Stories from the Banks

3/20/2015 3:55pm
site admin

It's still frozen outside, but we're already prepping for an exciting summer season on the Banks. 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!

2/25/2015 9:45am
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 10:10am
site admin

For most people, winter is a time to hunker down and hibernate. But February’s Volunteer of the Month wanted to be active and give back. Ed Cyr reached out to us in December with interest in helping out on the Banks. A retired US History teacher living in Rittenhouse Square, Ed used the trail to run and walk his dog. He became fascinated by the history of the Schuylkill, and wanted to learn more.

Throughout the winter, Ed researched the lower tidal Schuylkill, digging up some fascinating historical information that will be a great help when we make interpretive signage for future trail segments. He also did some literal digging, helping our staff with weekly trail maintenance and cleanups. Ed is most excited for warmer weather and summer programming, especially kayaking (we can’t blame him).

Thanks for helping us make it through the long, cold winter, Ed!

1/19/2015 1:19pm
site admin

Students from Springside Chesnut Hill Academy, the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, and Saint Joseph’s University as well as individual volunteers including SRDC Board Member Karen Smith gathered on Monday, January 19 for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day cleanup on Schuylkill Banks. It was a chilly morning, but volunteers quickly warmed up as they shoveled, lugged and raked compost into planting beds. Other volunteers distributed gravel and picked up trash at the north end of the trail.

By noon, the sun was bright, the majority of planting beds had been prepped for spring and the trail was sparkling clean. SRDC was wowed by everyone’s great teamwork and dedication. Thanks to all of our volunteers for making a difference along the Banks!

Click here to see photos from the cleanup. 

1/18/2015 2:58pm
site admin

Chas and Stacey Ryan reached out to us last fall with interest in helping out at the Grays Ferry Crescent. The Ryans moved back to Philly recently after three years away and were excited by all of the green initiatives taking off in the city. They currently live in Point Breeze, and regularly run or bike along the Crescent with their dog Honey. 

Both experienced gardeners, Chas and Stacey coordinated with our Operations Manager Josh and began regularly weeding and mulching around trees and small planting beds. “We enjoy volunteering for the Schuylkill Banks because we get to be outside, we are able to get a good sweat in, and we enjoy the solitude and natural beauty of the Crescent, which is hard to find in South Philly,” says Chas.

SRDC is thrilled to see trail users like Chas and Stacey taking ownership of the trail and pitching in to make it even better. Upkeep of landscaping is no small task for SRDC’s small maintenance team, and Chas and Stacey’s efforts have made a tremendous impact.

Thanks for making the Crescent a better place for everyone, Chas and Stacey! 

1/17/2015 12:40pm
site admin

Looking for a super easy way to support SRDC? Schuylkill Banks is in the running for two spots on the 2015 Philly Happening List, and we need your votes! The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is up for “Best Nature Spot”, and our Kayak Tours are up for “Best Guided Tour”. Voting only takes a second!

To vote for the Boardwalk, click here! 

To vote for Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tours, click here! 

Polls are open through February 28th, so please spread the word. Thanks for your vote!

1/16/2015 10:01am
site admin

The Schuylkill River was PA's 2014 River of the Year! While this honor is now over, we still have free SRHA River of the Year posters available in our offices. The popular 26" x 40" poster features a beautiful photo of kayaks on the river near Hamburg, taken during the 2010 Schuylkill River Sojourn by photographer Cody Goddard.

Stop by our offices at 129B S. 30th Street (on 30th between Chestnut and Walnut) Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm and pick one up! We're sorry, the posters cannot be mailed. 

12/12/2014 3:40pm
site admin

SRDC is pleased to announce that it has been able to secure funding for two pergolas for the Boardwalk. Installation of steel framing is complete, and installation of wooden purlins will begin on Monday, 12/22. 

The Boardwalk is open for use, but please use caution when passing work areas.

Please check our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates in the coming week. 

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!