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September 14, 2020

Find yourself in nature

In-person and virtual environmental events planned for September – October, 2020

Nature Alliance for Watershed Education

Content sponsored by River Days Sponsorship Badge 2

Limited - River Days 2020 main image Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River/for PhillyVoice

This year, for so many reasons, people have sought solace in the outdoors and in being connected to nature. During September and October, the 23 environmental centers that make up the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE) will host family-friendly activities as part of the organization’s annual River Days festivities, to draw attention to the interconnectedness of the Delaware River watershed that encompasses much of SE Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

AWE Centers share a mission to collectively increase and enhance constituent appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of the Delaware River watershed focusing on communities touched by the Delaware, Schuylkill, Cooper, Lehigh and Christina Rivers. Over 13 million people depend on the Delaware River watershed for clean drinking water.

Environmentally-focused River Days 2020 events are a mix of virtual and in-person activities, all following social-distancing recommendations. Events are free unless noted otherwise.

#PhilaBag Redux


Limited - #Philabag cleanupAlliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River/for PhillyVoice


Delaware River Fellows from the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum developed the #Philabag Litter Clean-up Campaign and it was a huge hit, with people filling bags of trash and sharing on social media. In celebration of River Days, we are encouraging Philadelphians to fill any size bag with trash found on the streets of their neighborhoods, then post pictures of your filled bags or proud cleanup selfies on any social media platform with the hashtags #Philabag and #RiverDays. Eliminating litter is as easy as filling a bag!

Migration Day

Saturday, Oct. 10

Lehigh Gap Nature Center

Although we've all faced many uncertainties this year, one natural spectacle has continued right on cue — the marvel of autumn migration is underway! On October 10th Lehigh Gap Nature Center is hosting a special Migration Day in lieu of our annual Migration Fest. This day-long event will provide a chance for families to experience animal migration, and the Appalachian Mountain ecology that supports it, through a virtual workshop and self-guided activities. $12 fee. Visit for registration details.

5th Annual (Rubber) Duck Race/Creeks to River Festival

Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.

Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center
700 Cobbs Creek Pkwy (63rd & Catherine Streets,) Philadelphia, PA

Limited - Retrieving rubber ducks 2
At Cobbs Creek, there are two creeks: Smaller Naylors Run flows into the larger Cobbs Creek, which flows to Darby Creek which meets the Delaware River at Tinicum. This flowing of one creek into another is called "stream order". "We decided to teacher families in our area about stream order in a fun way," reports George Ambrose, Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator. "We use rubber ducks, racing from one creek into the other." When people register to sponsor a duck for $2, they are also asked to sign a pledge to return to the Center on one of three Service Days later in the year. "We see it as a win-win" Ambrose says. "Families have fun participating in the races, and the Center wins by gaining stewardship volunteers". Registration forms available at Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, 63rd & Catherine Streets., Philadelphia, PA. 

Exploring Our Urban Watershed

Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10:30 a.m.

Fairmount Water Works
640 Water Works Drive, Philadelphia, PA

In partnership with the Schuylkill River Development Corporation and Concilio, our program will offer families a chance to really get to know the Schuylkill River from a new perspective. Participants will explore ways the native landscape and river waters served the Lenni Lenape people, and continue to serve us today. Have fun outside of the historic Fairmount Water Works, on a scavenger hunt of native plants used today in the City's green infrastructure projects; Create a mural of the landscape surrounding the Schuylkill River, imagining it as it might have looked when the Lenape occupied the land; and examine life in a drop of river water. Following BYO lunch, we will lead participants on an interpretive trek along the Schuylkill Trail to the Walnut Street Dock where we will put in kayaks and get out on the water! This event is by invitation only.

Reintroducing the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir

Sunday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m.

The Discovery Center 
3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA

Guests will be invited to measure mussels, measure water quality, and improve riparian zones of the reservoir.


Bi-Lingual Guided Bird Walk in Tacony Creek Park

Saturday, Sept. 19 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
(Rain date/Fecha en caso de lluvia: Sept. 26)

Bingham St & E Ashdale St, Philadelphia PA 19120

Limited - Red winged blackbird by Marci GreenMarci Green/Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River

Red-winged Blackbird

Explore Tacony Creek Park birds and wildlife with a nature expert on a free guided walk in English and Spanish! ¡Explora las aves y la vida silvestre de Tacony Creek Park en una caminata gratis con un experto en la naturaleza en inglés y español!

