Nature, It’s Freeing! Enjoy Outdoor Events Throughout the Delaware River Watershed
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This year, for so many reasons, people have sought solace in the outdoors and found a new, or renewed connection with nature. During September and October, the 23 environmental centers that make up the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE) will host family-friendly activities as part of the organization’s annual River Days festivities, to help bring people together safely for environmentally-focused events.
Visitors to AWE centers this fall will also be AWEd by the Water Spirit sculpture installations found at many sites throughout the watershed. The site-specific series, made entirely of plant material, was created by Seattle-based environmental artist Sarah Kavage, in collaboration with local artists. All AWE centers will also offer visitors free decks of Aqua Marooned! a card game created by Philly-based immersive experience company Swim Pony that encourages emotional connection with flora and fauna. The game’s beautifully illustrated cards cast players as extraterrestrial explorers sent to explore earth’s mysterious “watersphere.” Both projects are part of arts initiative Lenapehoking~Watershed: a place for water art and culture.
Note: Some River Days events are a mix of virtual and in-person activities, following local Covid-19 related restrictions and recommendations. All events are free unless noted otherwise.
September 24 through October 3
Various locations in Philadelphia and South New Jersey
Info at delawareriverfest.org
Several environmental educational organizations have come together to plan virtual and in-person events at multiple locations on both sides of the Delaware, throughout South Jersey and in Philadelphia. During the weekdays there will be virtual events focusing on the Delaware River and how to enjoy and protect it.
Presented by the Center for Aquatic Sciences, Independence Seaport Museum, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, NJ Conservation Foundation, NJ Natural Lands Trust, Camden County Environmental Center, and many other partners.
Saturday, September 25, 9:00 AM
Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, Pottstown Riverfront Park, 140 College Drive, Pottstown, PA
Info and registration: schuylkillriver.org/ridefortheriver
Celebrate the Schuylkill River Trail with Bikes, Beer and Bands! A riverside bike ride on the Schuylkill River Trail with 4,16, and 35 mile options, then enjoy the FREE CAN JAM Music Festival! The 2021 Ride for the River features a NEW 4-mile Family Fun Ride, great for children and beginners! Kids 12 and under ride free. Learn more and register at schuylkillriver.org/ridefortheriver.
Saturday, September 25, 10:00 AM & 12:00 PM
Berks Nature, 575 Saint Bernardine Street, Reading, PA
Our friends at Pennsylvania Bat Rescue will show live native bats and tour through the Berks Nature wetlands trail to talk about native bats. Visitors will also enjoy our Lenapehoking~Watershed Art Projects including Willow Weaving created on-site by Sarah Kavage and Swim Pony’s Aqua Marooned! nature card game.
Saturday, September 25, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Heritage Conservancy at Bristol Marsh, 1 Canals End Road, Bristol, PA
Join Heritage Conservancy to help keep this important fresh water tidal marsh clean. Volunteer along the marsh banks and trails or help clean up the river and marsh by kayak with guides from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or, bring your own team the week of September 21!
Bilingual Bird Walk
Saturday, September 25, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
New Jersey Conservation Foundation at Gateway Park, 2798 Admiral Wilson Blvd. Pennsauken Township, NJ
Autumn is a great time to search for birds in your backyard, community and local park. Join a bilingual expert birder on a walk through Gateway Park along the Cooper River, searching for and learning about birds found in the region. Binoculars will be provided for participants to borrow. Spanish and English bird guides will also be available.
Saturday, September 25, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
First State National Historical Park, 208 Woodlawn Rd. Wilmington, DE
Participants will pick up trash along Rocky Run as it runs through the Brandywine Valley unit of FSNHP. Learn about macroinvertebrates that live in the stream and how water quality is affected by stormwater run-off.
Saturday, September 25, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
DuPont Environmental Education Center, 1400 Delmarva Ln., Wilmington, DE
Join for an afternoon of culture and nature. Free and Open to the Public! Tag and release Monarch butterflies and learn about efforts to sustain the species, enjoy Aztec and bomba y plena dance performances by Los Bomberos de la Calle and Danza Azteca del Anahuac dance troupes. Info.
Celebración de la migración de la Mariposa Monarca
SÁBADO 25 DE SEPTIEMBRE DEL 2021 De 1 PM EDT A 5 PM EDT
Únase a nosotros para una tarde de cultura y naturaleza.
Disfrute de actividades para todas las edades:
Observar Mariposas Monarca en vivo | Etiquetar y liberar mariposas monarca para ayudar a la investigación de éstas | Canotaje para principiantes | Exposiciones en nuestro centro de la Naturaleza | Bailarines aztecas | Shows del grupo “bomba y plena”. Info.
Saturday, September 25 at various times
John James Audubon Center, 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA and various locations
People are encouraged to host Planting Parties at home and in their communities. Registered party hosts can access Audubon planting tips to help their party guests learn while they sow. The John James Audubon Center (JJAC) will also host a Planting Party with community partners and JJAC members at multiple sites on the property, including along the Perkiomen Creek. Leaders associated with Center for Culture, Art, Training, and Education (CCATE) and our local Indian-American community will participate. Once complete, planting sites will be marked with bi-lingual signage detailing the role of native plants in keeping water clean and taking users to the National Audubon Society’s Plants for Birds database, where locations to purchase native plants can be searched by zip code. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.
