The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) celebrated its fourth annual Excellence in GSI Awards Thursday, May 23 recognizing the achievements of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects and partners. The Excellence in GSI Awards are the only recognition in the Greater Philadelphia region celebrating a nature-based approach to stormwater management. Winners were selected and based upon on how they have highlighted their projects’ triple bottom line implementing environmental, social and economic benefits of green infrastructure. The triple bottom line is one of the core platforms of Green City, Clean Waters—Philadelphia’s nationally renowned plan to reduce stormwater in an environmentally conscious manner.
This year’s Excellence in GSI Award category winners included:
- Public Project: SALT Design Studio, the Chester Arthur Schoolyard. SALT Design Studio, commissioned by Friends of Chester Arthur (FoCA), strategically and beautifully implemented green stormwater infrastructure in the school’s playground design, addressing sustainability while integrating STEM curriculum into the school’s physical landscape.
- Private Project: West Laurel Hill Cemetery –Private Project; Nature’s Sanctuary. West Laurel Hill Cemetery created a green burial cemetery as part of its on-going sustainability efforts by coordinating communications, reintroducing stratified vegetation and utilizing the cooling effects of evapotranspiration.
- Project Innovation: Asarum LandDesign Group; –The Kelly Green Project. Asarum LandDesign Group transformed John B. Kelly schools grounds from a vacant space to a community gathering space with an emphasis on socially engaged design and community process.
- Technological Innovation: Stroud Water Research Center; –WikiWatershed. Stroud Water Research developed the Model My Watershed web-based application to explore human activity on neighborhoods and watersheds, used as both an educational tool as well as a land-use decision tool.
The awards follow SBN’s recently released report highlighting the impact of Green City, Clean Waters—Philadelphia’s regulatory commitment to improving sewer and overflow water management. This report found that Green Stormwater Infrastructure brought lower crime and health costs along with billions of dollars in economic impact. This year’s award winners are bringing these benefits to the Greater Philadelphia Area; Sustainable Business Network is proud to work its GSI Partners who are bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to the region through effective and creative, sustainable stormwater management.
At the start of the event, SBN was proud to honor Philadelphia City Councilwoman Reynolds-Brown for her years in leadership on Philadelphia City Council as a champion for sustainability measures. During her tenure, she has been a steward of sustainability through projects such as Green Building standards and Energy Benchmarking and Reporting.
“Philadelphia is rapidly developing and transforming,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown. “It is indeed an exciting time for our City, but it is also a pivotal time to sit down and think about how we can continue to grow and expand and change without negatively affecting already underserved communities. I’m proud to honor these businesses for their commitment to green stormwater infrastructure. Together, we can ensure Philadelphia remains a leader in nature-based stormwater practices that will continue to result in a more economically resilient, environmentally sustainable, and socially just City.”
Thank you to Partner Level Sponsor ACF.