Going Up Gallery Wall

Climate Change Art Spotlight:  Jill Pelto

By Christina Catanese, Director of Environmental Art

Looking back over the year of environmental art at the Schuylkill Center, one of the highlights of 2016 was our gallery show, Going Up: Climate Change + Philadelphia. Along with the work of seven other artists exploring the various facets of climate change, this show included a new work by Maine artist Jill Pelto which was created specially for this exhibition, called Philadelphia Sea Level Rise Scenarios.

Pelto herself is both an artist and a scientist, and uses her watercolor paintings to communicate scientific data in a more visually compelling way.  Starting with data and charts as the framework for her paintings, she creates landscapes that enliven environmental information. For example, in Landscape of Change, Pelto uses the form of a line graph of declining glacier mass to depict a glacier, while a graph of rising sea levels is represented by deep blue water. Jagged red and orange imagery takes its shape from data on increasing forest fires, and increased atmospheric CO2 is shown as a gray sky. Continue reading

Community Show Opening_1-26-17-01

Call for Art: Community

Jenny Ryder, Environmental Art & PR Intern

With the dawn of a new year approaching, it’s as good a time as ever to commit or re-commit yourself to new year resolutions and opportunities for the future.

At the Schuylkill Center, we are committed to using our various platforms and resources to help inspire meaningful connections between people and nature—whether that be through our Nature Preschool, here on the blog, in our gallery, or just a simple retweet. As we renew our commitment to the planet and our ecosystem this year, we must necessarily renew our commitment to all of those who help us to keep our doors open and programs running: you!

Community, the next gallery show at the Schuylkill Center, will celebrate local artists across different themes and media. The show will be a non-juried, salon-style exhibit open to members and non-members alike, featuring Schuylkill Center staff members, visitors, volunteers, and friends. Works from every artist who submits will be included—find all the details here and submit your work by December 15.

Enquiry Into Plants

Stephanie Jones, Enquiry Into Plants (Historia Plantarum), after Theophrastus: Maturation

 

Anna, Manager of Communications & Digital Strategy at the Schuylkill Center, is looking forward to seeing a snapshot of our community as a whole, “This show is all about creating in community; from all these different crowd-sourced works, something beautiful comes together, something that paints a portrait of who we are.” With only a week left to submit work, we are already so excited about the wide range of submissions we’ve received over the last month.

Last year, volunteers logged over 14,000 hours at the Schuylkill Center, most of them spent keeping our wildlife clinic up and running. Volunteers do everything from watching our front desk during staff meetings, preparing and throwing our many seasonal events, and saving the toads every spring during our ever-growing Toad Detour, among other various duties. We are lucky to have such an involved group of community members, and look forward to being able to showcase some of our friends’ and neighbors’ work on our gallery walls.

Urban Jungle

Elisa Sarantschin, Urban Jungle


 
“This gallery show excites me more than most others because of one thing: perspective.” Elisa, coordinator of our NaturePHL program (more on that in the spring), and longtime former volunteer, is excited to witness the multitude of ways our friends and neighbors see and experience life in our upcoming show. “Giving people space to share their perspective on art, nature, and the Schuylkill Center in any and all ways is phenomenal.” In an aesthetic sense, Elisa’s photographs capture intricate as well as expansive and dynamic elements of the native wildlife in and around the Schuylkill Center. She is interested in seeing the other artistic perspectives by which people find a way to connect back to the natural world.

Cassandra Petruchyk,a volunteer at the wildlife clinic, has memorialized Zelda, the Clinic’s beloved and longtime turkey friend, in a portrait for the show. We’ve received some beautiful botanical depictions of the growth and maturation of local flora, photography of local landscapes and animals, and more.

Not all work will revolve around what we traditionally refer to as “nature.” We’ll encounter themes of memory, time, and all sorts of explorations into the realm of human experience, from poetic engravings to modern dance.

Help us ring in the new year as we renew our commitment to the land and open our doors to art from our local community. Whether or not you plan to submit to the show, thank you for all your support, as we could not do what we do without you.

Community will be accepting submissions until December 15th. There is no submission fee and all artists who submit will be shown in the gallery. The show will open with a reception January 26th at 6pm.

