Ivy Ridge Green was co-founded six years ago by Chris Kingsley, Annie Scott and Blaise Syrnick. Spearheaded by Destination Schuylkill River, Ivy Ridge Green’s goal is to add more green to the communities of Roxborough and Manayunk.
Though Kingsley is no longer with Ivy Ridge Green, the organization continued to grow immensely thanks to dedicated volunteers such as Marlene Schleifer, treasurer, and Tom Landsmann, one of the site stewards.
The group has about 8-10 consistent volunteers who attend every event, although certain events will see many more than that. Their most popular event, a cleanup of various walking trails throughout Roxborough and Manayunk on Martin Luther King Day, attracts many volunteers from surrounding universities.
Throughout the spring and summer, Ivy Ridge Green organizes an event called “Two on Tuesdays,” where volunteers meet every other Tuesday in a different location within the neighborhood to clean and green the area from 6-8pm. This two hour cleaning spree is then followed by dinner and drinks, displaying the social aspect of the organization.
[Before and after shots of a hill at the Upper Roxborough Preserve that they cleaned up. Photos courtesy of Tom Landsmann.]
The group often teams up with other environmental organizations from the Northwest Philadelphia area, including Friends of Upper Roxborough Reservoir Preserve, Destination Schuylkill River and PowerCorpsPHL, a subsidiary of AmeriCorps.
The groups frequently attend each other’s events and work on different sites, which optimizes the process and makes a noticeable difference in the areas cleaned up. All of these environmental organizations are actively working towards the common goal of keeping their community clean, healthy and enjoyable to live in.
– Text, images and video by Chelsey Hamilton.