Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 5, 2022 – Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) is launching a new relationship with Juniata Park Academy and the Juniata Park neighborhood. Following up on a day long series of presentations for Earth Day, PA IPL is holding a tree planting event this Thursday, May 5th at the Juniata Park Academy campus of the School District of Philadelphia. Together with residents of the neighborhood we are planting trees and relaunching the vegetable garden to increase the tree canopy and provide fresh air and vegetables to the community. At PA IPL we believe every day is earth day and arbor day and that we have a moral obligation to be stewards of creation and to mitigate the effects of climate change. All of Philadelphia’s residents deserve clean air, access to fresh food, and a safe environment.
The Juniata Park neighborhood, and several surrounding it in North Philadelphia, compose the city’s largest heat sink, an area where urban density, building materials, and a lack of green space or tree canopy result in extreme heat far greater than surrounding neighborhoods and other sections of the city. This is a result of historical inequities based upon redlining and subsequent lack of investments. The significant heat difference results in the increased use of air conditioning, higher electrical use, and higher bills in a region with many lower income households. In addition to the numerous health impacts of heat, summer heat has also been shown to relate to higher crime rates while the absence of sufficient green space contributes to water runoff and flooding, a constant and increasing threat to our region during severe weather events and hurricanes exacerbated by climate change.
As climate change continues to cause more extreme summer temperatures heat related emergencies and deaths will become more common if measures are not taken to mitigate their effect on the community. Previously PA IPL worked together with Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability, Esperanza, and other partners in the Hunting Park neighborhood on the Beat the Heat Project. This project focused on community listening sessions and the establishment of community cooling stations and kits.
Together with the community we are taking steps to mitigate the effects of extreme heat and climate change built into the inequities of our society. Together we hope to expand these efforts beyond the campus to serve the entire community because climate can’t wait for frontline communities like Juniata Park which are being most immediately, significantly, and directly affected by climate today.
Location: Juniata Park Academy: 801 E Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124 Dates: May 5th 3:00 – 4:30PM Our website www.paipl.us and social media
A month has now passed since election day, though many of us are still watching anxiously to see how the remaining of the year plays out.
Instead of looking back, let us look to the future! What are the next steps for climate progress and climate justice?
With the end of the legislative session we wanted to give an opportunity for you to reflect and converse about all that has happened and what is to come. On December 29th, PA IPL Executive Director, David Heayn-Menendez will lead an online climate progress conversation open to all. We have invited state and national partners to come discuss what the next year holds in store and how we will continue to advance the causes of climate progress and justice. We invite you to come participate in a lively and open discussion.
Keep an eye out for a registration email next week for the event. Don’t forget to follow us on social media (Facebookand Instagram) and to spread the word to your congregation and community.
Until then, please enjoy this recorded post-election session hosted by IPL National last month with IPL President Rev. Susan Hendershot and IPL Federal Policy Associate Jonathan Lacock-Nislyat. Several more pre-recorded videos will be distributed throughout December ranging from policy to Drawdown.
Gathering with friends and family (chosen or otherwise) is so important. Thanksgiving is an extraordinary day: a day in which we pause together, welcome one another and offer thanks together.
Some of us will find ourselves seated with people with whom we rarely agree. If your Uncle Hal is someone who believes that a good argument is essential to complete digestion, you’re just stuck.
On the other hand, if you’re simply sitting at a table with people with sometimes-oppositional worldviews, you don’t have to set yourself up for conflict, and you can talk about what matters to you.
Instead of leading with climate change, lead instead with your motivation. Why have you stepped into this work? Reach to a more personal place than the dual call that all our faiths share to care for the most vulnerable people and for the earth and all that it holds. Have particular experiences in the natural world filled you with wonder and awe? Healing? Peace? Joy? Share those. Invite others around the table to do the same, or to reflect on what has opened the door to those feelings.