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Environmental Award to Mayor Nutter

PHILADELPHIA, September 17, 2013

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will present the first Ruth Patrick Award for Environmental Stewardship to Mayor Michael A. Nutter in recognition of his ongoing initiatives to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America, the Academy announced today.

The award, named for pioneering Academy biologist Dr. Ruth Patrick, recognizes Nutter’s leadership and commitment to advancing Philadelphia’s progress in environmental sustainability. His administration’s initiatives include the creation of Philadelphia’s first Office of Sustainability; Greenworks Philadelphia, a six-year plan that has become a national model for comprehensive sustainability; groundbreaking planning efforts including Green City, Clean Waters, a 25-year plan to protect and enhance watersheds; and a new urban forestry initiative, among other things.

Academy President and CEO George W. Gephart, Jr. will present the award to Nutter on Monday, Oct. 7, near the conclusion of a free public program at the museum called “The City in the Forest: How Urban Nature Changes Lives and Saves the Planet.” The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation by Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for environmental and community resources, who will unveil the city’s new Parkland Forest Management Framework for managing the city’s natural resources for the next decade. Then Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, will give a talk about the benefits of nature in cities like Philadelphia. The program is free, but registration is required. To register, visit:

The Academy of Natural Sciences, the nation’s oldest natural history museum, has been at the forefront of environmental science and its applications since the 1950s, shortly after Patrick began her decades-long groundbreaking studies of the impacts of people on their environments. The institution recently ratified sustainability as a core institutional value and launched a variety of projects with a sustainability focus.

Gephart said the Academy’s environmental focus meshes with the city’s emphasis on sustainability that began in 2007 when Nutter pledged to make Philadelphia the “greenest city in America.”

“Mayor Nutter has positioned Philadelphia as a global player in the emerging green economy,” said Gephart. “His sustainability initiatives have bridged the divide between environmental and economic priorities by demonstrating the clear economic, development, and quality-of-life gains achieved through sustainability.”

The Ruth Patrick Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in September to honor a person or organization with demonstrated leadership and commitment to sustainability. Nutter is the first recipient.

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