National wildlife federation

climate challenge: human responses

grant award: $250,000; Year awarded: 2018

This project aims to create a network of fifty climate-resilient pollinator meadows using vacant lots in the Mantua and Strawberry Mansion neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The meadows will have intra-patch connectivity and will connect to Fairmount Park, which consists of 9,200 acres of protected land. In addition to enhancing climate-resilience for pollinators, these sites will increase stormwater retention and reduce the urban heat island effect through increased transpiration. In a 2018 study, Strawberry Mansion was ranked as the fourth most vulnerable neighborhood in Philadelphia according to the heat vulnerability index. Another study found there is significant overlap between neighborhoods most threatened by extreme heat and the concentration of vacant lots, further emphasizing the need for green space in these areas and thus informing the site selection strategy for this work. The strong partnership between the City of Philadelphia and a conservation nonprofit executing a wildlife adaptation initiative, makes this project particularly unique.