Philadelphia’s history fills the pages of textbooks across the world. William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and the Liberty Bell fill the indexes. But these texts do little to educate people on and preserve the physical history of Philadelphia, specifically its buildings.
Enter the nonprofit Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Its volunteer team of tour guides leads architectural walking tours past downtown Philadelphia’s landmarks, buildings, and cityscapes, and its staff coordinates an array of events each month, which have previously included graveyard tours, concerts, and archaeological digs. Proceeds from these activities, along with various grants, are then used to preserve the Philadelphia region’s historical buildings, subsequently preserving its historical communities and the story of the city's influential past.
Roughly 85% of New Year's resolutions never make it past the hypothetical phase, according to an unfinished study that was abandoned in early February. So this year, take care of your resolution before the New Year with today's deal: $39 for a 30-day trial membership to Boston Sports Clubs (a $225 value). Your membership is valid at any of the 25 locations in Boston, Greater Boston, and Rhode Island. Each club offers different amenities such as pools, saunas, basketball courts (also great for turtle races), juice bars, and babysitting services so explore your options before heading out. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Plants and flames should usually be kept apart, but when John Bartram settled on a 102-acre plot of land in 1728, he was lit with a "Botanick fire" that inspired him to create a comprehensive catalogue of local plant life. Bartram's Garden carries on his enthusiasm for making a “compleat Discovery of the Native Growth in America," collecting an array of native plants, including the oldest Ginkgo biloba in North America and the Franklinia alatamaha, which John discovered in Georgia and saved from extinction. Bartram's Garden has been a site of historic significance since 3,000 B.C., when Native Americans left behind numerous artifacts, including flakes from stone tools and fire-cracked rock. After Bartram settled on the land, it became a meeting place with his friends, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, with whom he founded the American Philosophical Society and the country's first beach-volleyball league. As King George III's royal botanist, Bartram was charged with shipping crates of precious seeds back to Britain. He helped color Britain’s gardens with new magnolias, rhododendrons, and sugar maples, none of which had been seen outside of America, and published the first nursery catalog in the United States in 1783. Today, the garden stretches more than 45 acres of parkland, wildlife habitats, tidal wetlands, and a reclaimed meadow. Visitors can wander the grounds and gaze at Bartram's austere stone cottage, or look around at the same trees and plants that Bartram discovered centuries ago. Past the manicured nursery and orchard, a recently completed mile-long trail extends to the Schuylkill riverfront and east coast greenway.
Clean Air Council was founded on the premise that each individual deserves the right to breathe clean air, and the nonpartisan organization aims to protect that right through public education, government oversight, and community advocacy. Now with 8,000 members, the Council educates the public at its indoor air-quality resource center and has expanded its focus to include environmental impacts on children’s health, recycling, climate change, and other energy issues. The Council also hosts the annual 5K Run for Clean Air—the Philadelphia area’s largest Earth Day event and a certified green run—which serves as a community effort to decrease air pollution and support programs that reduce waste.
Fashionable styles and foam-free suds coalesce during the second annual Brews and Bowties event, which pours the proceeds from its net ticket sales into the coffers of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. During three full hours of high-end sips and schmoozing, attendees transfix palates with specialty beers delivered from some of the region's finest craft breweries, including Triumph and Old Dominion. Hors d'oeuvres offset smooth guzzles, and live music encourages attendees to do the box step, foxtrot, and mountain goat kick outside the confinement of day-to-day denim wear. In and among the festivities, partygoers learn the finessing art of tying a bow tie from one of Henry A. Davidsen’s master tailors, who ensure each neck knot is snug, both sides are even, and self-destruct switches are in the "off" position.
For more than a decade, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has helped ensure local families have enough nutritious food by connecting people with food assistance programs, supporting food pantries, and educating the public about solutions to hunger. In order to help provide local families with fresh nutritious food, the nonprofit hopes to build an urban community garden in a neglected lot in North Philadelphia's Francisville neighborhood. The goal of the garden is to provide a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables to local food pantries and soup kitchens, supporting their efforts to feed local children and protect families at risk for hunger. With funding for raised garden beds, seeds, equipment, and planting and distribution expenses, the Coalition Against Hunger can establish this community garden and help hunger-relief programs improve the nutritional quality of the meals they distribute.