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In August 2020, after a period of ongoing negotiation, Allen Drew and two other Hunting Park Pastors (Matt Lin of One Hope Community Church and Andy Kim of 8th Street Community Church) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with local installer Solar States to create a partnership for a solarize initiative in Hunting Park.

The agreement fixes a rate of savings per kW size of solar system installed through the initiative and guarantees free monthly educational sessions for local residents who are interested in learning about the trade of solar installation.

The savings will be used in two ways. For Hunting Park residents who install rooftop solar through the program, the savings will be deducted directly from their cost of installation. Low income residents installing solar will almost inevitably be doing it through a financing option. The savings through the initiative will reduce their monthly payment, but their monthly energy costs until the solar is paid off will still be more than what they were originally paying on electricity. We hope to combine the initiative-based savings with education and resources on low cost and free ways to increase home energy efficiency to cover the monthly gap. If we can combine energy efficiency guidance with initiative savings to create a net result where low income homeowners are paying the same or less than what they were originally paying for electricity, this will open doors for the Hunting Park community to benefit from the energy independence and long term wealth generation of solar.

The second way that the savings will be used is through the participation of middle and upper income communities in the initiative. We will be focused particularly on inviting the communities of faith where we are building climate teams. When members of these communities install rooftop solar through the program, their savings will go to a Hunting Park climate justice fund. The fund will be overseen by a collection of neighborhood leaders that Allen is building right now and will be used to hire local labor to do cooling, greening, and energy efficiency work for low income residents for free.

The official start date for the initiative is November 1, 2020.

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CWP just signed on to a partnership with the City of Philadelphia's TreePhilly program. TreePhilly is working to build the urban forest canopy through the city by providing free yard trees to residents who sign up. They work together with local partners to get the word out to residents and this fall, CWP has become one of those partners.

Our commitment is to get 25 Hunting Park residents signed up for free trees by November 9. Residents will have a broad range of tree species to choose from, including a number of flowering and fruiting trees. A big part of our role will be to help educate people about the many benefits of trees - they provide shade, cool and filter the air, provide beauty, increase property values, provide habitat and food for local species, and improve mental health. For many urban residents, however, there is skepticism about trees because the wrong species have been planted in the past and have torn up sidewalks and broken into sewer pipes. The tree species being offered through TreePhilly are carefully selected to have root systems that are non-aggressive and shallower than the sewer lines as well as growing patterns that are far less likely to upend sidewalks. This first partnership is simple and small. Our hope is to eventually integrate it into our ongoing solar initiative so that as we are talking about the benefits and options with solar, we can also get people connected with free trees.

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