What to do outside before summer is over

By Kiley Sotomayor, Summer Environmental Art Intern

Now that we are in the final month of summer vacation, it is the perfect time to fit in something you’ve been unable to do all summer in between graduation parties, sports games, and weddings. For me, that means doing new things and spending as much time as possible outside. The Schuylkill Center is a great place to do both! I’d like to recommend three things to check off your list before August flies by:

  1. Hit the trails. We as a country spend about 8.5 hours a day in front of the screens, usually sitting. To get out of a screen rut, take a healthy break by going for a hike, bonus points if you go with friends. It will give your eyes a rest while waking up your body and may even increase your social savvy more than social media.  Even though August signals the end of wineberry picking, there is still a lot to check out on the trails. Whether you spot a lone deer making its way across a path or catch sight of a #Stormsnake, hiking along a shaded trail is a nice change of pace from the bright city sidewalk.

  1. Speaking of trails, visit the art exhibits at the Schuylkill Center. We have 8 permanent installations as well as other temporary installations that change regularly. Complete with guided audio tours you can access from your smart phone, you’ll see that environmental art comes in all shapes and sizes. The artworks are constantly adapting to the environment, with vines growing steadily on WE THE WEEDS and mushrooms popping up sporadically on Jake Beckman’s Sol’s Reprise, to name a few. You’ll never see the same thing twice. If you need to take respite from the heat and cool off, our indoor gallery is also a good spot to reflect and unplug.
  1. Passion for the environment can be shown through gestures large and small. By volunteering, you can connect to nature in a new way. Sometimes, in the midst of end-of-summer weddings and gearing up for September, it is easy to feel like there isn’t enough time to fit in everything in I’d like to do before the end of the month. Through volunteering, I not only tap into what I am passionate about, but also feel like I’m giving back in a way that I wouldn’t have otherwise. The Schuylkill Center offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to fit anyone’s experience and schedule.

Above all, try to spend time outside with nature before summer is over.

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Zya Levy, of WE THE WEEDS, 2014-2015 LandLab Resident Artist, created Interwoven, a growing and evolving art installation at the Schuylkill Center.