PhillyClout Salutes Skip Wiener, Advocate For Urban Open Space

PhillyClout would like to salute Skip Wiener, founder and executive director of The Urban Tree Connection, who cares so much about open space in the city that he made a stand while suffering an apparent heart attack in City Council's chambers yesterday afternoon.  Wiener's main concern once he was revived in Council?  Making sure his written testimony as an applicant for the new Commission on Parks and Recreation was entered into the record.

Wiener is one of the nearly 200 applicants for nine seats on the new commission, which will advise the department that grew out of a merger of the Department of Recreation and the Fairmount Park Commission.  He collapsed in Council's chamber before his chance to testify in a hearing.  Councilman Frank DiCicco and a police officer rushed to help.  "He didn't look too good there for a few minutes," said DiCicco.  Wiener was pale but revived and immediately started asking for his testimony to be admitted. "This guy is really concerned about the parks system," DiCicco said. "He's laying there. He looks like he's half dead."

Misako Scott, the office manager at The Urban Tree Connection, said Wiener had a heart attack. Doctors at Hahnemann University Hospital found a blockage in one of the arteries of Wiener's heart and were preparing to use a catheter to clear it, she added.  Scott didn't sound at all surprised that Wiener was adamant about his testimony.  The Urban Tree Connection gets children involved in cleaning up vacant lots in their neighborhoods and then teaches them about the environment, gardening and farming.