Northern Red Oak

Field Guide: Fallen Leaves

By Jenny Ryder, Environmental Art and PR Intern

Enjoy our mobile field guide as you walk, hike and play in the fall forests. Take in the beauty of crunchy fallen leaves in the city and the forest and easily identify the trees from whence they came.

See other Field Guide posts here.

Tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera)

tuliptree.gifTulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera), commonly referred to as Tulip Poplar, are abundant in the forest at the Schuylkill Center, and their mostly-yellow turning leaves roughly resemble the shape of a cat’s head or—as you might have noticed—a tulip! Another mark of a Tulip tree leaf is their glossy texture and symmetry.

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra/Quercus borealis)

Northern Red Oak

Querecus means “beautiful tree,” rubra “red,” and borealis, “north” in Latin. As opposed to white oaks, the lobes of the Red Oak’s leaves are pointed instead of round. Red Oak leaves have 7-11 lobes and extend clearly off the center vein. You can find Red Oaks on the streets of Philadelphia, too, as they are able to resist salty sidewalks in the winter time. If the squirrels or deer haven’t eaten them up yet, you can also find bitter acorns among the crunchy Red Oak leaf piles.

Big-tooth Aspen (Populus grandidentata)

Bigtooth Aspen

Big-tooth Aspen can be identified by their easy-to-spot “teeth” on the edges of their simple and relatively round leaf shape, coming to a point at the top. They are usually yellow in the forests this time of year, like many other native leaves. You know you’ve found an Aspen leaf, though, if its stem (petiole) is flattened and perpendicular to the surface of the leaf (see below). The flat stem makes the leaves quake at even the slightest breeze, hence the name of this leaf’s smooth-edged cousin, Quaking Aspen.

Flat stem of Bigtooth Aspen

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

SCEE6175 Sassafras

Sassafras is a quick one to identify—with their iconic two or three-lobed shape, sometimes they mimic the shape of a mitten, with one lopsided thumblike lobe and a larger one. Either they’re mitten-like, or they resemble something like a three-toed dinosaur footprint, with three distinctly deep lobes. Catch them in any number of their swiftly changing color palettes—from red-brown to yellow-green.

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Red Maple

I’m not usually one to play favorites, but… this might just be my favorite fall leaf. The colors on the leaves of the Red Maple this time of year could be likened to a paint-splattered canvas, blending gorgeous shades of yellow, rich reds, and orange. Sometimes, they’ll have three gentle lobes and other times, two more will tooth out at the bottom for a more recognizable maple shape. They range about 2 to 4 inches wide and tall, and are quite flexible and soft in texture—great for pressing in a book and saving for a dreary winter day. You might recognize the Red Maple’s silhouette from our Schuylkill Center logo at the top of the page!

American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

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Here on the trails at the Schuylkill Center, the biggest leaf you’ll find likely fell from a Sycamore tree. These look a lot like the familiar shape of a maple leaf, with 3-5 lobes, but with bigger teeth around the edges. Although they normally range from 4 to 9 inches long, staff at the Center have found ones much larger than our faces—up to fourteen inches! Their stems are noticeably enlarged at the end, too, which encase the buds when still attached to the mother tree. Sycamores, also commonly known as buttonwood trees, and are proud members of one of the oldest tree families, Platanaceae, which dates back over 100 million years.

Happy crunching!

Jill Pelto climate change indicator data in Philadelphia

Climate Change: Making the Global Personal Through Art

 By Christina Catanese, Director of Environmental Art

What does climate change mean for Philadelphia?  As a large, complex, global process, it’s not an easy concept to wrap our minds around.

As you might expect, climate models project pretty clearly that Philly will face a future that is hotter and wetter.

According to CUSP – the Climate & Urban Systems Partnership , scientists predict that in our region we could experience as many as three additional weeks of days over 90° by the 2020s. All that heat not only is unpleasant, but can also lead to serious health risks.  CUSP also found that the Northeastern US has been experiencing more frequent extreme precipitation events than any other region in the country. Not only will we get more total rain, projections say that climate change will cause heavy downpours to become even more common and intense.  Philly’s tidal rivers are also impacted by projections of sea level rise, and the combination of more rain and rising sea levels is concerning for low-lying homes and infrastructure, like the airport.

