Grid Alive at The Oval


Next week, Grid is putting on a special free Grid Alive, as part of The Oval's Farm Festival. 

The event at 7 p.m. April 17 at The Oval is part of a three-day FREE farm-themed festival and is presented by Grid Alive, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. The Oval's Farm Fest will feature Victory Brewing Company, other food trucks and live bluegrass music.

Grid Alive is Philadelphia’s only live sustainability talk show, hosted by Grid publisher Alex Mulcahy and Head & The Hand founder Nic Esposito. Come meet and be inspired by the leaders of Philadelphia's sustainability movement. There will be fascinating conversation with guests including:

  • Mary Seton Corboy, urban farming pioneer of Greensgrow Farms
  • Ben Wenk,  seventh generation family farmer at Three Springs Fruit Farm
  • Lena Kim of the EPA, Sage Piszek of Eden Green Energy, and program director Cut Zahara, who are a part of Feed the Barrel, an innovative cooking oil recycling program in South Philadelphia

Need a ride? Head over to the Farm Festival hassle-free. The Oval partnered with Uber to offer all new users a free ride, up to $20, using the promotional code FARMFESTIVAL14. Visit to get started. 

It will be a great evening and we hope to see you there. Stop by and say hi!



Repurposed Raiment: Sardine Clothing Company Opens New Store in Roxborough

At Sardine Clothing Company in Roxborough, a shiny ivory sewing machine sits in a studio, surrounded by spools of thread in myriad colors. This is where owner Maryanne Petrus Gilbert or her employees hand-craft garments to sell in the adjoining retail space.

Here, colorful duds cast aside by their previous owners find new life in the form of upcycled skirts, T-shirts and accessories. Petrus Gilbert says that nearly all of the fabrics used to make the shop’s signature pieces come either from thrift stores or are donated. The result is fashion with both a heart and a conscience.

Petrus Gilbert regularly combs thrift stores seeking colorful fabrics (primarily T-shirts bearing unique patterns, cashmeres and cottons) to use. “Other than the zippers, thread and elastic, all of this is recycled,” she says, gesturing to her inventory. “Everything has been pre-loved, pre-shrunk, and already done any harm to the environment [prior to its arrival at Sardine].”

A jeweler by trade before opening her business, Petrus Gilbert likens creating her one-of-a-kind garments to soldering with fabric. Floral and faunal appliqués are merged with graphic prints bearing band names and solid color blocks—no two pieces are alike. 

Designing clothing made from recycled materials began as a hobby and eventually blossomed into a thriving business. In 2008, Petrus Gilbert began selling her wares at craft shows and on Etsy and branched out from there. On Small Business Saturday of 2013 (November 30th), she opened the doors to her 1,000-foot store nestled six blocks from Manayunk’s Main Street. Along with upcycled fashions, Sardine also sells repurposed jewelry, organic lotions and gift items hand-crafted by local artists artists—many of Petrus Gilbert met through local craft fairs.

For more information, visit

Story and photos by Gina Marie Lazar

Land Bank Law Passed by Council

Vacant land in South Philadelphia | Image via planphilly.comPhiladelphia City Council unanimously passed a bill to establish a public land bank at their final meeting before the holiday recess, held Dec. 12 at City Hall. As stated in a press release from the Philadelphia Land Bank Alliance by bill sponsor Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez, “This Land Bank will finally give Philadelphia the tools we need to reclaim our neighborhoods from blight, abandonment, and tax delinquency, and to get properties back into productive reuse.”

The bill, proposed in March of this year by Sánchez, underwent significant changes in the last few weeks at the prompting of Council President Darrell Clarke. Clarke initially pledged support for Sánchez’s version of the bill, but expressed concerns over the lack of Council oversight to the purchasing and disbursement processes, much to the surprise and dismay to land bank champions. The Council President proposed several significant amendments to the bill after it was voted out of committee and after the period of public testimony had concluded in late October.

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Video Shows Why the Rail Park is Important

This amazing new video by Good Motion Project for the Friends of the Rail Park fundraiser features a host of Philadelphia luminaries and plenty of cogent, passionate and smart arguments for why we should transform Philadelphia’s abandoned rail viaducts into a Rail Park. This project would create a beautiful, 55-block long green way, through the heart of the city, uninterrupted by a single cross street. They are raising money for the project now, and once you see this video, you will want to support it. 

Summer Editorial Internships Available at Grid

Grid has openings for editorial interns this summer, beginning in May. We are looking for current students or recent graduates with a background in environmental or sustainability issues, strong writing skills and an interest in contributing to Grid's mission and learning more about it. The positions are unpaid, with the option of receiving school credit.

