Stories from the Banks

9/23/2015 10:24am
site admin

Riverboat Tours - See Philadelphia from a new perspective on a Schuylkill Banks Riverboat Tour! Join a fun and fact-filled Secrets of the Schuylkill tour or explore the river and shore on a Boat to Bartram's Garden. Riverboat tours run through October 29:

Secrets of the Schuylkill Tours

  • Saturday, October 10 (5:30 and 7:00 pm)
  • Thursday, October 15 (5:30 pm)
  • Saturday, October 24 (5:30 and 7:00 pm)
  • Thursday, October 29 (5:30 pm) - last Secrets tour of the season

Boat to Bartram's Garden Tours

  • Sunday, October 4 (noon and 2:00 pm)
  • Sunday, October 18 (noon and 2:00 pm) - last Bartram's tour of the season

Kayak Tours - Explore the Hidden River on a professionally guided kayak tour! Hidden River Outfitters agreed to add one more date to the schedule - October 10. So there's still time to take a 5:45 pm basic paddle to the Fairmount Water Works or an 8:00 pm romantic moonlight paddle. An instructional session and equipment rental is included with each tour. Tickets are almost sold out, so call 215-222-6030 x100 soon if you are interested in signing up.

9/21/2015 2:12pm
site admin

As the Schuylkill Banks trail and greenway runs adjacent to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the site of the papal events on Saturday, 9/26 and Sunday, 9/27, the trail will be partially closed to all users.

Trail Closure
Schuylkill Banks will remain open from South Street to Chestnut Street. The Chestnut Street Ramp will be the northernmost exit from the Banks. The trail will be closed to all users from Chestnut Street to Brewery Hill Drive (just north of Girard Avenue) beginning on Thursday, September 24 at 10pm and ending Monday, September 28. We are waiting for confirmation of approximate re-opening times, and will share more detailed information here if and when it becomes available.

A map of bicycle closures and access points is available here.

Restroom Closure
The composting restroom on the trail south of Walnut Street will be closed for maintenance on Saturday, 9/26 and Sunday, 9/27, reopening on Monday, 9/28. Restrooms will be open in Markward Playground in Schuylkill River Park and ample port-o-potties will be available in various nearby locations.

Post-Pope Clean-up
SRDC will be hosting a post-Pope-weekend cleanup to pick up litter on the trail on Tuesday, 9/29 beginning at 1pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please meet us on the trail under the Walnut Street Bridge; no RSVP required. SRDC will provide gloves and trash bags. We hope to see you there!

Trails to Explore this Weekend
This weekend is a great time to explore trails that will be unaffected by closures, including the Schuylkill Banks Grays Ferry Crescent, areas of the Schuylkill River Trail north of East Falls, and other trails in the Circuit regional trail network.

Thank you for your understanding!

9/18/2015 12:35pm
site admin

The 11th Annual Philly Fun Fishing Fest, held on Schuylkill Banks on Saturday, September 12, was a blast, thanks to Philadelphia Water, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, PA Fish and Boat Commission, over 112 participants and many wonderful volunteers! Seasoned anglers and first-timers came together to catch a total of 235 fish, which were recorded and released back into the Schuylkill.

Click here to read more and see photos from the Fishing Fest. 

9/17/2015 10:59am
site admin

We have received a number of emails regarding the problem of sexual harrassment on the Schuylkill River Trail. We certainly agree that harrassment is a huge problem that must be addressed citywide. However, SRDC is a small non-profit, not a law enforcement agency, and we have neither the authority nor the capability to apprehend the assailants.

While we would of course like to know when these incidents happen, we suggest that people first contact the police, by calling 911 at the scene of the crime and giving a detailed description (appearance, clothing, description of bikes, which way they went). A call from the victim or a direct witness as the incident is happening gives police the best chance of catching the assailant.

SRDC has contacted the 9th District and they have increased police presence on the trail. However, they stress that a 911 call ASAP is the proper response to enable apprehension. Additionally, we should all be on the lookout for problems and assist those in need as possible.

Click here to learn more about which intersections to use when relaying and describing information to 911 dispatchers or for email address you can use to reach out to the police. Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe on Schuylkill Banks.

8/9/2015 8:06pm
site admin

INVISIBLE RIVER 2015 is a community river arts festival taking place on Saturday, August 29th from 2-8pm in East Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River. It features a drum line processional down to the river, boat rentals on the Schuylkill, interactive art about the Schuylkill, food vendors and a beer garden! The grand finale is a performance on water - 22 stand up paddle board dancers encircling the Strawberry Mansion Bridge while aerialists descend from above it!

Paid and free boat rentals are available. To reserve a boat, and find out more information, please visit #invisibleriver2015

8/9/2015 3:00pm
site admin

Rich Siller joined our volunteer team in April, and has since helped out with everything from the Science Festival to the Schuylkill Shindig, from cleanups to movie nights. Rich and his wife moved last year from New Jersey to 24th and Chestnut, and use Schuylkill Banks regularly to walk, bike and relax. “When I was a student at Penn 40 years ago,” says Rich, “I never dreamed that I would eventually live in Center City next to the Schuylkill River.” Now, the trail serves as their backyard.

