Schuylkill Center response to COVID-19 coronavirus situation

covid

Update 3/25/2020

The Schuylkill Center continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and will update you whenever new information comes to us. 

At this date, we will continue to remain closed through Monday, April 6, as the Governor has mandated. This closure includes the Visitor Center (including the outdoor Nature Playscape), Nature Preschool, Monkey Tail Gang, and the Wildlife Clinic. The Wildlife Clinic will not accept new patients from the public but will continue to respond to emergency calls and wildlife inquiries on its 24-hour wildlife hotline (215-482-7300 x 2).

For our Nature Preschool families, we are currently exploring online options for our teachers to remain in virtual contact with your children.  We will contact you directly with more details in the coming days.

All April programs have been postponed or cancelled until further notice. Please check our website at www.schuylkillcenter.org for the most recent updates.

At this time, our trails on our 300-acre forest remain OPEN and FREE of charge to the community each day from dawn to dusk. If you do go for a walk, allow an ample 6’ distance between fellow hikers.  Please enjoy our forests and fields, and ponds and streams on foot.  We are a nature preserve–no pets or bicycles are allowed on the trails so the creatures in our forest remain undisturbed.  Parking is available in the small parking area accessible from Hagy’s Mill Road. If that lot is full, please park near the baseball fields at Port Royal Avenue and Hagy’s Mill Road, across from the reservoir park (indicated in red on this map).

We hope you and your families remain healthy and safe at this unprecedented moment in history.

Alternate parking to access trails from Hagy's Mill Road

Alternate parking to access trails from Hagy’s Mill Road

 

Updated 3/19/2020

For the safety and wellbeing of our animal patients, staff, volunteers, and animal rescuers, the Wildlife Clinic at the Schuylkill Center is temporarily closing to the public as of March 19 until further notice. 

We will sustain our existing operations with limited staff to provide essential treatment for more than 30 patients currently receiving care, but we are unable to accept walk-in patient admissions. 

If you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, please reach out to us by phone. Our wildlife hotline (215-482-7300 x option 2) remains in operation, and we will respond to emergency calls and wildlife inquiries 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. In this way we will continue to fulfill our crucial role as an emergency resource by providing instruction and education for members of the community who find injured and orphaned wild animals in need. For non-emergency wildlife questions, please contact us by email at wildlife@schuylkillcenter.org

The safety and health of humans and animals is critically important to us, and we know that with rational and reasonable action we can continue to provide life-saving care to wildlife in need. We ask for your understanding during these challenging times and we will reassess reopening the clinic on a daily basis. Please check our website for any updates. 

 

 

Updated 3/13/2020

Dear Schuylkill Center members, visitors, and friends,

The Schuylkill Center is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all visitors, members, volunteers, and staff. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so does our strategy to limit transmission in our community. Beginning Saturday, March 14 and continuing through the next two weeks until March 29, we will be exercising an abundance of caution by closing the Visitor Center. Nature Preschool will also close, and our Monkey Tail Gang after-school program will be canceled; both programs will follow the School District of Philadelphia’s schedule. Additionally, all public programs during these two weeks will be cancelled. 

We expect to reopen the Visitor Center and Nature Preschool on Monday, March 30, resuming our programming then. Frequent updates will be available at www.SchuylkillCenter.org and via social media. We will be watching the situation very closely, and adjusting the March 30 reopening if needed.

Our Wildlife Clinic, given its critical lifesaving work, will remain open during this time, but our staff will practice additional social distancing and enhanced cleaning there.

But here’s the good news! The TRAILS on our 300-acre forest remain OPEN and FREE of charge to the community each day from dawn to dusk. Please park in the special parking area on Hagy’s Mill Road, and enjoy our trails. Outdoor time is one of the best things to do for well-being during times such as this. Spending time outside is a well-established but underappreciated way for people to feel healthy– and happy. So keep active, just in smaller groups. Go for a walk, or hike on our trails to give yourselves a bit of welcome distraction. Enjoy the first signs of spring with emerging wildflowers and the songs of migrating songbirds. You’ll feel better for it.

(Posted 3/11/2020)

As we all know, the COVID-19 coronavirus situation is fast-moving and quickly changing, with the virus now present in nearby communities.  As the health and safety of our staff and visitors–especially the many children who visit us–is of paramount importance, we have been working on our preparedness for what may be happening, and we wanted to alert you to our work.

While this is a rapidly developing situation, it is important to stress that there are–at this writing–no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia, and we remain open to the public with no changes in hours or programming.

Regarding Nature Preschool, the city’s Department of Public Health, whose website contains a lot of information on the virus, has not issued any recommendations to close schools. Please know we will follow its recommendations rigorously and to the letter. We will also monitor the special website of the School District of Philadelphia for updates as well.

Also, thus far, the Centers for Disease Control, whose website we are also carefully monitoring,  is only recommending quarantine for people who have recently returned from China and Iran, plus travel restrictions to the virus’ hotspots.

Our staff is maintaining best practices across the organization and building, including making sure sick staff stay home and take sick days. Our staff is washing our hands regularly and routinely, and we have placed handwashing signs across the building to keep this basic practice at the forefront of our attention. Our front desk staff is attentive to that site’s cleanliness, where so many people gather, disinfecting it regularly– and we are doing the same with door handles and other surfaces many people touch. We are also following the many common-sense public health guidelines that have been issued in recent days.

Some children may experience anxiety related to COVID-19. It is important to remind them that the adults in their lives are taking steps to protect them from illness. They can help protect themselves by handwashing and telling a trusted adult if they feel ill. The National Association of School Psychologists has offered advice for parents and guardians for talking with children about this subject, and that link is here.

Our action plan will change and evolve in response to the virus, and this information will be updated as needed. We will stay in touch with you when changes come, and invite you to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments.

Mike Weilbacher, Executive Director

mike@schuylkillcenter.org

215-863-6652

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>