Written by Gene Burke
As The Common Place (TCP) continues to serve the children of Southwest Philadelphia, an important collaborative partnership has formed with John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Starting this school year, their Environmental Education team provided after-school programming that deepens our children’s connection to nature. This programming was built in collaboration with Huan Baum, the Program Director, to ensure it fit our needs, with rangers coming to TCP and children visiting the Refuge. The trips to the Refuge, which provide our participants with impactful experiences with nature, have been a highlight for all.
In addition, the Refuge has also been incredible community partners here in Kingsessing in support of our food justice goals. It has served as an important connector between TCP and other community stakeholders such as the Empowered Community Development Corporation, Cecil Street neighbors, and the current United States Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland. We’re currently partnering with the Refuge on a project to transform a vacant lot into a community garden project on the 1900 block of Cecil Street as well as add some beauty to the green spaces around TCP with pollinator plants for people, insects, and birds.
We look forward to deepening our relationship with John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to provide a sense of community, pride, and cohesiveness to a resilient collection of neighborhoods in Southwest Philadelphia. We are proud to be your partners!
Gene Burke is the Director of Operations at The Common Place. For more information, call 267-275-8238 or visit www.tcpphilly.org.