West Philadelphia Landscape Project
Since 1987, the West Philadelphia Landscape Project (WPLP) has worked in the Mill Creek watershed and neighborhood. Our mission is to restore nature and rebuild community through strategic design, planning, and education projects. Through our experience in Mill Creek, we seek to demonstrate how to create human settlements that are healthier, economical to build and maintain, more resilient, more beautiful, and more just. A key proposal of the West Philadelphia Landscape Project is to manage the Mill Creek watershed as part of a broad approach to improving regional water quality and as a strategy to secure funds to rebuild the neighborhood. We employ landscape literacy as a cornerstone of community development. In recent years, the focus has been on preventing displacement of low-income homeowners from gentrification. During the several decades, hundreds of students, teachers, residents, and public officials have been part of WPLP. WPLP has worked with numerous partners, including the Philadelphia Water Department, Monumental Baptist Church, Penn’s Center for Community Partnerships, Aspen Farms Community Garden, Sulzberger Middle School, the Mill Creek Coalition, the Philadelphia Urban Resources Partnership, and Philadelphia Green. WPLP is led by Anne Whiston Spirn, professor of landscape architecture and planning at MIT, founded WPLP in 1987 when she was at the University of Pennsylvania.