Saturday, September 25, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lehigh Gap Nature Center, 8844 Paint Mill Road, Slatington, PA
Visit Lehigh Gap Nature Center for an annual celebration of animal migration, in which we seek to increase ecological knowledge and stewardship.
Saturday, October 2, 11:00 AM
The Discovery Center, 3401 Reservoir Drive, Phila., PA
Join educational staff and students from the historic Fairmount Water Works as we celebrate the Schuylkill River and pay tribute to native culture and traditions with a performance by Lenape members and hands-on activities for families throughout the day.
- Brief Walking Tour
- Swim Pony Card Deck Game
- Indigenous Art Project
- Lenape Performance/Presentation (dancers, drumming, call-and response)
Space is limited, so be sure to secure a space for you and your family today:
Saturday, October 2, 1:00 PM
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA
Did you know that the Delaware River Watershed covers over 12,000 miles and provides drinking water to over 15 million people? Learn about the importance of our watershed with a self-guided one-mile plus walk along our trails. Stop at stations along the trails for hands-on activities, water-related crafts, and more. Discover what macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects) can tell us about the health of a stream, explore different ways we can help to minimize pollution in our waterways, perform water quality tests, and learn about the wildlife that call our watershed home. See the center’s environmental art, including al Mudhif traditional Iraqi structure built of native phragmites, conceived and constructed by artists Yaroub Al-Obaidi and Sarah Kavage as part of the Lenape~Hoking Watershed project.
Saturday, October 2, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Concert begins at 3PM
Tacony Creek Park at the big field between Rising Sun and Olney Avenues, Philadelphia, PA
Enjoy family-friendly nature games, arts & crafts, giveaways and lots more to celebrate our local creek, park and trail. Discover the ‘aquasphere’ with the Aqua Marooned! card game and take home a free deck to play! An outdoor music concert begins at 3:00 PM, featuring original compositions inspired by Tacony Creek Park from the album “Tacony Creek Suite” by Professor Randy J. Gibson. This event is a Co-Production of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and Olney Culture Lab of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia and made possible by the Alliance for Watershed Education, Councilwoman Cherelle Parker’s Office, Fairmount Park Conservancy, Jazz Foundation of America, Joseph Roberts Foundation, Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture & Creative Economy, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Philadelphia Water Department, and William Penn Foundation.
Bilingual Bird Walk
Saturday, October 9, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Farnham Park, 1648 Baird Blvd, Camden, NJ
Autumn is a great time to search for birds in your backyard, community and local park. Join a bilingual expert birder on a walk through Farnham Park along the Cooper River, searching for and learning about birds found in the region. Binoculars will be provided for participants to borrow. Spanish and English bird guides will also be available.
Saturday, October 9, 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Discovery Center, 3401 Reservoir Dr., Philadelphia, PA
Strawberry Mansion residents will take part in our community science initiative, cultivating freshwater mussel nursery. Guests will learn about the importance of the watershed health, and how mussels contribute to that health. Then participants may also have the opportunity to canoe on the reservoir.
Saturday, October 9, 10:00 am
Cobbs Creek Environmental Center, 63rd & Catherine Sts., Philadelphia, PA
Fun for the whole family. No age limit to enter. Cash Prizes! Ducks cost $2 each; no limit!Socially distanced—Masks required Register in advance on Facebook: or call 215-685-1900
About River Days 2021: Discover family-friendly, fun and educational activities like harvest festivals, card games, planting parties, paddling excursions, and bike rides. Learn about bats and birding, participate in clean-ups, fishing, crafts, and more. AWE Centers offer incredible opportunities to get outdoors and connect to the waterways we depend on. Come and join us this fall, and find freedom in nature. See a chronological schedule of events here.
About the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River: (AWE) aims to raise awareness about the 13,500-square mile system which provides clean drinking water for 13 million people. The 23 member centers are located along the major Circuit Trails or connecting trails throughout the Delaware River watershed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. These centers share a mission to collectively increase and enhance constituent appreciation and stewardship of the Delaware River watershed. The Alliance and River Days events and initiatives are funded by the William Penn Foundation. See WatershedAlliance.org for more information.
About the Lenapehoking~Watershed Art Project: The L~W Art Project is a wide-ranging, multifaceted art project that wants to introduce Lenapehoking residents to their watershed. A program of the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE), this initiative winds its way through the landscapes and waterways of the Delaware River Watershed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Aqua Marooned! is one of two innovative and completely unique artist-driven projects activating the AWE environmental education centers as part of Lenapehoking~Watershed. The other is Water Spirit, a series of plant-based sculptures by Sarah Kavage that serve as focal points for events and community gatherings. The name, “Lenapehoking~Watershed, a place for water, art and culture” was chosen after consulting with citizens of our local Lenni Lenape Nations. “Lenapehoking” is a place name that means “the land of the Lenape people.” Foremost, as this is an initiative about the land and the water, the L~W team acknowledges Indigenous cultures' environmental stewardship as critical. Taking place from spring of 2021 to late fall of 2021, Lenapehoking~Watershed offers multiple opportunities for inspiration, refreshment, and learning. Encouraging others to discover new things, meet new people at outdoor cultural gatherings, and enjoy solitary meditations on art and nature.
Lead support for the Lenapehoking~Watershed is provided by the William Penn Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Barra Foundation, the Delaware Division for the Arts, the Joseph Robert Foundation, and the Velocity Fund.