PHILADELPHIA, PA – UC Green, a community greening organization serving 19143, 19139 and 19104, is
accepting applications for free street trees through May 5th. Trees will be planted in November 2020.

WHO: UC Green

WHAT: The Fall 2020 Tree Planting Request Open Call

WHEN: through May 5th, 2020

WHERE: Online

WHY: UC Green aims to bring communities closer through volunteerism and support a healthier
environment through the planting of street trees.

About the Fall 2020 Tree Planting Request Open Call

In a time of uncertainty and concern, UC Green invites residents to plant a tree as a great way to invest in the future of our neighborhoods. UC Green is now accepting applications from our catchment area to receive free street trees in November 2020. UC Green’s services include cutting cement for tree pits
where needed, facilitating the city permitting process, procuring 4-6’ saplings, planting the trees with community volunteers, and supporting tree care and maintenance at no cost to the applicant.

These services are provided in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Tree Tenders Program.
Applications are due by May 5th, 2020 and must be completed online at: . Inquiries should be sent to

UC Green empowers volunteer environmental stewardship in West and Southwest Philadelphia. Each year, UC Green volunteers plant and tend hundreds of street trees and enhance public green spaces contributing thousands of hours in service to the community.

For more information contact:

Kiasha Huling
Phone: (215) 386-6245

Collection of recycling is reduced to every two weeks

From The Philadelphia Department of Sanitation

PHILADELPHIA – As the city continues to respond to the unprecedented pandemic known as COVID-19, the streets department has been challenged to maintain a consistent schedule for garbage collection and recycling. Effective Monday, April 6, the Philadelphia streets department introduces additional changes to its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recycling material will be collected every two weeks. Residents should store their recycling supplies during the week of Monday, April 6 through Saturday, April 11. The recycling collection will resume on Monday, April 13 with subsequent collections occurring every two weeks until at least May 15.

Garbage collection will continue as normal or as normal as possible.  Residents should expect some delays as the health crisis impacts staff attendance. There will be no garbage collection on Good Friday, April 10, in honor of the holiday.

Residents should take recycling out on the scheduled day, but only for the weeks indicated in the modified collection schedule. It will be picked up for recycling at the regular site. Residents are urged to use lids on recycling bins to prevent debris from leaking. You can pick up the lids for the recycling boxes issued by the city from the   health convenience centers . The convenience centers will remain open according to the modified schedule so that residents can dispose of items from Tuesday to Saturday between 8 in the morning until 8 in the afternoon.

Residents should continue to take out trash on the regular collection day at the regular collection site. Residents are urged to use garbage can lids and to tie the bags securely to prevent debris from escaping.

The schedule below reflects the new changes in recycling operations:

Collection Type week

April 6 – April 11 Garbage collection only

Friday, April 10 No Pickup – Good Friday Holiday

April 13 – April 17 Garbage collection and recycling

April 20 – April 24 Garbage collection only

April 27 – May 1 Garbage collection and recycling

May 4 – May 8 Garbage collection only

May 11 – May 15 Garbage collection and recycling

While on-time collection service delivery remains an essential service, residents are asked for patience and cooperation as we work to provide this service. The streets department thanks employees for their dedication and effort during these unprecedented times.

Green and Shusterman announce loan forgiveness legislation for health workers

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 – State Reps. Roni Green, D-Phila., and Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced the introduction of legislation to provide Pennsylvania health workers with student loan forgiveness. The loan forgiveness program would reward nurses and employees of personal care and assisted living facilities who have been forced on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“Through a loan forgiveness program, we can reward and support these front-line personnel working around the clock, while also encouraging more people to enter the caring professions,” Green said.

Average monthly student loan payments are $196 for nurses with an associate’s degree and $234 for those with a bachelor’s. Nurses with a master’s degree face monthly bills of $544, on average. Providing loan forgiveness for nurses would bring much needed financial relief to ensure the well-being and safety of those who work so hard to safeguard the health of Pennsylvanians.

The measure would also demonstrate that the commonwealth values and appreciates the contributions nurses and health workers make caring for the most vulnerable and working at the forefront of the difficult and growing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nurses and personal care workers rarely get the recognition they deserve for the vital work they do during normal times, making it more important than ever that we say thank you to them for being the everyday heroes we need,” Shusterman said.

The Pennsylvania Health Department continues to offer regular updates on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. For the latest on the number of cases, plus information on prevention and preparation, residents should visit


State Rep. Roni Green

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman

Kids Stuck at Home Write Stories, Theater Group Brings Them to Life Online

PHILADELPHIA – StoryUP!, the interactive children’s theater company, has launched the Stories at Home project, inviting kids stuck at home to use that time to write a story.

The company typically offers live interactive performances where children create and write their own original stories, then watch as they are performed on the spot by the professional improv troupe. In response to social distancing, StoryUP! is still looking for stories from kids – this time, to inspire short funny videos that individual team members make in their homes and post online.

