Stories from the Banks

5/7/2015 4:53pm
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See Philadelphia from a new perspective on a Schuylkill Banks Riverboat Tour! Join a fun and fact-filled Secrets of the Schuylkill tour on select Saturday afternoons and Thursday evenings or explore the river and shore on a Boat to Bartram's Garden on select Sundays.

Check out the schedule and buy tickets here.

5/7/2015 3:50pm
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The results of our 2015 viewers' choice movie series are in! We hope to see you out on the trail this summer for free showings of great films, including Mean Girls, The Lego Movie, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Guardians of the Galaxy!

The Schuylkill Banks Movie Series, presented by CSX, will include six movies by the Walnut Street Bridge, three movies on the Grays Ferry Crescent and one movie at Paine's Park. Click here for the full schedule.

Come early for free snacks and to enter a free raffle!

5/7/2015 1:47pm
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Yoga on the Banks, led by teachers Erin Gautsche and Ashley Renee Wagner, is a donation-based yoga class that meets at the grassy area adjacent to the 25th and Locust trail entrance on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. 


Saturdays: 11am – 12pm

Sundays: 11am – 12pm

Tuesdays: 7am – 8am AND

6:30pm – 7:30pm

5/7/2015 11:12am
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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.

Tours depart on select Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through September 26.

See the complete schedule, watch a video featuring the basic kayak tour, and learn more here.

5/2/2015 1:00pm
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Many, many thanks to the 250+ volunteers who have helped beautify and maintain Schuylkill Banks this spring! More than 120 people, including a large team of Drexel University students, came out to mulch planting beds, spread gravel and pick up trash on the Center City portion of Schuylkill Banks as part of the 2015 Philly Spring Cleanup on April 11, making a huge impact along the trail. On Earth Day, volunteers collected 40 bags of trash, picked up more than 1,000 cigarette butts, re-painted traffic arrows, raked leaves and gravel, helped with drainage work and cleaned gutters. Thanks to the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Saxby’s Coffee, Elsevier, CityCoHo and the many individual volunteers who made our first Earth Day cleanup a success!

In addition to these major cleanup events, we also had lots of help with landscaping and trash pickup throughout April and May, thanks to the Baldwin School, PECO, Jacobs Engineering, and KPMG. Thanks also goes out to our new and returning volunteers who made sure our Science Festival events and Mother’s Day riverboat tours ran smoothly.

SRDC is grateful to everyone who volunteered their time and energy this spring. Your hard work is very much appreciated!

4/30/2015 1:22pm
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On Wednesday, April 29, SRDC joined Chief Cultural Officer Helen Haynes and Public Art Director Margot Berg of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy for the dedication of Walker Hancock’s “Air” sculpture on Schuylkill Banks. The newly-restored sculpture has been installed at the Cherry Street overlook, and is a beautiful and welcome addition to the Banks.

Originally commissioned by the City of Philadelphia’s Percent for Art Program, “Air” was cast in 1979 and installed in 1982 at the former Civic Center Building. This is the first time “Air” has been in public view since the demolition of the Civic Center in 1999. The late Walker Hancock was a PAFA professor and one of the Monuments Men during World War II. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1989 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1990.

In attendance at the dedication were the figure model who posed for the sculpture in 1979 and Hancock’s daughter Deanie French, who spoke to her father’s legacy and love of teaching.

SRDC thanks the Office of Arts and Culture for bringing this beautiful artwork to the riverfront. Look out for “Air” next time you’re on the Banks!

4/28/2015 1:45pm
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More than 200 people came out to explore the cosmos and engineer bridges on Schuylkill Banks as part of this year's Philadelphia Science Festival.

Stargazers of all ages braved the chilly weather on Friday, April 24 to view the moon and Jupiter through two telescopes provided by local astronomers, Frank O'Brien and Iain Baxter. The sky was clear, providing great views of the moon's craters as well as the bands on Jupiter and four of its moons!

On Sunday, April 26, budding engineers came out to learn about the science that went into building the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and other bridges on the tidal Schuylkill. SRDC Director of Capital Projects, Lane Fike, gave two talks about the construction of the Boardwalk and challenges that the City, SRDC, and the designers and contractors faced along the way. Participants were also able to experiment with bridge building concepts at three stations where they were able to build and test models of arch and beam bridges, truss bridges, and continuous beam bridges.

SRDC was thrilled to partner with the Franklin Insititute and a variety of volunteers on this wonderful event, and looks forward to getting nerdy with trail users on Schuylkill Banks again next year!

3/15/2015 2:01pm
site admin

Thanks to everyone who nominated movies for the 2015 Schuylkill Banks Movie Series, presented by CSX. Nearly 400 movies were nominated this year - the final 10 viewers-choice films will be announced in April!

Congratulations to Shannon Macika, who received a Schuylkill Banks t-shirt through the raffle for movie nominators. We hope to see everyone out on the trail this summer for some more great flicks on the Banks!

2/25/2015 10:45am
site admin

We are asked frequently about ice and snow removal on the new Boardwalk. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) is responsible for snow plowing on Schuylkill Banks, and they do a great job plowing the trail from MLK to Locust St. in a timely manner.

SRDC has some concerns about plowing and salting doing potential damage to the Boardwalk deck and river, and will meet with PPR soon to discuss the best ways to handle these issues. PPR has agreed not to plow or salt the Boardwalk until we’ve had this meeting. We're hoping that the current snow and ice will melt fairly quickly as the weather gets warmer. Thank you for using caution and bearing with us as we work through logistics for this new segment!

2/20/2015 4:55pm
site admin

We're already prepping for an exciting summer season on the Banks, and we need your help to make sure that the 2015 Schuylkill Banks Movie Series is the best one yet! What movie have you always wanted to see on the big inflatable screen down by the river? Are you looking for classic romance, serious laughs, out-of-this-world adventure or nail-biting suspense? 

Email your movie suggestions to by 5PM on March 15. The most popular selections will go into the running for the coveted final ten movie slots, to be announced this April.

To sweeten the pot, everyone who submits a movie suggestion will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a Schuylkill Banks t-shirt! You'll get one raffle entry per movie for the first six movies that you recommend, so keep those suggestions coming!