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USciences Honored by UCD for Green City Works Project

By Brian Kirschner

rain garden

University of the Sciences is a proud recipient of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative’s (WPSI) Vision Procurement Partner Award presented at the WPSI fifth anniversary celebration on Oct. 5, 2016.

Director of Facilities Dan Severino accepted the award for his efforts in engaging WPSI’s Green City Works, a nonprofit, full-service landscaping business that employs formerly unemployed West Philadelphians.

rain gardenThrough the partnership, Green City Works installed a rain garden near the loop road entrance at 45th Street and Woodland Ave. In addition to utilizing local talent from the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative program, the rain garden improves storm water management, is supported by the USciences Sustainability Council, and complements the University’s master plan theme to “Activate Woodland.”

“I was proud to accept the award on behalf of the University, and I think it’s a great step forward in supporting our commitment to improve the surrounding community together, both in bricks and sticks projects as well as providing meaningful work for many individuals in the area,” said Severino.

University City District President Matt Bergheiser, who presented the award, recounted his meeting with Severino to discuss potential projects: “(Dan’s) mind instantly turned to what we could do to help him and what he could do to help us. And that led to some small projects and to a really big one—the installation of a rain garden on Woodland Ave. Thank you Dan for taking a chance on us and for this great partnership we have built together.”

rain gardenThe West Philadelphia Skills Initiative was created by the University City District in 2010 to connect West Philadelphia employers seeking talent to West Philadelphians seeking opportunity. Through employer engagement, it provides recruitment, training, and placement. Last year, WPSI launched Green City Works.

“I’m very proud of this accomplishment and recognition,” said USciences President Dr. Paul Katz. “I think the partnership with Green City Works and by extension the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative provides opportunities for those living in West Philadelphia and that is such a core part of our responsibility to the community,” “

In addition to the rain garden, Green City Works also has a maintenance agreement with the University to service parts of Clark Park that USciences is responsible for maintaining.

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