Introducing Nature in the City

By Anna Lehr Mueser, Public Relations Manager

When I stepped outside yesterday the morning air was chilly and damp, the sky overcast.  A bus rumbled by me and pulled up to the corner, as I walked by I heard the announcer call out the stop and route number, and listened to my shoes make soft thumping sounds on the pavement.  All around me stood buildings, some only a few stories tall, others much larger.  Everywhere I looked, I saw concrete, glass, steel, and plastic.  But there is more here, in the city, in Philadelphia.

When I look closer, I see moss growing on the side of an old building.  Elsewhere, the leafless forms of city trees draw delicate, graceful lines across a narrow street.  Last spring I found a beautiful, pale blue robin’s egg, cracked open and discarded after the chick hatched, lying on the asphalt alongside Spruce Street, a reminder that humans are not the only things living here.  Nature is here too, in the city.

Today, 80% of Americans live in cities, and as climate change continues, we can expect to see this trend continue and expand globally; we’re headed for a very urban world.  People need nature, we need it in undeveloped mountain ranges, in parks and nature centers, in the city.  This makes it even more important to see and value the natural world that we find in the places where we live.  This idea can mean a lot of different things, perhaps it’s about urban land trusts, or about community gardens, maybe it’s about nature centers and making nature accessible.

This year we’ll be exploring what nature in the city means, to the Schuylkill Center, to our community, to Philadelphia.  Stay with us and keep your eyes open for more on nature in the city throughout the year.