On Thursday, April 27, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) hosted the 7th Annual Excellence in GSI Awards at the Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River Waterfront.
The ceremony included just shy of 100 of the region’s industry leaders and partners, decision-makers, and stakeholders. SBN’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners honored exemplary projects and the people behind them that bring the environmental, social, and economic benefits of green stormwater infrastructure to life in Philadelphia and the region. Awards were given to Public Projects, Private Projects, and Innovation categories. A GSI Champion Award was given to an individual or organization that has worked tirelessly to advance our region’s green stormwater infrastructure industry.
Remark Glass created this year’s awards, which were made from leftover furnace glass from the BOK Bar in the BOK Building. The awards were acid etched with a design by Pixel Parlor, making for a beautiful addition to the ceremony.
Alex Cupo, SBN’s GSI Partners Manager, opened the program by applauding the region’s partners and leaders and their commitment to advancing GSI in the region.
“Over the past 2 plus years that I have been in this role, I’ve seen the success and impact of this industry first-hand, and met so many of the incredible folks in this room tonight. This is now my 3rd Excellence in GSI Awards, and it has been so exciting to see the projects submitted and innovations developed that propel the industry forward year after year.”– Alex Cupo, GSI Partners Manager for the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN)
Devi Ramkissoon, Executive Director for the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia shared the insights she’s gained from her time as Executive Director over the past year, and the future she sees for the GSI industry in the Greater Philadelphia region.
“With the wonderful momentum we have built, now is the perfect time to continue to advance the role of GSI within an integrated systems approach to water. Because we at SBN recognize that, no matter who we are, where we live, or what we do, water connects all of us. We embrace the belief that water in all its forms – local waterways, drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater— has inherent value.”– Devi Ramkissoon, Executive Director for the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN)
Carlos Claussell Velez, EIT I MArch, Manager for Climate & Environmental Justice for the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), gave a speech calling on the GSI industry to build on a local community of practice to adopt climate resilience and community building strategies used in his home country of Puerto Rico, and offered opportunities for implementing such practices in Philadelphia to achieve its Green City, Clean Water goals and beyond.
Nancy Goldenberg, President & CEO of Laurel Hill, a Platinum sponsor of this year’s Awards shared details of the Cemetery & Conservatory’s sustainable history and accomplishments, and introduced this year’s GSI Champion, which was awarded to Julie Slavet, Executive Director of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF).
“I can think of nothing more critical than building profitable businesses while addressing the social, economic and environmental needs of our community.”– Nancy Goldenberg, President & CEO of Laurel Hill
The ceremony concluded with closing remarks by Kate Farquhar, RLA Landscape Designer with Jacobs, who reflected on her decade in the landscape architecture and design field of the green stormwater infrastructure, and the accomplishments of the many firms that she has worked with that were recognized that evening.
“We are workers who have demonstrated the commitment and capacity required to sustain the work we know lies ahead, and like the green and essential workers alongside us we need to be recognized for our successful legacy and our role to play in holding down the future.”– Kate Farquhar, RLA Landscape Designer with Jacobs
Winners of the 7th Annual Excellence in GSI Awards
Public Projects: 53rd St & Baltimore Ave Complete & Green Streets
- Client: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia Department of Streets
- Planning/Design Team: Hazen and Sawyer, KS Engineers, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia Department of Streets
- Watershed: Cobbs Creek Watershed
- Construction/Maintenance: Hazen and Sawyer, Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia Department of Streets, Ramos & Associates, Urban Engineers, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT)
- Location: S. 53rd St. and Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143
Private Projects: Jenkintown Creek Restoration
- Client: Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great
- Planning/Design Team: Mertz Engineering, AD Marble Design, Cerulean LLC
- Watershed: Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed
- Construction/Maintenance: ThinkGreen, LLC, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Temple University
- Location: 710 Fox Chase Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046
Innovation: OLIN & Bottle Underground
- Primary: OLIN
- Client: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
- Partners: Bottle Underground, Circular Philadelphia, Engineering & Land Planning
GSI Champion Recipient: Julie Slavet, Executive Director of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership
To view the event’s program booklet, please click the below button!
See below photos from the event! All photos were captured by Jamie Marrero Photography.