PHS TO LEAD THREE-YEAR PROJECT TO BRING ATTENTION
TO TREE CANOPY COVERAGE IN PHILADELPHIA
PHILADELPHIA, PA – October 26, 2020 – The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) announced that it is the recipient of a project grant of almost $480,000, 20% of which is designated as general operating support, from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) to lead sTREEt Work. This socially-engaged, participatory arts project is designed to explore the wonder and value of trees and the urban forest, with a strong focus on understanding barriers to increasing tree canopy coverage in low canopy Philadelphia neighborhoods. The community-driven and creatively-inspired project will culminate in a public art installation at Awbury Arboretum in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The installation will be complemented by a series of public events that will raise awareness of how trees can benefit urban communities, by combating the effects of climate change and improving air quality in communities experiencing environmental inequities. The sTREEt Work installation is scheduled to be available to visitors in Spring 2023.
Increasing Philadelphia’s urban forest is an urgent concern, especially for those living in Philadelphia’s most underserved communities, where the temperatures on summer days can be well over 10 degrees hotter than in higher income neighborhoods. PHS will work with curator Marina McDougall and art and design collective Futurefarmers to develop tree tours, hands-on workshops, and film screenings that spark conversations around barriers to trees, the need for more equitable canopy cover across neighborhoods, and ultimately to motivate public participation in tree planting throughout Philadelphia. Awbury Arboretum in East Germantown will serve as the site for sculptural work and as a main hub for the project, with additional community gathering sites located throughout the city.
“The Pew Center’s grant for sTREEt Work provides a meaningful path for PHS to better engage broad and varied audiences throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, to connect horticulture to their daily lives, to bring attention to our existing tree planting and maintenance work, and to increase volunteer efforts to mitigate the extremely critical status of the tree canopy within our area,” said Matt Rader, PHS President. “This project allows us to bring together a unique combination of art, education, horticulture, and beauty, resulting in the ability to advance the health and well-being for thousands of people in and around Philadelphia.”
The Center’s project grants are awarded to cultural institutions in amounts up to $400,000 (plus 20% in additional unrestricted general operating support). The sTREEt Work project is a three-year effort to build awareness around horticulture, the urban forest, and environmental inequities, providing new ways to engage communities through art and culture, urban ecology and design.
About The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life, and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders. Learn more about the Center’s grants at www.pewcenterarts.org/2020grants.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization founded in 1827, plays an essential role in the vitality of the Philadelphia region by creating healthier living environments, increasing access to fresh food, growing economic opportunity, and building deeper social connections between people. PHS delivers this impact through comprehensive greening and engagement initiatives in more than 250 neighborhoods; an expansive network of public gardens and landscapes; year-round learning experiences; and the nation’s signature gardening event, the Philadelphia Flower Show. PHS provides everyone with opportunities to garden for the greater good as a participant, member, donor, or volunteer. For information and to support this work, please visit PHSonline.org.