Center to present leadership award
The Schuylkill Center will present its highest honor, the Henry Meigs Environmental Leadership Award, to longtime community leader Kay Sykora, founder of the Manayunk Development Corp. and Destination Schuylkill River.
The award ceremony will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Schuylkill Center’s auditorium.
During her time as executive director of the Manayunk Development Corp.n, Sykora championed the progress of the Schuylkill River Trail through Manayunk and Roxborough, leading the effort to transform the canal towpath into the River Trail over decades. The River Trail is nowone ofManayunk’s most beloved commu-
nity amenities. She continues this work through Destination Schuylkill River, which strives to re-connect Manayunk to the Schuylkill River while restoring the canal.
A longtime resident of Roxborough, Sykora co-founded Roxborough Green, a community tree planting and gardening project, and has been active in the Central Roxborough Civic Association over many years.
“Kay recognized that Manayunk’s transformation would be elevated by connecting to the River Trail and the river itself,” said Mike Weilbacher, the Schuylkill Center’s executive director. “As an active and engaged Roxborough resident, Kay models how volunteers can impact their communities. She’s also — we’re happy to say — the first Roxborough resident to win the award.”
At the event, Weilbacher will highlight the center’s new plans for an updated connection to the Schuylkill River Trail.
After the award ceremony, Sykora will be joined by local planning experts in a panel discussion on completing Manayunk’s River Trail and improving the canal and towpath. The panel will be composed of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Sarah Clark Stuart, architect and planner Robert Thomas, the Upper Roxborough Civic Association’s Rich Giordano and Lower Merion planner Chris Leswing.
The award ceremony will begin in the Schuylkill Center’s auditorium at 7 p.m. The town meeting will be followed by a reception with Kay, the panelists and the community. The event is free and open to the public. The Schuylkill Center especially encourages frequent users of the River Trail to contribute their voices to the town hall as the future of the towpath is discussed.
The Meigs Environmental Leadership Award recognizes outstanding environmental leadership in the Philadelphia region and over the last 12 years has been given to former Gov. Ed Rendell, city Managing Director Mike DeBerardinis, botanist Ann Fowler Rhoads and nature center founder Carole WilliamsGreen.
Henry Meigs, one of the Schuylkill Center’s founders and visionaries, served on its board for more than 30 years, the longest serving trustee in its history. Binney Meigs, his son — and himself a former Schuylkill Center trustee — will present opening remarks about his father’s legacy.
Kay Sykora will receive the Schuylkill Center’s Henry Meigs Environmental Leadership Award.