Neighborhood Initiatives at Penn

Learn about how you can get involved with the groups working to continue to improve the West Philadelphia community.

UC Green West Philadelphia



UC Green is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 at the University of Pennsylvania that is now supported by a consortium of local institutions and funders. The mission of UC Green is to promote, coordinate, and support volunteer community greening in University City, West, and Southwest Philadelphia neighborhoods. Through partnerships, UC Green builds community, endorses sustainable practices, and champions environmental stewardship.

UC Green has:

  • Engaged 4,000 volunteers in over 12,000 hours of community greening.
  • Planted 2,000 trees (increasing property values by $13.5 million*).
  • Developed weekly summer Pruning Club in 2004 and hand-pruned 40 city blocks.
  • Recycled 9,000 sq. ft. concrete for new tree pits and to reduce storm water runoff.
  • Developed UC Green Corps summer youth employment program in 2006, and increased capacity to care for 300 young trees to 500 per week in 2007.
  • Created new garden in Cedar Park and at Lea School; re-landscaped two traffic triangles; established demonstration storm water garden.
  • Held 34 garden workdays for public green spaces and coordinated custom corporate volunteer projects.            
Neighborhood Lighting Initiative


Several new lighting initiatives are following on the success of UC Brite in making neighborhoods more active, safe, and desirable for dense urban development. In the summer of 2009, UCD installed 71 new pedestrian lights on Baltimore Avenue from 45th to 50th Streets and the University launched a Neighborhood Lighting Initiative that will partner with local landlords to install new pedestrian lights between Walnut and Spruce and 40th and 43rd Streets.

West Philadelphia


Beginning in the Fall of 2009, the Office of Penn Home Ownership Services, in collaboration with the Energy Coordinating Agency, will offer a new use for the Enhanced Forgivable Loan Program – energy efficiency home retrofits. In addition to the $7,500 forgivable loan available through PHOS’s Enhanced Forgivable Loan Program, a number of state and federal grants and rebates are available to homeowners pursuing energy efficiency home retrofits. This initiative demonstrates the University’s commitment to promoting sustainability by encouraging homeowners and buyers to reduce their carbon footprint.