Being involved in your community is an important part of being a green activist. Sometimes the only one able to make positive change is you. Empower yourself and learn to be green activist below.
Lack of Green Spaces
If you have been in Philadelphia, you have most likely seen an empty lot. These spaces take up a lot of land in the city, and have grown into a big problem. They have become grounds for people to dump trash and other wastes. These empty lots are also covered in overgrown trees and bushes. In 2019, there were approximately 40,000 empty lots in Philadelphia, many of which were privately owned. A lot of the owners of these lots did not live in the city so they did not see the affect it had on the communities the lots were located in. Because of this, many residents have taken it upon themselves to work together and cleanup the lots.
Community led cleanup projects have helped turn empty lots into community gardens and green spaces. In North Philadelphia for example, a vacant lot on Silver Street &, N 13th St was turned into a community garden. What used to be a safety hazard has become a place where local residents can grow and pick freshly grown fruits and vegetables. Cleaning empty lots and making them into green spaces can bring communities together. By working to clean up the lots, build green spaces, and manage them, residents get the opportunity to better their neighborhood with each other. This creates a positive relationship within the community and inspires them to live greener lives.
Green spaces are also a great way to introduce children to green activism. Community built gardens instill the importance of togetherness and environmentalism. Turning empty lots into green spaces has also helped to keep communities safer.
A study by University of Pennsylvania showed that residents were less stressed and more active in areas with green spaces. Vandalism and violence decreased in neighborhoods with community green spaces as well. Overall, flipping lots into community gardens and green spaces helps both adults and children become more aware of the environmental issues within the city and work together to push for a change.
Build and interact with Green Spaces
As a solution, you can build community green spaces in your own neighborhood! To do that, you must get support from your neighbors.
Look around the neighborhood and find empty lots that you would like to change. After that, try reaching out to local politicians and officials to notify them of empty lots that you would like to fill.
Visit here to learn how to get permission to use land in Philadelphia for building green spaces. Get in contact with Philadelphia organizations that work on building and protecting green spaces.
Below, you can visit websites to organizations that preserve green spaces throughout Philadelphia by hosting cleanups and other events.
Friends of the Wissahickon(FOW) conserves the Wissahickon Valley Park through the use of its members and volunteers. Thanks to the support they receive, they are able to offer many activities from hiking to horseback riding.
Be Active in Your Community
Even if these steps are not possible, you can still be a part of green activism by interacting with your neighborhood. By talking with the people around you, you can learn from them and see what needs to be done. They can inspire you and vice versa to work together and make your voices heard.
Contacting city officials, and voicing your concerns is a great way to get involved within your community. To voice environmental concerns within Philadelphia, visit here to find the specific concern and whom to contact.
If there are community leaders, communicating with them is important if you want to see change. They can also get in contact with government officials and can help rally community members for community events.
These solutions can help to build a stronger sense of community and bring neighbors together to better the environment of their community.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an organization that works to create government policies to ensure the human and environmental rights of United States citizens are protected.