activities for people of all ages including kayaking, hikes, educational lessons and more. Bartram’s Garden offers discounted prices for Southwest residents for cooking classes, gardening classes, and more.
John Heinz Refuge will be undergoing a revamping of 150 acres of Marshland. One goal of this project is to reduce the flooding in our neighborhoods. In addition, their kayak launches, fishing piers, and trails will be updated. John Heinz Refuge received $1.5 million thanks to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited. 16 acres of forest will be revamped as well. The project will begin next summer, 2022, and hopefully be finished by the fall.
Bartram’s Garden also received a grant of $250,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and $450,000 in matching funds from John Bartram Association. They will be using this money to build a 6,000 square foot ecosystem education center to complement a production-scale hatchery for freshwater mussels. Bartram’s is collaborating with Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, an organization that supplies clean drinking water, to produce up to half a million mussels each year. Mussels can filter up to 20 gallons of water a day.
It is important to have areas in a city where everyone can enjoy themselves and the outdoors. Thanks to these grants, Southwest Residents have multiple opportunities to enjoy nature. To learn more about these organizations, visit their websites.
John Heinz: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/john_heinz/
Bartram’s Garden: https://www.bartramsgarden.org/