Duties will include:

  • Helping with editorial process, including blog posts
  • Social media 
  • Planning and assisting at Grid events
  • Database research for local green businesses
  • Fact-checking
  • Proofreading

If you are interested in applying, please send your resume and letter of interest to

Rail Park Fundraiser at Union Transfer

This Wednesday, December 4, an evening-long fundraiser in support of Phase One of the Rail Park will be held at Union Transfer. Join Friends of the Rail Park for an extraordinary evening of entertainment filled with opportunities to learn more about the project. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with a cocktail party and fashion show hosted by WXPN's Michaela Majoun. The reception will present a fashion show curated by Melissa D'Agostino featuring Arcadia, Commonwealth Proper, NINObrand by Bela Shehu and Bus Stop. Enjoy performances by Lux Arati (where fire meets belly dancing) and New Sound Brass (a miracle of 2 street). Catering is being donated by 13th Street Kitchens (Prohibition Tap Room, Café Lift and Bufad). If that is not enough entertainment for one evening, there is more to come.
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November Grid Alive!

Hosted by Grid publisher Alex Mulcahy and Nic Esposito founder of The Head & The Hand publishers, November's Grid Alive featured a wide range of topics, from construction waste to home energy efficiency. As doors opened at 6 p.m., guests were treated to a snack spread by Rolling Barrel Events and table exhibitions that included event sponsor Clean Currents, as well as Solar States, Bennet Compost, Energy Coordinating Agency and University of Pennsylvania's Masters of Environmental Science.
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Smart House hosts a Smart Affair, at a Smart Price for Grid Readers

The event will take place at Drexel’s Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, home of the largest living biowall on the continent.On Nov. 22, the dynamic Drexel Smart House (DSH) hosts The Smart Affair, an evening of fundraising for the award-winning student-led experiment in sustainable urban living innovations, and Grid readers get in for half price.

The evening will begin with a presentation of the seven-year-old DSH’s most recent progress, keeping past financial supporters up to speed on new projects and informing potential donors of the ever-widening scope of future interdisciplinary research. Current and former Smart House presidents and co-directors — as well as a representative of the house’s former occupants (the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity) — will speak about the past, present, and future of smart initiatives implemented on the property.

More than just a fundraising event, “the Smart Affair aims to connect students with like-minded community members and industry professionals,” says Farrah Goldsmith, a Drexel senior and student co-host for the evening. Following the information session, students and other guests can network while enjoying a three-hour cocktail reception. Drexel a cappella groups will provide entertainment, and a photo booth sponsored by LinkedIn lets guests “capture the evening.” Proceeds from a raffle will benefit the DSH. The event will be hosted in Drexel’s Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, a LEED Gold certified building boasting the largest living biowall (75 feet) on the continent.

The DSH has also graciously offered a 50 percent discount on tickets to Grid readers. Enter the promo code "GRID" on the event’s ticketing page to purchase a general admission ticket for $23.34 or a student ticket for $9.05. No paper tickets will be issued in accordance with DSH’s goal of creating an overall sustainable event. Cocktail attire is requested.

The Smart Affair presented by Drexel University, Fri., Nov. 22, 6 – 9 p.m., Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, 33rd & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104. For more information about the DSH and the Smart Affair, visit


Danielle Wayda is an editorial intern at Grid and a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College.

Get Great Grid Gifts at the Next Grid Alive!

Grid Alive! is coming, Thursday, November 14! And in addition to snacks, beer and ice cream -- and fascinating interviews -- you can also jump-start your holiday shopping with a selection of great Grid gifts, including our new Grid gift bag, which includes: a limited edition Grid tote from fabric horse, a Grid T-shirt of your choice, and copies of Judy Wicks' memoir Good Morning Beautiful Business and Drift, the acclaimed GMO thriller from Grid editor in chief Jon McGoran (who will be on hand to sign and personalize books). Visit the Grid store for more information, to order great Grid gifts or to register for Grid Alive

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Tea & Toddies por la Tarde: Benefit Event for Huertos de Salud

Tertulias Herb GardenThis Friday, Tiny Terra Ferma, a landscape design studio and garden supply shop in Manayunk, will host an evening of Latin American food, live music, medicinal teas and hot toddies made with herbs from Tertulias Herb Garden, as well as an educational talk on Latino gardening traditions to enact health and healing in North Philadelphia.
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Renowned Climate Change, Water Expert to Speak at Water Works - Special Deal for Grid Readers

Dr. Peter GleickAs part of its 10th anniversary celebration, the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center is hosting world-renowned water and climate change expert Dr. Peter Gleick on October 25 for a talk on “Global Water Challenges and Solutions.” Admission for the lecture is $55, but there is a special reduced rate for Grid readers of just $10. Click HERE to register.