Rich enjoys giving back along the trail and seeing it enjoyed by others. His flexibility and willingness to jump in wherever needed have made him a great asset to the team. Whether stringing lights for the Shindig, manning the snack table at movie night or beautifying the trail during a cleanup, we can always count on Rich to give 100 percent. Schuylkill Banks is a green “backyard” for many Philadelphians, and it’s thanks to volunteers like Rich that we’re able to keep this amenity at its best! Thanks, Rich! 

8/5/2015 1:14pm
site admin

Do you enjoy walking, running, biking or relaxing on Schuylkill Banks? Have you spent the evening watching a free movie on the Banks or explored the Schuylkill on a riverboat or kayk tour? Do you appreciate escaping to a clean, green riverfront in the heart of Philadelphia? Would you like to become a bigger part of the Schuylkill Banks success story?

SRDC depends on donations from trail heroes like you to support daily operations, including graffiti removal, picking up trash, and maintaining trail landscaping. As the weather has gotten warmer, SRDC's Maintenance Team has had to devote increasingly more time and resources to graffiti removal on the Banks. Last year, we spent more than $140,000 to keep the Center City and Grays Ferry Crescent segments of Schuylkill Banks clean and safe; $16,1616 was spent on graffiti removal alone. SRDC is responsible for raising these funds, and these costs will continue to grow in the future as the trail expands.

Whether you are able to donate $20 (enough to buy two roller and pan sets) or $100 (enough to buy five gallons of anti-graffiti paint), every donation to SRDC makes a big impact!

Many thanks to the supporters who make our work possible!

7/24/2015 12:26pm
site admin

America has spoken, and the Schuylkill River Trail is officially the Best Urban Trail in the country! The SRT came out on top in the USA Today 10 Best contest, ahead of some impressive competitors including the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail in Columbia, Maryland, the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Lakefront Trail in Chicago.

Thanks for voting and spreading the word to push the SRT into the #1 spot!

7/23/2015 2:32pm
site admin

Riverboat Tours - See Philadelphia from a new perspective on a Schuylkill Banks Riverboat Tour! Join a fun and fact-filled Secrets of the Schuylkill tour or explore the river and shore on a Boat to Bartram's Garden. Riverboat tours run through October 29.

August Secrets of the Schuylkill Tours (5:30 and 7:00 pm)

  • Saturday, August 1
  • Thursday, August 6
  • Saturday, August 16
  • Thursday, August 20
  • Saturday, August 29

August Boat to Bartram's Garden Tours (noon and 2:00 pm)

  • Sunday, August 9
  • Sunday, August 23 

Kayak Tours - Explore the Hidden River on a professionally guided kayak tour! Tour offerings include a basic paddle to the Fairmount Water Works and a romantic moonlight paddle. An instructional session and equipment rental is included with each tour. Kayak tours run through September 20. The next month's schedule is below:

August Kayak Tours

  • Saturday, August 1 - 5:45 Basic Tour & 8:00 Moonlight Tour
  • Thursday, August 6 - 6:45 Basic Tour
  • Saturday, August 15 - Noon and 2:00 Basic Tour
  • Sunday, August 23 - Noon and 2:00 Basic Tour

Movie Series - Join us for 5 more nights of free movies, presented by CSX transportation. Movies are scheduled through August 27 - though the season may be extended for rain dates.

Upcoming Films:

  • "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" on July 30 at Paine's Park 
  • "Tangled" on August 6 at Walnut Street 
  • "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" on August 13 at Grays Ferry Crescent
  • "Guardians of the Glaxy" on August 20 at Walnut Street 
  • "Safety Not Guaranteed" on August 27 at Walnut Street (rescheduled from July 9)
7/17/2015 12:51pm
site admin

Emily McCully has long taken advantage of everything the Banks has to offer. She uses the trail for 5K training and free yoga classes, and brings out-of-town guests on riverboat tours. “Since I don't have any outdoor space at my apartment, I think of the trail as a giant backyard, and love that it has become a popular spot for people to picnic, read, or just relax in the sun,” she says.

Emily started volunteering on Schuylkill Banks in April during our first Earth Day cleanup. Since then, Emily has become an invaluable member of the volunteer team, helping with riverboat tours, kayak tours and other events. If there’s ever any down time during an event, Emily takes it upon herself to pick up trash along the trail. “I find it rewarding to contribute to the efforts to share the trail and the banks with others and pay it forward,” she says. “It is just plain fun: an opportunity to be out in the sun and on the river, taking advantage of a beautiful part of the city.”

Emily’s upbeat attitude and willingness to go above and beyond during every shift have made a big difference on the trail this season. She says she loves “being part of something that is such an asset to the neighborhood and to the city.” Thank you, Emily, for being such an asset to Schuylkill Banks and all who use it!