Stories from the Banks

11/18/2014 4:34pm
site admin

There are more ways than ever to spread joy while supporting your favorite trail and greenway this holiday season!

Schuylkill Banks Gear: Customize your favorite products with great Schuylkill Banks designs; choose from apparel, pet accessories, mugs, totes and much more. Enjoy beautiful scenes of the Banks all year round with our new 2015 Calendars, or spread the cheer with Schuylkill Banks holiday greeting cards. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a special person or pet in your life, there are plenty of ways to represent the Banks in style.

Softball Tees: Snag a limited edition Schuylkill Banks Softball Tee (pictured here), available in men's, women's and children's sizes. These can't be found in our online store! Call Lucy at 215-222-6030 x100 or visit our office to purchase your shirt today.

Riverboat and Kayak Tour Gift Certificates: Winter is just about here, but summer will arrive before we know it. Schuylkill Banks gift certificates make a great gift now and allow the recipient to enjoy a kayak or riverboat tour in the summer or fall. Call 215-222-6030 x100 for more information about Schuylkill Banks gift certificates.

Bench Plaques: Honor someone special, commemorate an occasion, or establish a memorial this holiday season with our Schuylkill Banks Adopt-a-Bench program. Learn more about sponsoring a bench on the greenway.

Donations: Looking for a purely philanthropic gift? Make a donation to SRDC on behalf of the giftee! Learn more about donating here. (Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.)
Thanks for giving the gift of Schuylkill Banks!

11/18/2014 2:05pm
site admin

The weather has gone from balmy to frigid, our programming season has come to a close, and we can't help but reflect on all of the growth that the trail experienced this year.

This Thanksgiving, we are especially grateful that the Boardwalk is open and bustling with activity. After years of planning, designing, fundraising, and building this unique amenity, it's gratifying to receive so much positive feedback about the newest Schuylkill Banks trail segment. We’re also thankful that the Center City and Grays Ferry Crescent trail segments continue to be an important part of so many people's lives. And we are thrilled to have seen so many of you at trail events and cleanups in 2014.

It's hard to imagine that just over a decade ago, the Schuylkill riverfront was an inaccessible wasteland. Many people were instrumental in the creation of the Banks, and many more continue to have a defining role on this transformational public space.

Thanks to all of our partners, donors, and volunteers who provide vision, advocacy, funds, and labor to consistently expand and improve Schuylkill Banks. Our thanks also goes out to everyone who creates a vibrant environment along the river by using the park and trail and joining us for movie nights, riverboat and kayak tours, and special events.

Thank you all for helping to make Schuylkill Banks everything that it is today and for sticking with us as we continue to connect the trail to Bartram's Garden and extend it to Fort Mifflin!

11/18/2014 10:44am
site admin

Liana has been a Schuylkill Banks Volunteer since June 2013. A Penn Engineering grad student living in Graduate Hospital, Liana uses the trail for picnicking, jogging and commuting. She says that as a volunteer, she’s felt more connection to the city through the park. Liana has helped with everything from riverboat and kayak tours, to movie nights, to special events. On busy summer days, it’s always nice to know that we can count on Liana to take charge!

Liana has gone above and beyond by getting others involved, too. In June, she organized a group of Penn Engineering students to help with post-flood cleanup. She also brought a group of hardworking Penn students to the LOVE Your Park Cleanup last Saturday, playing a big role in the event’s success.

Thanks for your hard work and positivity over the past year and a half, Liana! Schuylkill Banks is a better place because of you.

11/18/2014 9:57am
site admin

More than 30 volunteers, including a group from Penn Engineering, gathered on the Center City trail on November 15 to participate in LOVE Your Park Day, a citywide fall cleanup and planting event. It was a cold morning, but volunteers warmed up quickly as they worked with SRDC staff to bag leaves, pick up trash, plant trees and mulch. By noon, the all-star group had collected 10 bags of trash and 7 bags of leaves, planted seven trees and mulched every freestanding tree on the greenway.  

SRDC was thrilled with everyone’s hard work, dedication and positive attitude. We extend our deepest thanks to everyone who came out to volunteer as part of the LOVE Your Park Cleanup. There’s always a lot of maintenance work to do as we head into winter, and your efforts make all the difference!

10/21/2014 10:34am
site admin

October was a busy month on the Banks, with riverboat tours, several cleanup events, and the grand opening of the Boardwalk. Throughout the month, SRDC staff depended on many wonderful volunteers to make these events possible. Our MVP this month is Tom Roach.