It definitely helps to have localized data about climate change to understand the impacts, but even so, we can still not fully understand the implications of climate change, or worse, feel powerless to do anything about it. Art about climate change has a unique potential to make these problems personal and relevant – just what the Schuylkill Center’s latest gallery show strives to do.  As part of the Center’s Year of Climate Change in 2016 and our ongoing effort to talk about climate change in new, relevant ways, our gallery show this fall unpacks what climate change means for our region.  Continue reading

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All about our staff vegan challenge

By Anna Lehr Mueser, Public Relations Manager

Michelle Wilson’s Carbon Corpus, in our fall gallery show Going Up, explores food and carbon – for this conceptual art piece Wilson ate vegan for each week that participants sponsored, essentially selling credits for the carbon saved by eating vegan (estimate at 35 kg of carbon per week of veganism).

Inspired by this, eight of our staff gave veganism a try. Here, they reflect on learning to eat without animal products for a week.

Emily, Public Programs Coordinator

Having been vegetarian in the past, I was not at all worried about missing meat.  I was terribly surprised how much I did miss it once I started (I having gotten used to eating meat again)!  However, about three days in I was very much back on the bean-over-meat train.  I had been most worried about yogurt, egg, and cheese.  Egg and cheese I did surprisingly okay without! In terms of yogurt, I explored both the almond and coconut substitute, and they were both pretty good (albeit expensive).

For recipes, I reverted to my vegetarian go-to:  Quinoa, black bean (or any bean), and sautéed greens.  I spice up the greens with oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and ginger.  Quick, easy, cheap, and good for making in big batches. I also really enjoyed making butternut squash soup again, especially this time of year.

Emily’s Butternut Squash Soup
  1. Cut and de-seed squash.  Sprinkle inside with salt, pepper, oil, and bake until almost fully cooked.  Not done completely, but enough to where peeling is easy (425 or so for about 30-35 min – I like to let it finish cooking with the other ingredients).
  2. Peel the squash and cut into about one inch cubes.  In a big pot, sauté shallots (or onion, you can also add garlic) in oil until caramelized.
  3. Add squash and enough vegetable stock to cover squash (you have to kind of eyeball this-how thick do you want the soup).
  4. I then add more pepper, and cayenne or nutmeg/dash of cinnamon depending on my mood.
  5. Let it all simmer together until the squash is soft, then I use an immersion blender to blend into soup.
Elisabeth, Manager of Public Programs

I was consciously aware of the treatment of animals after trying the vegan challenge. This is something that’s frequently in the back of my mind. To me, being vegan is a very delicate balance between what’s good for humans, animals, and the environment. And a lot of those things compete with each other. So I did make a conscious decision to shop at a store that, while I know is not perfect, is one where I can at least be more broadly knowledgeable about where the food is coming from.

I found that transitioning to a plant-based diet takes time, money, planning, and also failures. You can re-contextualize your commitment through your failures and reflection on those failures. For me, I’m trying vegetarianism. Veganism was too much of a challenge for me in my current lifestyle.

Christina, Director of Environmental Art

I’ve given up meat for Lent a few times, and one time both meat and cheese, but this is my first time going without any animal products at all. I always find that restricting my diet in some small way helps me make healthier choices about what I am eating in general – it’s a heightened consciousness of eating:  I can’t eat meat, hmm, I should eat a salad.  Just an extra beat to make a more mindful choice.  Overall, I feel like it is helpful and productive to realize how much my diet relies on animal products, and how unnecessary that is.

Besides the fact of not eating cheese (which as a person of Italian descent I think I am just not equipped to do) and having cream in my coffee, what I didn’t like about eating vegan was that it sometimes forced me to make choices that felt less healthy for reasons that felt somewhat arbitrary.  For example, an otherwise healthy breakfast of (non-dairy) yogurt, berries, and honey is off the table, so if I want to take the edge off the unsweetened yogurt, more refined sugar it is.  Getting enough protein has been a little bit of a challenge also, without being overly reliant on soy and other super processed synthetic proteins.

In terms of meals, I enjoyed Mollie Katzen’s Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup (I always skip the yogurt topping) and came up with my own soba noodle salad recipe. I also found an amazing chocolate peanut butter pudding recipe which I had to share.

