Schuylkill Cen­ter gift shop gives you a green Christ­mas

The Review - - OBITUARIES - Mike Weil­bacher Colum­nist Mike Weil­bacher directs the Schuylkill Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion in Up­per Roxborough, tweets @ SCEEMike and can be reached at [email protected]­cen­

With only days to go be­fore the Christ­mas hol­i­day, you might still have a few presents left on your shop­ping list. Have no fear, the Schuylkill Cen­ter is here …

... With a great gift shop filled with sus­tain­able, sur­pris­ing and fun items for the whole fam­ily. For kids, you’ll find stuffed an­i­mals of all shapes and sizes: coy­otes, owls, frogs, even Christ­mas bears. We’ve got a wide range — and many of them croak and sing as well. There’s chil­dren’s books, puz­zles, games, trucks made from re­cy­cled plas­tic and on and on. Some of these make great stuff­ing stock­ers — what child doesn’t want a stuffed pen­guin in his or her stock­ing? (Speak­ing of stock­ing stuffers, don’t miss the “rein­deer dust” by the cash regis­ter, a gift that only in­creases the Christ­mas magic.)

But there’s a ton of great presents for adults as well, start­ing with lo­cal honey and honey prod­ucts of all kinds, in­clud­ing honey-based salad dress­ing, lip balm, skin lo­tion and more. As we’ve writ­ten about the strug­gles bees are hav­ing in the world be­fore, sup­port­ing lo­cal bee­keep­ers would be a great gift back to na­ture.

We’ve got tasty (I can vouch for this) shade-grown cof­fee, per­fect for bird lovers, as cof­fee grown in a trop­i­cal for­est un­der­story, un­der­neath other al­ready-ex­ist­ing trees — as op­posed to a cof­fee mono­cul­ture where the trees have been re­moved — al­lows mi­grat­ing song­birds in Cen­tral and South Amer­ica to use the for­est habi­tat while the cof­fee is be­ing grown. In fact, our sus­tain­able cof­fee brand has roasts named for var­i­ous birds — I’m a big fan of the scar­let tan­ager roast. Bet­ter, pair your cof­fee with a clay mug, of which we have many shapes, sizes and col­ors.

Speak­ing of birds, there are bird feed­ers of all kinds — I’m writ­ing this watch­ing dark­eyed jun­cos, a cousin of spar­rows, feast on my own squir­rel-proof feeder bought at the gift shop — plus bird­ing field guides, pouches to carry field guides in and, with­out ques­tion, the best bird seed this side of a nat­u­ral for­est. Peo­ple drive from miles around to score our bird seed.

On top of this, there is a wide se­lec­tion of jew­elry, pot­tery, arts and crafts, even books that keep you cur­rent on a va­ri­ety of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, es­pe­cially cli­mate change. A jig­saw puz­zle geek, I’m ey­ing a few 1,000-piece puz­zles to give to my­self.

And if you be­come a mem­ber of the Schuylkill Cen­ter, we’ll even give you a dis­count on all of this.

There is a small move­ment to of­fer ex­pe­ri­ences in­stead of phys­i­cal gifts, and the Schuylkill Cen­ter can help you here, too. Why not give your loved one(s) a walk in our Pine Grove and sit in a mag­i­cal pine for­est, watch­ing the birds around you? Or a walk to Wine Dance Pond? Or make a do­na­tion to our Wildlife Clinic in their honor, your gift giv­ing life-sav­ing care to song­birds, birds of prey, squir­rels, opos­sums and so much more — some 150 species of crit­ters have come to our fa­cil­ity over the last 30 years.

But this ex­pe­ri­en­tial gift giv­ing can ap­ply to the dozens of neigh­bor­hood non­prof­its that work ev­ery day to im­prove the qual­ity of life here. Hap­pily, Roxborough and Manayunk are blessed with an abun­dance of or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Schuylkill Cen­ter, so mem­ber­ships and walks with Friends of the Wissahickon or sup­port for the North Light Com­mu­nity City are two of the many ways you might give a gift while giv­ing back to your neigh­bor­hood.

With only days to the hol­i­day, con­sider a gift that not only delights the re­cip­i­ent but makes the world a bet­ter place. Con­sider shop­ping at the Schuylkill Cen­ter.

And Merry Christ­mas.


The Schuylkill Cen­ter’s gift shop of­fers a num­ber of op­tions for Christ­mas presents.


The Schuylkill Cen­ter’s gift shop of­fers a num­ber of op­tions for Christ­mas presents.

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