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A Real Tweet Spruce Hill neighborhood welcomes local birds

Think winter is a bleak time for enjoying the Philadelphia outdoors? West Philly bird watchers in the Spruce Hill neighborhood would disagree. Residents, who are rehabbing a patch of urban forest as a bird sanctuary, have seen Carolina and Black-capped Chickadees, House Sparrows, Northern Cardinals, House Finches, and Whitebreasted Nuthatches. The Spruce Hill Community Association purchased the lot in 1981, and last spring received a $3,000 Sustainable Community Initiatives–West Community Grant from the University City District. With this help, the community removed hazardous trees and invasive plants, and developed a master plan with paths, sitting areas and native plantings. They’ve even written a short field guide on common year-round birds available through the community association for $5. “It’s so much better than it was,” says Anne Froehling, a community board member who helps run the project. “[But it’s] a work in progress. We’ve gone from bad to ok. We’re working on going from ok to great.” Interested in contributing? The community association gratefully accepts bird food, plants and donations. —Liz Pacheco The Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary is at Spruce and Locust, 45th and Melville Streets. Learn more at

Spotted at Spruce Hill...

White-breasted Nuthatch


bird call

Nasal yaank, yaank, fast wahwahwah wahwah color

Gray blue on back, white breast, black cap behavio r

Creeps along trunks and branches, turns upside down on vertical branches excerpted from the “birds of spruce hill field guide.” photo by christian hunold

“The principle of sustainability is reshaping the way we think about the world, encouraging us to improve the way we design, build and live in the 21st century” — Rob Fleming, Program Director

Become proficient in Green Building Materials, Energy Efficiency, Construction Systems and Sustainable Design

Co m m u n it y Che s t Master the great outdoors Interested in sharing your passion for the great outdoors? The Master Naturalist program is a great place to start. This state program is part of a national initiative designed to connect people with their local ecosystems. Here in Philadelphia, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education is hosting the year-long natural science training and volunteer work. Application deadline is February 17. To join the Master Naturalist program, visit or contact program coordinator Jennifer Everhart (, 610.724.6443).

photo by christian hu n o ld

Canine casting call Calling all canines in Northern Liberties and Queen Village! The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is looking for two pooches to promote dog waste pick-up practices in their Best Friend Spokesdog Competition. Dog may be man’s best friend, but dog waste is no friend to the environment. During rainstorms and snow melts, dog waste is washed into the water system via storm drains, causing bacteria, parasites and algae to collect in local waterways. A winner from Northern Liberties and Queen Village will be chosen. Deadline is February 15. For more information, visit

Friends of the Wissahickon ask: How are we doing? Help improve visitor experiences to the Wissahickon Valley by taking the online My Park Counts survey. Part of a larger in-depth study, the survey, created by Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW), will be used to obtain future funding and enhance programming and outreach efforts. Filling out the survey enters you into a drawing to win a popular gadget, but if you’re lucky, you’ll win one of the 10 FOW memberships they’re giving away. Survey ends February 28, visit

VISIT mar c h 20 12

gri d p hilly. c o m


Grid Magazine March 2012 [#035]  
Grid Magazine March 2012 [#035]  

Toward a Sustainable Philadelphia