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February 2021

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

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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April 2021

Ask a Naturalist

April 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bring your nature questions for our panel of naturalists to answer. What’s the best local tree to plant in my yard? Which birds are migrating through Philadelphia right now? How are native bees or monarch butterflies doing? What actions can I take at home to support nature? Tony Croasdale, naturalist at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center joins our staff naturalists Aaliyah Green Ross and Eduardo Duenas to answer all your nature questions.

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Saving the Ark: Religion and the Environment

April 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In April, sermons about nature and the environment are increasingly heard in churches, mosques, and synagogues across the planet—sermons about stewardship, justice, even survival. At this event, religious leaders from diverse faiths gather to discuss and dissect the role of religion in the environment and will take your questions. Our panel includes Eileen Flanagan, author and former leader of the Earth Quaker Action Team, Reverend Gregory S. Holston, pastor of the Janes Memorial United Methodist Church in Germantown, Pastor Langdon…

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Rob Carter: Cultured Lands Artist Discussion

April 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Environmental artist Rob Carter’s work involves architecture, the science of plants, the environment and the history of colonialism. Join us for a virtual reception as he shares his fascination with how botany and urban development shape our shared environment. He will discuss his current research into the history and future of landscapes with Tina Plokarz, the Schuylkill Center’s Director of Environmental Art, and Lee Stoetzel, manager of the West Collection, a contemporary art collection in which several of Rob Carter’s…

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Earth Day Live!

April 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Online,

On this day, more than 1 billion people from almost 200 countries will unite to improve our planet. Join us for a highly interactive event where we invite you to share Earth Day actions, ask questions of Saleem Chapman, the city’s climate resilience coordinator, enjoy eco-poetry, learn our city’s special history with Earth Day, and guess the top 5 environmental pop songs of all time—while hearing a climate change quartet. You’ll also meet our impossibly cute Nature Preschoolers, who help…

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Native Plants Hotline

April 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Native plants offer a host of benefits to your garden-- and one of the most powerful acts you can offer to improve our planet. In addition to their beauty, native plants provide nectar and pollen for insects, food for colorful birds and rare butterflies, homes for toads and salamanders, protection from stormwater, and a whole lot more. But what to plant in YOUR yard? Are there native plants that grow in the shade? In that annoying wet spot? On the…

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May 2021

Spring Night Hike

May 7 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States

Welcome the first days of spring with a walk along our moonlit trails as we discover the forest in a whole new way. On this guided hike, we’ll look and listen for the nocturnal animals while taking in the beauty and peacefulness of the forest at night. The hike will begin at the Visitor Center. Participants should bring a flashlight. We’ll hike rain or shine so please dress for the weather. Space is limited; registration required. Masks are required throughout…

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Spring Fungi Hike with the Philadelphia Mycology Club

May 8 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States

Morels, chicken of the woods, and oyster mushrooms–with the temperate weather and rainy days of spring, the forest starts to come alive with different varieties of fungus. We’ll go on a slow hike, focusing on fungi biodiversity and citizen science, but there is always a chance that wild edibles will be found along the way. Registration is required. Due to COVID, space is limited so please let us know if you register and can no longer attend. Masks are required…

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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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Kickoff Ceremony for Al-Mudhif

May 31 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
Free

Join us as we kick off the construction of our next art installation, Al-Mudhif, with a dedication ceremony and a day building together in community. American veterans, Iraqi refugees, and the public will join environmental artist Sarah Kavage and Iraqi designer Yaroub Al-Obaidi in constructing an Iraqi guest house, called a mudhif, traditionally made with reed grasses called phragmites. The building process involves tying bundles of reeds into 20-foot-long columns, and then shaping them into huge parabolic arches. Hand-woven mats are then tied…

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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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Freshwater Mussels, Our Blue-Collar Bivalves

June 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online
Free

Freshwater mussels are THE most imperiled animals in both America and the Delaware River watershed, and restoration of mussels has become a national priority, especially as these hard-working animals perform the vital service of filtering our water. A coalition of public and private partners has ambitious plans, including propagating as many as a million mussels annually in labs and ponds to restore their populations. Lance Butler, senior scientist with the Philadelphia Water Dept, one of the partners, presents the astonishing…

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Black to Nature: Reconnecting with our Natural Roots

June 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online
Free

Join us for a lively panel discussion on the historic relationship of African-Americans to nature and the land, and how these relationships have been strained by societal and structural forces. We’ll highlight local organizations working to help Black people rediscover their connection to nature, and discuss how cultivating positive experiences in nature can help us heal from personal and shared trauma. Panelists: Latiaynna Tabb and Pamia Coleman, co-founders of Black Girls with Green Thumbs Camila Rivera-Tinsely, Director of Education at…

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Grand Opening of Al-Mudhif, Iraqi Guest House

June 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
+ Google Map
Free

It’s our first in-person public event since March 2020! Join us for the opening of the mudhif, the first Iraqi guesthouse built outside of Iraq. You’ll learn the 5,000-year history of this structure—constructed entirely out of phragmites reeds—while meeting its inspiring builders. Our gallery will be open for a stroll through the new exhibition that accompanies the art installation Al Mudhif outside. The evening includes land acknowledgement by Trinity Norwood and Reverend John Norwood of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, remarks by Al-Obaidi and…

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July 2021

Sowing Seeds – A Gathering

July 11 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
$5 – $10

Join us for an exploration through the gallery exhibition in conjunction with Al Mudhif – A Confluence and an Iraqi tea ceremony in the sanctuary guest house on our grounds. Sharing space in Philadelphia, the artists will speak about the migration of plants and people. Featuring: Environmental Artist Sarah Kavage Iraqi designer Yaroub Al-Obaidi Director of Environmental Art Tina Plokarz

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The Artist Is In

July 28 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
Free

Meet the artist Iraqi designer Yaroub Al-Obaidi at the Iraqi guesthouse (Al Mudhif) for conversation and reflection. A mudhif is where special community events like weddings and birthday celebrations occur, but also where conflicting parties go to discuss and resolve differences. Special coffee ceremonies are held there as well, often hosted by the local sheikh, the tribal leader or elder. Conceived and created by Iraqi designer, immigrant Yaroub Al-Obaidi along with environmental artist Sarah Kavage, the mudhif is constructed entirely of…

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August 2021

The Artist Is In

August 25 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States
Free

Meet the artist Iraqi designer Yaroub Al-Obaidi at the Iraqi guesthouse (Al Mudhif) for conversation and reflection. A mudhif is where special community events like weddings and birthday celebrations occur, but also where conflicting parties go to discuss and resolve differences. Special coffee ceremonies are held there as well, often hosted by the local sheikh, the tribal leader or elder. Conceived and created by Iraqi designer, immigrant Yaroub Al-Obaidi along with environmental artist Sarah Kavage, the mudhif is constructed entirely of…

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September 2021

Reconciliation – A Healing Encounter

September 11 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States

Two decades after the trauma of 9/11 and subsequent American military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the moral injuries experienced by veterans fundamentally unsettled their beliefs. We brought together Iraqi refugees, U.S. veterans and the public for the construction of Al Mudhif — an Iraqi ceremonial guesthouse entirely made out of invasive wetland reeds. Visitors will be led on a walk with wildlife expert Elizabeth Ellman, enjoy Iraqi tea/coffee, and listen to the sound recordings of veteran voices speaking about…

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