River Days to offer out­door fun

The Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Binga­man bbinga­man@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @bri­an­binga­man on Twit­ter

Start­ing Sept. 15 there are a slew of fun and in­for­ma­tive “River Days” hap­pen­ings sched­uled all across the re­gion; most of them free.

Run­ning through Oct. 20, th­ese of­fer­ings in­clude fes­ti­vals, his­tory hikes, bik­ing and pad­dle ex­cur­sions, trail ac­tiv­i­ties and more. They’re all de­signed to en­cour­age peo­ple of all ages to explore, en­joy and en­gage along their lo­cal trails and wa­ter­ways.

There are 23 en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion cen­ters in Penn­syl­va­nia, Delaware and New Jersey host­ing or col­lab­o­rat­ing on River Days events to en­cour­age you to learn about the Delaware River water­shed — a 13,500-square-mile sys­tem of wa­ter­ways that more than 15 mil­lion peo­ple de­pend on for clean drink­ing wa­ter.

Here are just a few up­com­ing River Days highlights:

*River Days Kick-off at the Delaware River Fes­ti­val, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15, Cam­den, NJ Water­front and Penn’s Land­ing, Philadel­phia: En­joy a “coast to coast” ex­pe­ri­ence cross­ing the Delaware River over Philadel­phia’s Ben Franklin Bridge on foot or bike, or take ad­van­tage of free RiverLink ferry rides (some re­stric­tions ap-

ply) from one event to the other. There will be ed­u­ca­tional fun for fam­i­lies, on­the-wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties, games, crafts, live mu­sic, a beer gar­den, fishing and more.

*Bioblitz, 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 15, Ta­cony Creek Park’s Ra­mona Gate­way, 4528 I St., Philadel­phia: Join the Tookany/Ta­conyFrank­ford Water­shed Part­ner­ship’s week-long BioBlitz. Use the free iNat­u­ral­ist mo­bile phone app to doc­u­ment wildlife ob­ser­va­tions across the water­shed.

*Explore the Cir­cuit Bike Ride, 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 16, Ta­cony Creek Park: Ride the newly-con­structed con­nec­tor be­neath Roo­sevelt Boule­vard. $35 gets you a spot on this ride and a year-long Bi­cy­cle Coali­tion mem­ber­ship. Email Do­ryan@ttfwa­ter­shed.org to RSVP and get direc­tions.

*Trail­fest, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 22, DuPont En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter, 1400 Del­marva Lane, Wilm­ing­ton, Del.: Cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of the Markell Trail, which con­nects the Wilm­ing­ton River­front and New Cas­tle. En­joy live mu­sic, in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits, live an­i­mals, ca­noe­ing, out­fit­ters, craft ven­dors, craft beer, food trucks and more.

*Ride for the River, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 29: Ei­ther ride from Pottstown to Read­ing, or from Pottstown to Union Town­ship, and back, then hang out at Sly Fox Brew­ery’s an­nual Can Jam Fes­ti­val, fea­tur­ing food, Sly Fox beer and live mu­sic. Pro­ceeds ben­e­fit the Schuylkill River Trail. Rid­ers re­ceive a voucher for free food and one free beer.

*Find Your­self in Na­ture, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 29, Berks Na­ture’s The Na­ture Place, 575 St. Bernar­dine St., Read­ing: Learn about the crit­ters and fish that live in the creek, walk the trails around An­gel­ica Park and com­plete a check­list of wildlife you see.

*Dis­cov­ery Day, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 29, Audubon Penn­syl­va­nia Dis­cov­ery Cen­ter, 3401 Reser­voir Drive, Philadel­phia: It’s the grand open­ing for the new en­vi­ron­men­tal cen­ter and home base for Audubon Penn­sy­la­nia, which has been built in a reser­voir that was pre­vi­ously hid­den for 50 years. It serves as a pub­lic space to get in touch with na­ture. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude bird walks, a climb­ing wall, live bird pre­sen­ta­tions and arts and crafts.

*Wal­nut2Wal­nut River Chal­lenge, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 30, Independence Sea­port Mu­seum, 211 S. Colum­bus Blvd., Philadel­phia: Pad­dle or row down the Schuylkill River, and up the Delaware, for a scenic trip around Philadel­phia’s penin­sula. The chal­lenge course of­fers views of the city, while trav­el­ing al­most 15 miles along both rivers. Suit­able for all skill lev­els. Cost is $35; reg­is­ter on­line at www.phill­y­sea­port.org/ wal­nut2wal­nut.

