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July 2020

The Story of Plastic: A Film Conversation

July 30, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
Free

The new film THE STORY OF PLASTIC​ takes a sweeping look at the crisis of plastic pollution and its effect on both people and planet. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, mountains  of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing. With engaging original animation, archival footage beginning in the ‘30s, and first-person accounts, the film shines a bright light on an…

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October 2020

The Wildlife Clinic: A Virtual Tour

October 8, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
Free

Our Wildlife Clinic treats thousands of injured, orphaned, and sick animals every year.  Join us for a virtual behind-the-scenes tour with our Wildlife Rehabilitation team with Director Chris Strub  and Assistant Director Liz Ellmann. Our clinic, the only one in Philadelphia, has handled over 150 different species, everything from tiny hummingbirds to massive snapping turtles. Chris and Liz will answer all your questions about how you can champion wildlife and rehabilitation in the region.

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Roxborough’s River and Water: A History

October 15, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
Free

For almost 100 years the Roxborough Pumping Station, just above the Flat Rock Dam, was a landmark on the Schuylkill River, pumping water into two reservoirs on high ground to serve the city's northwestern section. In this illustrated talk, Adam Levine, historian for Philadelphia Water, reveals why the system was built, how it worked, why it was abandoned, and its ultimate dereliction and demolition in 2011. River pollution and flooding, drownings, water filtration, the revitalization of the reservoirs as parkland,…

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February 2021

Overview from Overhead: Raptors in our Skies

February 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Can you tell a red-shouldered hawk from a red-tail? A merlin from a kestrel? Philadelphia sees an astounding 26 raptor species throughout the year, more than half of those present in the US. But winter surprisingly boasts the largest number of species, as migrants move here for the season and mix with winter residents. This raptor extravaganza inevitably brings some to the Wildlife Clinic’s door as they tangle with man-made hazards and the challenges of winter. Join Clinic Director Chris…

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Braiding Phragmites: Richard L. James Lecture

February 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Online
Free

This summer environmental artist Sarah Kavage and designer Yaroub Al-Obaidi will construct a traditional Iraqi guesthouse, a mudhif, at the Schuylkill Center, one of the first such structures in America. It will be built entirely out of phragmites, an invasive wetland grass that threatens ecosystems worldwide and is one of the most abundant plants in the Delaware River watershed. At this event, the artists will speak about traditional reed practices, methods of eco-friendly harvesting and eradication, and the creation of…

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Leave it to Beavers

February 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Surprise! Not only do bald eagles nest near the airport and peregrine falcons swoop out of Manayunk skies, but beavers are now building dams and lodges along the Schuylkill in Manayunk and Roxborough. Once locally extinct, beavers have happily returned to several places in our city. While this is worth celebrating, it has ironically impacted restoration efforts where beavers devour newly planted trees. Local naturalist Bernard “Billy” Brown, author of the Urban Naturalist column in Grid magazine, the Roxborough Manayunk…

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March 2021

The Rise and Fall of our Forests: from the Lenape to Smokey the Bear

March 4 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Pennsylvania landscape has undergone a near-complete transformation over the last 350 years, starting with the extirpation of the Lenape and the loss of their fire management practices. After European settlement, extensive logging and land clearing, the introduction of exotic insects, diseases and invasive plants, increasing deer browsing, and the Smokey Bear-era has led to unprecedented changes in forest composition across the eastern US. We’ve lost not only once-dominant chestnut trees, but many white pine forests too, and super-abundant white…

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Six Legs to Rule Them All

March 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

With over 1 million species found so far and millions more still to be discovered, insects are unbelievably diverse in form and function. Join entomologist Isa Betancourt for a deep dive into the wonderful world of insects. She’ll share stunning examples of insect diversity here in Philadelphia, from the fastest color-changing arthropod known to the cicadas that emerge once every 17 years, then jump into why insect biodiversity is so precious-- and what we can do to support it in…

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Celebrate Spring! A Virtual Wildflower Walk

March 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

After this wicked snow-filled winter, spring has finally sprung, bringing the promise of a forest overflowing with bright green leaves and a stunning carpet of ephemeral wildflowers. Mike Weilbacher, our resident wildflower expert, takes you on a virtual nature walk through the Center’s trails to meet our wonderful wildflowers, so many having such evocative names: Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauties, Jacob’s ladder, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wake robin. He’ll share their life stories, the role they play in the ecology of the region, and…

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May 2021

The Story in Rocks: Geology with Sarah West

May 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Wissahickon’s dramatically beautiful rock formations-- huge banded gneiss formed deep underground, garnet-studded schist that grace the foundations of so many homes-- tell a great story of continents crashing into each other, mountains rising and falling, and time slowly revealing the earth’s secrets. Sarah West has been leading popular Wissahickon geology walks and talks for many years, and shares the stories found in these rocks. You’ll never walk the Wissahickon trails in the same way again.

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The Philly Tree Plan: Growing Our Urban Forest

May 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Though parts of Philadelphia are shaded by a beautiful canopy of trees, much of the city is not-- and our overall tree canopy sadly declined 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. To address this, the city is creating an urban forest plan-- and needs your help. Erica Smith Fichman, the city’s Community Forestry Manager and the project lead for the Philly Tree Plan, presents the city’s efforts to create a 10 year plan for the planting and care of our…

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A Botanical Paradise: Kazakhstan & the Altai Mountains

May 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Paul Meyer presents an illustrated lecture on his recent botanical travels in northeast Kazakhstan. The world’s largest landlocked country, few travelers from the western world have visited this extraordinarily beautiful region, noted for its rich steppe and alpine flora. In addition, Meyer will share stories of the people, architecture, and culture. He is the retired F. Otto Haas Executive Director of the Morris Arboretum, not to mention an exceptional photographer, writer, and speaker.

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June 2021

Green New Deal: A Roundtable

June 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

The Green New Deal has been a source of extreme controversy ever since it was first proposed more than two years ago. But while a lot of ink has been spilled about the GND, few people know much about what it actually proposes. We’d like to change that. State Senator Nikil Saval, State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler-- two candidates who ran, in part, on the proposal-- and the Sierra Club’s Zakia Elliott answer all your questions about the Green New Deal.

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