Young Involved Philadelphia is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a 12-year-old organization that strives to get young people in the city involved in such vital causes as the economy, education and sustainability.
The group has initiated part of its third annual State of Young Philadelphia (SOYP) event series in Fishtown and parts of Kensington this year.
This year’s sustainability track will bring a large tour group through the neighborhoods this Saturday, Oct. 6, for a walking tour highlighting local green buildings, community gardens and urban farms.
You might be surprised at how many there are.
“The sustainability movement isn’t limited to a few major institutions in Center City,” said Rusy Flesher, YIP board member and area resident. “This is a great opportunity for people to connect to a new neighborhood, or get more passionate and involved in a hyper-local way if they already live here.”
The tour begins at 1 p.m. at the 2000 block of Frankford Ave. The tour will end around 4 p.m. with a party at Memphis Taproom at 2331 E. Cumberland St.
Jason Wolfson, YIP board member and programming director, said SOYP began Sept. 27 with various events throughout the city which focused on each of the three causes. The entire event series will culminate Oct. 13.
Last year’s walking tour took place in Center City and the Rittenhouse Square area.
“There’s amazing things on the sustainability front,” Wolfson said. “The people moving into the neighborhood are younger. They are more passionate about making sure there are more sustainable projects.”
YIP and SOYP events are geared toured young people in the 25- to 35-year-old range, but Wolfson said the group is initiating outreach to college students as well.
Josh Warner, YIP committee member and leader of SOYP’s sustainability track, said there will be a short presentation at each location to describe its unique components and sustainable attributes.
Stops on the tour are: external and internal tours of green houses built by Postgreen Homes, including a tour of the Avant Garage project at 401-411 Memphis St.; Norris Square Neighborhood Project’s “Las Parcelas” neighborhood garden; Emerald Street Urban Farm at Dauphin and Emerald streets, and several row homes restored using reused and reclaimed materials.
Warner said SOYP coordinators reached out to community groups like NKCDC, EKNA and the Norris Square Neighborhood Project to plan the stops on the tour.
“Most of these projects are somewhat new in nature and they are either tucked away physically or most young folks in Philadelphia don’t travel to the residential parts of other neighborhoods,” Warner said.
The goal, he added, is to highlight the sustainable projects in the Fishtown and Kensington areas and bring about an understanding of the places.
Warner explained that SOYP hopes that the tour will encourage participants to get involved in the sustainability efforts in the area in various ways.
They could, he said, reach out to area community groups, volunteer their time or donate to the projects.
Most important, he said, is getting people out to the areas.
“If you don’t understand a place, you’re not going to go visit a place,” he said. “If you’re going out to a pizza place or a bar on Frankford Ave., know that there are some cool gardens not three blocks from there.”
The tour is free, but participants should register at:
More event details can be found at: www.stateofyoungphilly.com/schedule.
Star Managing Editor Mikala Jamison can be reached at 215-354-3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.