*The Schuylkill Nav­i­ga­tion: A Pho­to­graphic His­tory Tour, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6, Schuylkill Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadel­phia: Fair­mount Wa­ter Works pho­tog­ra­pher-ed­u­ca­tor Sandy Sor­lien will present highlights of her re­cent doc­u­men­tary pro­ject “In­land: The Aban­doned Canals of the Schuylkill Nav­i­ga­tion,” as well as some his­toric im­ages of the locks, dams and canals.

*Har­vest Fes­ti­val, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6, Po­cono En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter, 538 Emery Road, Ding­mans Ferry: En­joy an­i­mal pre­sen­ters, arts and crafts, hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties, con­ser­va­tion ex­hibits, live mu­sic and more. Cost is $5 per car. Call (570) 828-2319 for de­tails.

*Walk­ing Tour of Schuylkill River His­tory, 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 7, Schuylkill Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadel­phia: Sandy Sor­lien leads a walk in­ter­pret­ing rem­nants of the 108-mile Schuylkill nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem along the Roxborough and Manayunk stretches of the river.

*South­west Fish-Off, 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 7, Bar­tram’s Gar­den, 5400 Lind­bergh Blvd., Philadel­phia: The fishing derby of­fers ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages. Fish from the dock, the river­bank or from a row­boat to win prizes. One rod per per­son; rods will be avail­able to bor­row. No fishing li­cense nec­es­sary; catch and re­lease. All ages and abil­i­ties wel­come. Mi­nors must be ac­com­pa­nied by an adult, if fishing from one of the boats.

*Philly Fall Na­ture Fes­ti­val, Oct. 13, John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, 8601 Lind­bergh Blvd., Tinicum: Take in a day of guided na­ture walks, fishing, kayak­ing, archery, na­ture crafts, live an­i­mals, face paint­ing and more.

*Land Lab: Dance Ex­change, 11 a.m. to noon and 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13-14, Schuylkill Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadel­phia: Cul­mi­nat­ing a year of re­search and art, Dance Ex­change will lead a se­ries of “an­i­mated hikes” on the trails to re­flect on the ways that wa­ter shapes our lives. Th­ese ex­pe­ri­ences will in­cor­po­rate per­for­mance, in­stal­la­tion and sci­en­tific en­gage­ments.

*Har­vest Fest, Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 14, Bar­tram’s Gar­den, 5400 Lind­bergh Blvd., Philadel­phia: The fam­ily event fea­tures hayrides, cider press­ing, face paint­ing, cook­ing and can­ning work­shops, games of chance and skill, yoga, boat­ing and more.

*John Bar­tram Jawn, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 14, Bar­tram’s Gar­den, 5400 Lind­bergh Blvd., Philadel­phia: An out­door con­cert by per­form­ers with con­nec­tions to South­west Philly.

More in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a com­plete River Days sched­ule, can be found at www.wa­ter­shedal­liance.org.

The Delaware River water­shed serves as a habi­tat to a mul­ti­tude of species, sev­eral of which are re­cov­er­ing due to the Clean Wa­ter Act and other en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions. Among them are the river ot­ter, Louisiana wa­ter thrush, Amer­i­can eel, os­prey, dragon­fly, fresh­wa­ter mus­sels and the bald ea­gle. Vis­i­tors to the water­shed dur­ing River Days are in­vited to note th­ese, and any other species spot­ted, on the River Days 2018 iNat­u­ral­ist app pro­ject. At the cul­mi­na­tion of River Days, re­sults will be tal­lied and used to help ed­u­cate about the va­ri­ety of species found in our re­gion.

PHOTO BY SHAWN BAI­LEY — PART­NER­SHIP FOR THE DELAWARE ES­TU­ARY

Young­sters get a look from the wa­ter of the Bat­tle­ship New Jersey dur­ing a Penn­syl­va­nia Coast Day event in 2017.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE AL­LIANCE FOR WATER­SHED ED­U­CA­TION

River Days will offer op­por­tu­ni­ties to fish.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE AL­LIANCE FOR WATER­SHED ED­U­CA­TION

Kayak­ers pre­pare to go on the Schuylkill River So­journ.

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