Nicole Chandler-Harper, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Volunteer, Wins Regional Cox Conserves Heroes Award

Your Vote Secures $50,000 for Pennsylvania Neighborhood Parks through the National Cox Conserves Heroes Award Winner  

PHILADEPHIA (October 1, 2020) – Nicole Chandler-Harper, a Philadelphia native, was chosen as one of four Cox Conserves Heroes regional award winners for her extensive clean up and beautification work in her Overbrook neighborhood in Philadelphia. Chandler-Harper chose Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful as her nonprofit of choice to receive the $10,000 award and is competing with three other regional winners for the grand prize of $50,000. The public will choose the winner of the $50,000 Grand Prize. Vote October 1 through October 15 at

If received, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will develop a grant program to create and maintain green spaces and support park improvements including tree plantings, playground equipment and water features.

Cox Conserves Heroes is an awards program created by Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land (TPL). The program honors environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities. The goal is to inspire and encourage individuals who are making a positive impact on the planet through volunteerism and honor them with financial support to their nonprofit of choice.

Fifteen years ago, Chandler-Harper embarked on a journey to transform the overgrown lot that was prone to littering, across the street from her home. Cleaning up and beautifying the 117-acre parcel of Morris Park became her crusade.

“I really just wanted some beautification across from my home,” recalls Chandler-Harper.

It wasn’t long before Chandler-Harper adopted a section of Morris Park through the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Adoption Program and named it Royal Gardens.

Today, Royal Gardens is a lush, meditative retreat within the larger park, filled with flowerbeds, various types of mature trees and a vegetable garden. It is maintained by the Royal Gardens Association led by Chandler-Harper. Through Chandler-Harper and the Park Friends Group, Royal Gardens has made impressive strides. Along with the obvious aesthetic improvements to the area, there has been significant improvements to the local watershed as a result of their attention to and investment in stormwater management, which benefits the larger community and surrounding ecosystems.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to Nicole for her partnership and local leadership and congratulates her for receiving this prestigious recognition, said Shannon Reiter, president of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “I commend Nicole for her efforts, many achievements and countless contributions. She is an example of how one person can truly make a difference in the community. We are so excited and humbled to be a part of her story,”   Please vote for Nicole and support our work in neighborhood parks across Pennsylvania.”

Each regional winner will be profiled on the Cox Conserves Heroes website with a video and will have the opportunity to share their unique story. The public will view the videos and then vote for the nominee they feel is most deserving of the $50,000 grand prize. Visit to cast your vote between October 1 – 15.

Cox Conserves Heroes is part of Cox Enterprises’ national Cox Conserves sustainability program.


About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s vision is a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has worked with hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the state to pick up nearly 147 million pounds of trash from Pennsylvania’s roadways, waterways, greenways, vacant lots, forestlands and other community spaces. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s core programming focuses on litter and illegal dump prevention, cleanup, community greening, and proper waste handling and sustainable practices.  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works with many partnering organizations on the state and grassroots level to accomplish our goal of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania.  Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit

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