I’ve come out of this vegan journey with a renewed sense of balance and moderation in my approach to eating – I think I’ll reduce the portion of my diet coming from animal products, but not to a strict degree.

Christina’s soba noodle salad:

Peanut sauce:

1/3 C vegetable stock

4 Tbsp peanut butter (could use another nut butter)

4 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Sesame oil

Scallions to taste.

Veggies: thinly sliced/grated kohlrabi, bell peppers, carrots.

Seitan

Soba noodles

Mix together the peanut sauce and combine with veggies, seitan, and noodles.

Donna, Director of Finance and Administration

I knew I loved cheese but I don’t think I realized just how much I love cheese.  This was by far my biggest challenge.  Non-dairy coconut creamer made a nice addition to coffee; an addition I may continue in the future.  I did miss my yogurt but, again, cheese was harder.

I went into the week striving for a 90 to 95% success rate and made it to around 85%.  I showed up at my 84-year-old mom’s house to take her out to lunch and she had food on the table that she wanted to “use up” so she didn’t wish to go out…food consisting of eggs, cheese, turkey… I couldn’t turn her food down but went heavy on tomato and light on other ingredients.

In summary, as I was hoping, this challenge raised my consciousness for the foods I consume.  While I certainly am promising no one I will give up cheese and dairy forever, I will be more mindful of my choices in the future, and continue to strive to support ethical and responsible food suppliers.

Jenny, Environmental Art & PR Intern

Vegan week was a little challenging but I went really hard on lentils and chickpeas, and had to cave for pizza one time but it felt good to abstain from dairy for the most part, especially with allergies and seasonal colds going around. I made pumpkin oats in a crockpot and a vegan “tuna” salad out of chickpeas which was pretty great and lasted all week for lunches. I ate it on toast with greens all week (sometimes with sriracha). Really good with some sliced avocado, too, and if you’re really hungry, a veggie burger layered on top.

Jenny’s Chickpea “tuna” Salad:

1 can chickpeas

Big scoop of veganaise (vegan mayo)

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

Some garlic powder

~1/4 of an large yellow onion, diced

Tiny bit of olive oil

All you do is mush it all up in one bowl and enjoy!

Jenny’s Pumpkin Oats in a Crockpot

2 cups steel cut oats

7 cups water

2 cups pumpkin puree

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp table salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ cup dark organic maple syrup

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. 1 cup serving size.

Optional: ½ cup honey, peanut butter for a layer of protein and deliciousness!

Seven of eight staff joining in the vegan challenge stand inside Michelle Wilson's "Carbon Corpus." Left to right: Mike Weilbacher, Jenny Ryder, Michelle Havens, Patty Boyle, Donna Struck, Emily Harkness, Elisabeth Zafiris. Not pictured: Christina Catanese

Seven of eight staff joining in the vegan challenge stand inside Michelle Wilson’s “Carbon Corpus.” Left to right: Mike Weilbacher, Jenny Ryder, Michelle Havens, Patty Boyle, Donna Struck, Emily Harkness, Elisabeth Zafiris. Not pictured: Christina Catanese

Leaf storting activity

Children Need Nature: Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Leaf storting activityBy Shannon Wise, Nature Preschool Manager

Children Need Nature is a monthly blog column from our Nature Preschool program. Read more posts here.

Children Need NatureIf you walk along the trails with a Nature Preschool class, you might think you are just out for a breath of fresh air, to run and let go of some extra energy. Yes – it is that and so much more. You might notice children gathering leaves, counting as they go. Their teacher furthers the experience as she takes out four-colored pieces of construction paper to allow the children to sort by shades of fall. Soon, the children are discussing the attributes of each leaf as they categorize these natural objects. Expanding vocabulary can be heard as each child describes the shape or what makes the leaf they are holding unique. Throughout the experience, they are navigating space, taking turns in conversation, learning to wait to place their leaf until their friend is finished – all important social skills needed for the next step in their school journey. They are all a crucial piece of that term: readiness. Readiness for kindergarten, or the step after preschool, does not just mean knowing your letters and numbers. It is so much more and the transition can seem so overwhelming.

