Caring for the Earth and our Community in Juniata Park

Climate Can’t Wait

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
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Now Available: Video of Main Line IPL Chapter’s March 28th Program!

Native Plant/Plant Native Program with Courtenay Willcox

For our March 28th program, Courtenay Willcox explains the roll out of the Native Plant/Plant Native program on the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church campus and in the surrounding community. Tagging native plants on the BMPC campus and using the Homegrown National Park (HNP) model, BMPC’s Environmental Justice Committee is promoting the idea that planting native plants is something everyone can do right now at home and on faith community campuses. This grassroots call-to-action can have a significant impact on regenerating bio-diversity. Courtenay will explain the importance of native plants and the insects that love them, as well as sharing Homegrown National Park’s resources, including native plant lists, registering your native species acreage on a national map, and getting your congregations on board for this important initiative.


Courtenay Willcox is Moderator of the Environmental Justice Committee at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and one of the conveners for Main Line PA IPL. She has been advocating for creation care for more than 30 years, most recently earned a Master of Divinity with a certificate in Ecology and Theology. She enjoys preaching on creation care and drawing strong connections between loving neighbor and caring for our natural world.


Email us or sign up here if you would like to join Main Line IPL!

Gardeners, Go Native!

Main Line IPL Monthly Chapter Meeting – October 2021

October 25, 7:00 PM – 8:45 PM

For our October 25th program Leslie Bass, a Penn State Montgomery County Master Gardener Volunteer, will offer tips and advice to gardeners.

Now is a terrific time to plant your native perennials! Leslie will speak about why native plants are so important to the environment, and offer practical advice on purchasing native plants, as well as what to look for. There will be time for Q and A.

The Main Line chapter of PA IPL meets each month on fourth Monday evenings, 7:00-8:45 via Zoom.  We email a link to people on the Tuesday prior — often with a bit of special program description.  We hope you will join us!

To make sure you get the links, reach out to conveners Courtenay Willcox and Chuck Marshall by emailing them at — and be sure to add to your contacts!