Philadelphia Green Concerns

The city of Brotherly Love is the birthplace of the United States. Known for its contributions to the arts, rich education, and diverse culture, it is rapidly succumbing to neglect and mistreatment. Climate change and pollution are causing Philadelphia to become a toxic, unlivable environment, especially for the poor and underprivileged.

Global temperatures continue to rise. But local rise in temperature is caused by Urban Heat Islands throughout the city, causing excessive energy consumption and increased air pollutants, in turn causing an elevation in health issues such as asthma, particularly damaging to inner-city Philadelphia residents.  Increased temperatures harm aquatic life and toxins make water sources unsafe to use. Tied in with the rise in sea levels, those issues reveal Philadelphia’s sewage problems.

Many low-income residents suffer from food insecurity, and food deserts make finding fresh quality food extremely difficult. An increase in properly cared for green spaces, parks, community gardens and clean riverfronts, can help relieve green concerns, but Philadelphia lacks the infrastructure to make changes.


Art Sphere Inc (ASI) has contributed to reviving these natural spaces. Peace Park, Lemon Street Park, and Saint Paul Park are some of the places where ASI has cleaned up trash, replaced graffiti with mural paintings, and given purpose to potential waste by recycling. An example of this is ASI’s usage of tires as flowering pots around the parks. It is through projects like these that we encourage tackling challenges with clever and resourceful solutions.  

Our past accomplishments are only the beginning. We want to encourage neighborhood organizing, government involvement, and partner engagement. It is our goal to provide resources that inspire immediate action to address these green concerns and move towards healing the City of Philadelphia.  

Highlighted Issues

Philadelphia Organizations 

Clean Air Council – Philadelphia’s oldest environmental nonprofit, dedicated to protecting and defending everyone’s right to a healthy environment.

PennEnvironment – A statewide environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open spaces.

The Navy Yard – Philadelphia’s most successful organization to convert former military bases to commercial and residential properties, as well as many parks.

John Heinz National Wildlife Reserve – The first American urban refuge established in 1972, and a rich green space for environmental education and wildlife study.

Philadelphia Gardens & Parks 

Fairmount Park

Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Fairmount Park Horticulture  Center

100 North Horticultural Drive Philadelphia, PA 19131

Cira Green

129 S 30th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Philadelphia Zoo

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Awbury Arboretum

Awbury Rd,
Philadelphia, PA 19138

Bartram’s Garden

5400 Lindbergh Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation

50 Lapsley Ln, Merion Station, Philadelphia, PA 19066

Shofuso Japanese House & Garden

Lansdowne Dr & Horticultural Dr,
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Taking Action with Gardening

Get involved with gardening and making a difference through these handouts and lesson plans!