In Philadelphia and the surrounding area, there are many options for kindergarten. From public to charter, private to progressive, the choices can seem endless. This is great but is scary for a first-time parent or even a caregiver who is unsure of what type might be best for their child. When the door is opened up to the wide range of kindergarten schools out there, there are many aspects of readiness to consider; most importantly, are all of the players involved ready: the child, the family, the school, and even the community. Continue reading

Sorghastrum nutans4

Field Guide: Fall in Bloom

By Jenny Ryder, Environmental Art and Public Relations Intern

Enjoy our mobile field guide as you walk, hike, and play in the fall meadows. See other Field Guide posts here.

Flat-top goldenrod (Solidage graminifolia)

Solidago graminifoliaFlat-top goldenrod provides nectar for many types of pollinators such as butterflies, wasps, both long- and short-tongue bees, flies, moths and beetles. One particularly interested beetle is named after the plant itself—the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle! Many people mistakenly believe they’re allergic to goldenrod , but in fact, what little pollen it has is too sticky to be blown around by the wind! Wherever you are, it is likely you will be able to find a few different kinds of goldenrod in the fall, all of which are suitable for medicinal purposes. After the Boston Tea Party, goldenrod tea replaced black tea in the States– “liberty tea,” and was used  to boost the immune system before the  winter months.

 Yellow indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Sorghastrum nutans4

More commonly known as yellow indiangrass, Sorghastrum nutans is a tall native grass that can be identified by its blue-green blades and the almost metallic yellow-gold sheen of its flowering heads. Standing at about three to five feet tall, Indiangrass is an excellent snack for deer, birds and other wildlife.

Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Jewelweed

Spotted jewelweed is an annual flowering plant that can be found growing along creek banks, and lives right along the edge of the Schuylkill Center’s own Springhouse Pond. One can easily identify this plant by submerging its leaves in the surface of a nearby water body—if they shimmer with a silvery dust, it’s jewelweed! Despite their misleading nickname— touch-me-not— the innards of jewelweed’s succulent stems can be used to treat poison ivy, bug bites, or other skin irritations on the trail. Jewelweed is also known as touch-me-not because, if the seed pods are ripe when touched, the seeds will pop out of their dangling pendant pods. You’re safe to touch these pretty creekside blooms, but be wary of their common neighbors, stinging nettle and poison ivy!

Roundleaf thoroughwort (Eupatorium rotundifolium)

Eupatorium rotun.2

If you get out on the trails soon, you’ll still be able to catch the beautiful white blooms of roundleaf thoroughwort, a perennial plant with bundles of delicate white flowers. A member of the aster family, roundleaf thoroughwort has many porcelain flowers in each of the small floral heads. Eupatorium rotundifolium stands at about three to four feet tall this time of year, fully matured before it crawls back to the soil in wintertime.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Panicum virgatum

Much like Indiangrass above, switchgrass is another important native tallgrass, reaching up to five feet tall. Generally, Switchgrass is not quite as tall as Indiangrass, but due to its rhizomatic root structure, its roots can extend up to 10 feet underground! It can be found in dry soils, in prairies, open woods, or growing by train tracks in large clumps. Switchgrass is known for its particularly sturdy vertical growth structure, and is also referred to as panic grass, thatchgrass, and wild redtop, due to the pinkish tinge of their tufted panicle blooms.

Carole William-Green 2016 Meigs Award Winner

Introducing Carole Williams-Green

By Mike Weilbacher, Executive Director

On November 17, the Schuylkill Center presents the 11th annual Henry Meigs Environmental Leadership Award, given to leaders who reflect the spirit and vision of Schuylkill Center founder Henry Meigs.

CCCEEC ribbon cuttingThis year, we honor Carole Williams-Green, the dynamic founder of the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center in West Philadelphia.  A former public school teacher and administrator, she has led a successful multi-decade effort to rehabilitate the historic but abandoned Fairmount Park Police stables in Fairmount Park’s Cobbs Creek section, creating a center to bring environmental education to under-served neighborhoods like her own West Philadelphia.  Founded in 1991, the center opened its doors in 2001.

