From its beginning in 1815 as the nation's first major urban water supply system to its role today as an environmental education and outreach center, the Fund for the Water Works (FWW) has been an innovator in clean water and environmental health. FWW advances Philadelphia's pioneering initiatives as a global leader in urban water management and sustainable practices, while educating community members about Philadelphia's urban watershed—its past, present, and future. In collaboration with local partners, FWW works to instill an appreciation for the connections between daily life and the natural environment. In 2015, the organization received Center support to create an interpretive, multimedia installation combining science, history, and design for the creation of a 530-square-foot living freshwater mussel enclave. In 2019, FWW received a Center Project grant to present Pool: A Social History of Segregation, featuring an interactive exhibition sited in a former public pool and a new play by Pew Fellow James Ijames examining the history and present-day implications of segregated swimming pools in America.
Fund for the Water Works will tell the story of the Schuylkill River's rich habitat through a new interpretive, multi-media installation that combines science, history, and design in the creation of a site-specific, 530-square-foot living freshwater mussels enclave. The project will inspire visitors to discover and connect with the Schuylkill's rich habitat, while developing an appreciation for the importance of environmental protection. A team of scientists, architects, exhibit designers, educators, and academic partners will construct a living laboratory with direct access to the river that will highlight the critical role mussels play in restoring and maintaining the water quality of the stream and its surrounding environment. In addition to the on-site mussel hatchery, the project will also include a mobile mussel nursery that will be taken to schools around the region.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*