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Three People Leading The Green Movement In Philadelphia

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Paving the way for green living in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, these three individuals volunteer their time and share their knowledge with others in support of a more sustainable community.

Joan Reilly

Joan Reilly was awarded the Curtis Winsor Award in June of 2013 by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council in honor of her lifelong commitment and accomplishments connecting people with the environment in Philadelphia, where she serves as Senior Director of the Philadelphia Green program for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Reilly has spent the last 40 years working in the community, building a civic movement to ‘green’ Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. A founding member of City Parks Alliance, a Washington DC-based national urban park advocacy organization, Reilly also serves as the President and COO of the Mural Arts Program, using art to enliven Philadelphia’s public spaces and sense of community.

Cory Suter

Cory Suter is a scholar and sustainability advocate who volunteers with a variety of green agencies, providing leadership and sharing his knowledge and skills. As the founder of successful roofing company BioNeighbors Sustainable Homes LLC, (now Urban Ecoforms LLC), Suter was in charge of designing, installing and maintaining 30 different vegetated roofs and more than 100 cool roofs in the Philadelphia area. He sold BioNeighbors in 2011 to focus on his studies and is now a Ph.D. candidate at Temple University. In addition to his studies, Sutter works as a consult and also serves as treasurer for the Philadelphia Orchard Project, an organization with a mission to plant orchards throughout Philadelphia to grow healthy food, create green spaces and provide community food security. A Philadelphia resident determined to share his passion for fresh, local foods, Suter grew up in a Mennonite community where he enjoyed a steady supply of fresh foods from his family’s homestead. Suter also serves as a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Tree Tender, helping to share the importance of tree care and planting with communities throughout the Philadelphia area.

Bill Clark

Since 2001, Philadelphia native Bill Clark has been at the helm of the region’s largest non-profit food bank. As President and Executive Director of Philabundance, Clark and his team work to reduce hunger in the Delaware Valley, dishing up services to partnering networks and agencies to serve around 72,000 people each week throughout nine counties. Clark, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school, oversaw the integration of Philabundance and the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank in 2005. The result was that food acquisition and distribution more than doubled from 10 million to 25 million pounds. Under Clark’s leadership, Philabundance has spearheaded numerous programs such as traveling farmers’ markets and community gardens that provide residents with local access to healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables.

In Chester, a virtual food desert where there had been no local supermarket since 2001, Clark worked for seven years to provide the community with access to fresh, healthy, affordable food, resulting in America’s first nonprofit supermarket. Fare & Square grocery store, unlike most supermarkets, isn’t in the business of making a profit, but rather providing fresh and healthy foods to the community at the lowest possible prices to provide residents with a sustainable source for affordable, healthy food.

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Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.