A MacArthur Fellow who has been  called “one of 15 people the next President should listen to” by Wired Magazine, Gleick is the author of nine books, including the seminal series “The World’s Water.”  His most recent book “Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water” tackles the detrimental impact of bottled water on the environment.

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Groundbreaking Celebration for Folsom Powerhouse

Rendering of Folsom Powerhouse Philadelphia’s Francisville neighborhood is about to get greener, with the groundbreaking on Wednesday, October 23 of Folsom Powerhouse, an innovative mixed-use development project incorporating the latest in modern design, sustainable construction and urban planning (covered in Grid). Neighbors, potential homebuyers, and fans of sustainability and great design are invited to attend the event, which will be hosted by Postgreen Homes and Equinox Management & Construction LLC. Attendees will be encouraged to participate an interactive installation: "The Greenway," inspired by the world famous “Before I Die” walls.

Speakers will include:

Jonathan Weiss - Equinox MC
Brian Abernathy - Director, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
Brian Phillips - Interface Studio Architects
Jenny Sabin – Sabin Studios
Alex Dews - Mayor's Office of Sustainability
Penelope Giles - Executive Director of Francisville NDC
Chad Ludeman - Postgreen Homes

Following the speeches, the celebration will continue at the Urban Saloon at 2120 Fairmount Ave., with food, drinks, and conversation with key project participants. Follow developments at the project at and across social media under the hash tag #folsompowerhouse.

PHS Branches Out with New Tree Tenders Training Course

PHS trains hundreds of residents each year to select, plant and care for trees in their neighborhoods.This October, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) will offer a nine hour course to empower and teach local citizens to care for Philadelphia’s urban forest. As part of a larger campaign to reinvigorate the local tree population, this course will put more eyes and hands on the ground in order to initiate and foster the growth of both new and old trees in the region.

The Tree Tenders training course, offered on 3 consecutive Wednesday evenings, offers practical tools and hands on training covering a variety of arborist skills, including tree planting, identification, and root care. The course also has a focus in community organizing, with benefits for neighborhoods who form a Tree Tenders group with 3 or more participants in the course.

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The Politics of Seed Saving in the Age of GMOs

image courtesy of Mural ArtsWhat could be political about seed saving? At a time when the overwhelming majority of the American food supply contains foods that have been genetically modified and are protected by patents, when farmers are subject to aggressive litigation for saving those seeds, intentionally or not, the answer is plenty. On Thursday, September 26, a panel discussion hosted by Mural Arts of Philadelphia will explore
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Sustainability Gets Creative at UPenn

Members of PennSustains' planning committee (from left): Kate Miller, Kim Cohen, Shivali Khetan, Tyler Fini, Bianca Datta, Julia Cohen, Nicole Woon and Judy ZengPennSustains, a new sustainability competition at the University of Pennsylvania, will launch this fall, with the goal of inspiring and supporting creative projects to make UPenn, and the city of Philadelphia, a more sustainable place to live.
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Editorial Internship Available at Grid

Grid still has an opening for an editorial intern this fall. Grid is looking for individuals with a background in environmental or sustainability issues, strong writing skills and an interest in contributing to Grid's mission and learning more about it. Internships are typically a semester or year-long, but can be flexible. The positions are unpaid, with the option to receive school credit.

Duties will include:

  • Helping with editorial process, including blog posts
  • social media and website
  • Planning and assisting at Grid events
  • Database research for local green businesses
  • Fact checking
  • Proofreading

If you are interested in applying, please send your resume and letter of interest to

Enjoy the Schuylkill Soiree - with a special deal for Grid readers!

This Saturday, the Friends of Schuylkill Banks will host their annual end of summer fundraiser, Schuylkill Soiree, by the Walnut Street Bridge, featuring games, live music, food trucks and drinks. The beautiful Schuylkill Banks trail and greenway are a great public space for runners, bikers, walkers and loungers. This event will be raising money to help support and maintain these invaluable spaces while enjoying them for an evening before things get too chilly. Relax on the banks and enjoy the refreshments to really close out summer with a bang.
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Sip, Savor and Stroll in Mt. Airy

On Thursday, Sept. 19, Mt. Airy, USA will host “Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll,”  featuring over 40 local food trucks or restaurants. Stroll Germantown Ave. from Sedgwick Street to West Mt. Airy Avenue from 6 – 10:30 p.m. The event hopes to build on the success of Mt. Airy’s last two Night Markets, which attracted more than 11,000 visitors, says Elizabeth Moselle, of Mt. Airy, USA, a neighborhood community development corporation.
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