After being presented the award, Williams-Green will join a panel discussing environmental education and under-served audiences.  As we go to press, panelists include Jerome Shabazz, founder and executive director of the Overbrook Environmental Center, and Lamar Gore, refuge manager of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Tarsha Scovens, founder of Let’s Go Outdoors, and Karen Young of the Fairmount Water Works. Continue reading

Native Pollinator Garden art installation changes over time

Art + Time at the Schuylkill Center: a 2017 wall calendar

By Christina Catanese, Director of Environmental Art

One of the most important aspects of environmental art is leaving time for nature to respond to an art work.  Change is a constant in the natural world, and when artists venture outside the controlled setting of the studio or gallery, art must be responsive to change, time, and seasons.

Indeed, many environmental art works are not complete until nature has had time to respond and artists have had time to understand and reconcile change in the work.  Stacy Levy’s Rain Yard needs rain to fall for the collaboration with water to happen; Jake Beckman’s Future Non-Object #1: Sol’s Reprise needs fungus and other soil organisms to grow, and the piece won’t truly be complete until it becomes soil, many years from now.

Many environmental art works are invitations to nature, which nature will respond to in its own time.  WE THE WEEDS, for instance, installed their woven tapestry of invasive vines in a vine-filled meadow, hoping that the living vines would contribute to the artwork by growing and weaving themselves onto and into the work, that the vines heartily accepted this invitation.

Environmental art can itself even become a calendar of sorts, revealing the change in seasons and cycles. I know spring has sprung when the columbine sprouts in our Native Pollinator Garden, and that fall has arrived when the asters bloom in Welcome Home.

We present environmental art on various timescales – some is temporary, disappearing from our forests after a just few weeks’ time, while other works are with us indefinitely.

So, this year we decided to put together a 2017 wall calendar, celebrating cutting edge, contemporary environmental art in our fields and forests. Founded in 2000 as an opportunity for artists and audiences to explore and interpret the natural world and current ecological issues, our program has brought 277 artists to our site. This calendar highlights works here from across 17 years; three of the works are still with us today, continuing to evolve with our site and with time.

We hope this calendar is more than a time marking tool, but something that activates your imagination throughout this year, perhaps inspiring you to notice time and change in your own environment.

So, take a look, support our art program, and order your 2017 calendar today!

Children Need Nature Blog Post header

Children Need Nature: What is a Nature Preschooler?

Children Need NatureBy Nicole Brin, Sycamore Classroom Lead Teacher

Children Need Nature is a monthly blog column from our Nature Preschool program. Read more posts here.

A Nature Preschooler is a 3-, 4-, or 5-year-old child who is part of a program which uses the natural world as the primary context for learning. They develop the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical skills needed for Kindergarten while immersed in daily outdoor experiences.

But a Nature Preschooler is more than that…

Child looking at a caterpillarA Nature Preschooler is curious. Learning the value in discovering answers for themselves. Studying the movement of a snail up close, wondering why some leaves turn red but others yellow, or exploring the cause and effect of splashing in the stream.

 

Children playing in the rain and the mudA Nature Preschooler is resilient. Solving problems and persevering through challenges. Figuring out the best way to move a large rock, navigating the sharing of tools in the sand pit, or not giving up until they’ve finally reached the highest branch.

 

Child climbing a treeA Nature Preschooler is a risk-taker. The good kind. Trying new things and learning how to evaluate new scenarios. Enjoying opportunities to get messy in the mud kitchen, evaluating the sturdiness of a rotten log, or working up the courage to ask a new friend to play.

 

Children spelling letters with sticksA Nature Preschooler is a communicator. Growing their ability to share their thoughts, ideas, needs, and wants. Discussing the weather at morning meeting, drawing observations  of the pond in their journal, or solving conflicts as they identify the ins and outs of friendships.

Child exploring patterns in the mudA Nature Preschooler is mindful. Aware of themselves, others, and the miraculous planet we live on. Noticing the beautiful pattern carved into a branch by a beetle, thanking a visitor for sharing story, or simply taking a moment for a few deep breaths before settling in for lunch.

Children and teachers playing on logA Nature Preschooler is spirited. Free to be exactly who they are. Passionate about sharing their favorite discovery, full of energy as they run through the meadow, or enthusiastic about any adventure thrown their way!

A Nature Preschooler is a unique type of child. One who will grow up to do great things!

Nicole BrinAbout Nicole Brin
Nicole, now entering her fourth year with the Schuylkill Center Nature Preschool, is lead teacher of the Sycamore class where she explores and learns alongside her preschoolers daily.