StoryUP! Founder and Executive Director Martha Cooney hopes the project will create a feedback loop, where kids seeing their work brought to life by the performers – who might be using household objects as props, singing, or using puppets  – are inspired to write and create further. “Making up stories is something kids of all ages can do, and there are so many different ways to dive into it,” says Cooney. “Younger children can dictate a story and really get absorbed in the pretend play of it. Older kids might write a story and be inspired to make art to go along with it or film their own video. Coming up with stories and acting them out together is a fun activity families can do – and it doesn’t involve a screen.”

“Thank you for this wonderful idea, we had fun,” said parent Megan McAleer, whose five-year-old daughter Brenyah’s story was featured. She noted that the story-writing activity inspired them further: “Thank you for the hour of imagination play that creating this story sparked!”

Parent Jen Pope, whose son Jack wrote a story entitled The Silly Moose, shared, “He loved it! He really cracked up at his own jokes.” Another parent, Lindsay Docherty Rachlin, wrote in a Facebook post, “This made my 4 year old laugh so hard, he farted.”

Stories are welcome from children of all ages, who can use the story sheet, free write or draw a story picture with a description. All stories should be sent to for submission. Illustrations and photos of the author are welcome. StoryUP! will pick as many stories as they can to perform, and will share the results on their Facebook page @storyupphilly.

ABOUT STORY UP!  StoryUP! engages children and adults with interactive, improvised performances based on the imagined and true stories of our audience collaborators. Through performances, workshops and teacher trainings, StoryUP! professional artists and teachers inspire and motivate participants to tell, write and dramatize the stories within. StoryUP! creates a joyful, collaborative space to enhance literacy, strengthen community, and celebrate the healing power of laughter through storytelling.

Media Contact
Martha Cooney



Eastern State Penitentiary to Host Online Conversation About COVID-19 and Criminal Justice System

Philadelphia, PA (April 1, 2020) – Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site will host a special online installment of its program The Searchlight Series this month. On Tuesday, April 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00p.m., two nationally renowned experts will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated populations, correctional staff, and the criminal justice system. The conversation, facilitated by Senior Vice President, Director of Interpretation Sean Kelley, will be streamed live on Eastern State Penitentiary’s Facebook.

The quickly moving novel coronavirus has left people incarcerated in United States jails, prisons, and detention centers at severe risk. Featured speakers Andrew Cohen and Dr. Gregg Gonsalves
will discuss how the nation’s correctional systems are currently responding to this public health crisis and share their thoughts regarding what additional measures could be taken to further protect those living and working in these facilities.

For more information the public should visit

About the Speakers:

Andrew Cohen is senior editor at The Marshall Project. A former attorney, he is also a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and a former contributing editor at The Atlantic.

Dr. Gregg Gonsalves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health and an Associate Professor (Adjunct) at Yale Law School. For
close to 30 years, he has been an AIDS activist. He is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.

About The Searchlight Series:
Eastern State Penitentiary partners with nationally recognized journalists, policy experts, and educators to present an ongoing discussion series about crime, justice, and the American prison system. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No
reservations required.

About Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site:
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site interprets the legacy
of American criminal justice reform, from the nation’s
founding through to the present day, within the longabandoned cellblocks of the nation’s most historic prison.

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and
expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a
haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard
towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells held approximately 80,000 men and women during its 142 years of operation, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is open for tours seven days a week, year-round. Admission includes “The Voices of Eastern State” Audio Tour, narrated by actor Steve Buscemi; Hands-On History interactive experiences; history exhibits; and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.

In recent years, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site has been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Exhibitions award by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the nation’s highest award in exhibition development and design, for its exhibit Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration, as well as the Institutional Award for Special Achievement from the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and the Trustee Emeritus Award for Stewardship from the National Trust for Historic
Preservation. The Returning Citizens Tour Guide Project, which hires people who were formerly incarcerated to lead tours of the historic site, has won the EdCom Award for Innovation in Museum Education by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and has been featured internationally by such networks as the BBC and others.

Ellen Feist
Marketing & Communications Strategist
(215) 264-2559


13th Annual West Park Arts Fest Postponed

Based on the developments over the past couple of weeks, including updates from our city and health partners regarding COVID-19, we are officially announcing that we have agreed with our co-presenters of the West Park Arts Fest to postpone the event until next summer.  The 13th Annual West Park Arts Fest will take place Saturday, June 12, 2021 in West Fairmount Park on South Concourse Drive.

While this decision comes at a time of uncertainty our first priority is the safety and well-being of our Festival-goers and everyone who participates and contributes to making the fest such a fun, family friendly experience.

The West Park Arts Fest engages the young and seasoned in exciting, culturally diverse performances by some of the area’s best dancers, musicians, vocalists across two stages including our annual FunkFest.  Attendees enjoy art-making, and other activities, including narrated historical trolley tours though the Centennial District.  Over 70 vendors participate, including a juried Art/Craft Marketplace, food and corporate vendors providing something for everyone, making the West Park Arts Fest a must attend event.

Things continue to change regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic daily and we continue to wish everyone health and safety for themselves, their families and their communities.  As always we appreciate your support and look forward to being together again soon.


For interviews, contact:
Niesha Kennedy, Public Relations Manager


News that is from, about, and benefits our Parkside Community in West Philadelphia.