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October 2020

Pandemic Play: Spread Joy, not the Virus

October 29, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128 United States

Here’s a lecture perfect for frustrated parents navigating the current COVID world, with both you and your children spending too much time online. Come learn how Studio Ludo, a non-profit design firm specializing in play, uses play during the pandemic to fight against social disconnect, preserve parental happiness, and build more resilient, happier kids. They believe that play helps us live life a little more fully. The evening is presented by Meghan Talarowski, Studio Ludo’s executive director, who believes that…

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January 2021

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (online)

January 18 @ 10:00 am - 10:30 am
Online

Community members as well as Nature Preschool families past and present are invited to join us virtually as we discuss the important legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and highlight ways to preserve that legacy through vital service projects. While we can’t meet in person this year, we know that you don’t have to go far to make a difference. We encourage you to complete one of the suggested service projects to help your neighbors, your community, wildlife, and the environment.…

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Virtual Nature Trivia

January 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Online

Put your nature knowledge to the test at our third annual virtual trivia event. It’s a cornucopia of questions covering the scaly, feathered, furry, and even slimy members of the animal kingdom. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place teams. Teams can consist of 1-6 players. A Zoom link will be in the confirmation email received after registering.

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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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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

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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Latinx Nature Trivia Night

May 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Online

Put your nature knowledge to the test at our upcoming bilingual virtual trivia night. It’s a cornucopia of questions covering all things nature‐‐-from plants and birds to reptiles and insects, and more. Questions will be read in English and in Spanish. Teams can consist of 1-6 players; prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place teams. This event is co-sponsored by Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and Congreso de Latinos Unidos. Pon a prueba tus conocimientos sobre la naturaleza…

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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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