A regular trail user, Tom had often seen SRDC’s maintenance team removing trash and graffiti and was eager to lend a hand. During October, he became an invaluable member of the team, helping to pick up trash and beautify the trail on a daily basis. His willingness to jump in and take on these less than glamorous tasks has been invaluable, and is very much appreciated.

Tom also played a big part in the success of the Boardwalk opening celebration on October 5th, helping to set up snacks and entertainment for hundreds of trail users, and staying to clean up at the end of the event. Tom’s laid back, positive attitude and solid work ethic has made him a great addition to the team.

Thanks for getting involved and making Schuylkill Banks a better place for everyone, Tom!

10/20/2014 2:08pm
site admin

There is still time to see the new Boardwalk and beautiful fall foliage from the river on Schuylkill Banks Riverboat Tours, presented by SCA Americas! Discover the Hidden River on a Secrets of the Schuylkill tour, or take a Boat to Bartram's Garden to explore John Bartram's historic house and garden. 

There are only four tour dates left this season: Saturday, October 25; Sunday, October 26; Thursday, October 30; and Saturday, November 1

To learn more about these tours and to purchase tickets, click here. Our riverboat tours often sell out, so we encourage everyone to buy their tickets early.

10/7/2014 8:18am
site admin

The Boardwalk is officially open! To celebrate this momentous occasion, SRDC partnered with the City on a series of festivities spread over three days, including a fun run (Oct. 1), formal ribbon cutting and dedication (Oct. 2) and community celebration (Oct. 5).

SRDC is elated to have the Boardwalk open and so favorably received by the public and by media across the region. This project has been nearly a decade in the making, and it is so great to see people out there enjoying it.

Click here to learn more about the Boardwalk opening festivities and to see photos from all three events.

10/4/2014 1:01pm
site admin

SRDC was thrilled to work with the Schuylkill River Greenway Association (SRGA) on special programming to celebrate the Schuylkill River being named River of the Year for 2014 by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the PA Organization of Watersheds and Rivers. In addition to SRDC and SRGA's regular programming, fans of the Schuylkill were treated to a special bike ride and lecture series.

Pedaling through our National Parks highlighted several historic sites along our Revolutionary River. Participants met on September 20 to ride from the Hopewell Furnace Historic Site, to the SRGA Headquarters, through Valley Forge National Historic Park, down the Schuylkill River Trail to Schuylkill Banks for a lunchtime talk about the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail, and across town to Independence Historic Park. 

The River of the Year lecture series ended with two keynote presentations by Beth Kephart, author of several books including "Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River." During the October 16 presentation at the Trinity Urban Life Center in Philadelphia, Kephart captivated the audience with a special presentation of "RIVER DREAMS: History, Hope, and the Imagination," which she developed specifically for the River of the Year celebration. Kephart spoke about the special place that the Schuylkill holds in her life and how the river has inspired her writing and teaching over the years before answering questions from the audience.

9/17/2014 10:08am
site admin

Riverboat Tours (presented by SCA Americas) - Discover the Hidden River on a Secrets of the Schuylkill tour, or take a Boat to Bartram's Garden to explore John Bartram's historic house and garden. Tours depart on select Saturday afternoons or evenings, Sunday afternoons, and Thursday evenings. To view a full list of tour dates and times and to purchase tickets, click here. Our riverboat tours often sell out, so we encourage everyone to buy their tickets early.

Kayak Tours - Hidden River Outfitters' professionally guided kayak tours have been a hit this summer - and there is still one more chance to explore the River of the Year by kayak. Tours depart from the Walnut Street Dock at noon and 2pm September 28. For more information, click here. Seats are selling out fast, so call us at 215-222-6030 x100 to reserve your spot today!

9/12/2014 10:27am
site admin

While biking the Schuylkill River Trail on her day off, Jocelyn Wilson began to wonder how she could get involved along the trail. She loved being near the river, and wanted to help to make Philadelphia a better place to live. Since starting in June, Jocelyn has become a valuable member of the SRDC volunteer team. “After just one day down there, meeting the staff and other volunteers, I knew I’d be back again and again,” she says.

Jocelyn commutes all the way from Wissinoming to help out with riverboat and kayak tours, movie nights and other special events. She always shows up smiling and ready to work, whether that means serving popcorn at movie nights, greeting people before boat tours or carrying kayaks down to the dock. On days when we have multiple events, Jocelyn is comfortable jumping in wherever needed; her flexibility has been crucial to the success of our programming season.

Thanks for all that you do to make Schuylkill Banks a better place, Jocelyn! We hope to have you on the team for many seasons to come.