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    Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: #FuturePHL

    This nominee is propelling Philadelphia’s future in sustainability.

    In August, Philadelphia’s SustainPHL Awards will highlight and celebrate these community changemakers. Join us to celebrate them and announce the recipient at the SustainPHL Awards on August 16 at WHYY!


    • Tiara Clark
    • Diamond Park
    • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
    • Patrick Morgan


    Tiara Clark is wrapping up a two-year term with AmeriCorps, where she has focused on community restoration and sustainability. She began her term on a crew with PowerCorpsPHL, a local AmeriCorps division that encourages young people to become environmental stewards and leaders. She is also finishing a year-long fellowship with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation as Recycling Ambassador.

    Her work has included collaborating with the staff of over 40 recreation centers to establish recycling programs. Giving new meaning to the term “hands-on,” she has done everything from placing and securing bins, to drilling drainage holes, to riding on the recycling truck, all to ensure smooth recycling and collection.

    Clark’s data collection has allowed for targeted interventions that she herself has performed, leading to a 10% increase of waste diversion rates and a 15% decrease in contamination rates across the system in just one year.  


    Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s latest housing development, Diamond Park, wasn’t just made to be affordable: the 21 units are specifically designed to be energy efficient. In fact, they’re operating 20% more efficiently than Energy Star guidelines.

    Diamond Park is part of a recent initiative to prioritize tight building envelopes and indoor air quality, as a way to save energy costs to homeowners. By creating clear air, HFHP also hopes to be more accessible to residents with asthma.  

    For Diamond Park, location is key. Situated in Lower North Central Philadelphia, the development is meant to help revitalize a community facing a 45% poverty rate, struggling business, vacant properties, and rapid gentrification.


    Philly’s public transportation system, SEPTA, formalized its sustainability program in 2011 and has been breaking green ground ever since. Thanks largely to the efforts of Corporate Initiatives Manager Rebecca Collins, SEPTA has:

    • Worked to improve recycling and waste minimization efforts at passenger stations and at SEPTA shops and depots
    • Published the first ever SEPTA Cycle-Transit Plan, which focuses on how to better integrate bicycles and transit
    • Integrated green stormwater management into construction projects
    • Began facilitating SEPTA’s first ever renewable energy power purchase agreement
    • Started planning to transition SEPTA’s bus fleet from hybrid-electric to battery electric buses

    And it’s paid off. Since 2006, SEPTA has reduced its gross GHG emissions by more than 19%. In 2016, it prevented more than 2,700,000,000 lbs of CO2-e through mode shift, congestion relief and supporting dense, compact land use.

    SEPTA also recently joined 2030 District — a public/private partnership that combines the efforts of utilities and energy service companies, community organizations, and property owners to substantially reduce building energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 2030.


    Patrick Morgan is the Philadelphia Program Director for the Knight Foundation, a national foundation looking to strengthen our democracy by supporting informed and engaged communities.

    For Morgan, that means exploring the power of public spaces. Previously, he worked as Mike DiBerardinis’ Chief of Staff when DiBerardini was the Deputy Mayor for Environmental & Community Resources and Parks & Recreation Commissioner. During that time, he helped to increase the urban tree canopy, promote an equitable food system, create new public parks and play spaces. According to Morgan, all these efforts have also served to advance workforce development, digital literacy, and community engagement.

    In 2015, the Knight Foundation kicked off its Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative, a national initiative that has helped local leaders transform five Philly spots into neighborhood public spaces.

    Join us at SustainPHL on August 16th to find out who will become the 2018 #FuturePHL recipient

    If you love what we do, you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution:

    Brianna Baker

    About Brianna Baker

    Brianna is a senior journalism major Temple University. While studying abroad in Fall 2017, she interned at WHERE Rome magazine, and has also worked for Baltimore STYLE, QWERTY Philly, and student publications like Templar, The Temple News and 14th Street. In addition to writing, she loves re-watching her favorite sitcoms, going to concerts, and doing yoga (when she’s not feeling too lazy).

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