Binoculars, masks and gloves will be provided. Binoculares, máscaras y guantes serán proveídos. Space is limited - Please Sign Up Here Espacio es limitado - por favor regístrese Aquí. For questions/para preguntas:

Stream Stewards Virtual Watershed Clean-up

Sept. 19 through Oct. 3

Citizens are invited to discover what watershed they live in and plan personal clean-ups to help reduce plastic pollution in our region. Take a photo of your accomplishments and share on social media with #Alliance4WatershedEd #RiverDays2020. Sponsored by First State National Park and The Nature Conservancy.

2020 River Days: Find Yourself in Nature

Sept. 20-26 at 10 a.m.

The Nature Place, Reading PA

Join Berks Nature’s FREE scavenger hunt to learn about nature in your own community and to win great prizes! Participants will utilize the free GooseChase app on their mobile devices to complete missions while spending time outdoors. Earn points, interact virtually with our team, and complete missions to win prizes!

Philly Fall Nature Festival

Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Facebook Live @johnheinznwr

Join John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Briar Bush Nature Center and Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center for a special 12-hour virtual Philly Fall Nature Fest, 2020 edition, on Facebook Live! Tune into Facebook Live @johnheinznwr for live animal demonstrations, nature tours, story time, interactive crafts, sip+paint, and quizzo with prizes.

Delaware River Festival

Sept. 26 to Oct.4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Virtual and in-person events throughout Philadelphia and Camden

The 2020 Delaware River Festival will be a week-long in-person/virtual hybrid event, with environmental organizations from both PA and NJ highlighting the importance of the Delaware River and the many fun and meaningful activities that you can do in its watershed. Partner organizations include: Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Center     for Aquatic Sciences, Independence Seaport Museum, Fairmount Water Works, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and the Philadelphia Water Department. Details at

Free Yoga – Yoga Gratis @ Gateway Park

Saturday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation at Gateway Park is offering virtual community yogaBYOM (Bring Your Own Mat) Details at

Sharing the Delaware: A Panel Discussion

Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 7–8 p.m.

The Delaware River is not just a destination for recreational boaters or anglers. Rather it’s a critical hub for imports and exports that flow through the Port of Philadelphia daily. Join Independence Seaport Museum and its esteemed panel of speakers as it (virtually) dives into exploring the Delaware River, its role as both a place of business and a place of recreation, and how we can safely share the water moving forward. Registration required to receive a Zoom link. Details at

Place-Based Field Experience Workshop for All

Saturday, Oct. 3 at 8 a.m.

New Jersey Natural Lands Trust at Petty’s Island

Kelly Wenzel has more than 20 years of experience using the outdoors as a classroom. Join Kelly for a day of hands-on experiences designed to get your students outside. Learn the basics of running your own place-based field experiences. Using Petty’s Island as the backdrop, discover how history and environment are connected and can be found in every neighborhood. Utilize natural areas to simulate different teaching spaces in your community. Learn seining, water quality monitoring, soil testing, plant and tree identification and much more! This workshop is appropriate for anyone who works with children. All activities are aligned to NJ Student Learning Standards for Science and can be adapted to any teaching opportunity. Registration is REQUIRED for this event:

Schuylkill River History Hike

Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
7800 Nixon Street Philadelphia PA 19128

The stretch of the Schuylkill River between Manayunk and Roxborough changed dramatically when Flat Rock Dam opened in 1820. Creating the Manayunk Canal and Venice Island, the canal has been cut off from the river and Venice Island is now home to a veritable city of new construction. But the dam is changing, as Philadelphia Water moves forward with an ambitious plan to redesign the site to allow water to flow through the long-stagnant canal. On a walk from the Shawmont Train Station to Green Lane bridge, discover the train station’s history and future, spend time at the dam to learn about its plans, and walk along Venice Island, exploring the history and ecology of the area. Participants can then walk into Manayunk for lunch, or return to Shawmont. Co-sponsors include Philadelphia Water Department, Roxborough Development Corporation, the Roxborough-Manayunk Conservancy, and local civic associations.

Run Wild Delaware – Get Moving

Saturday & Sunday, October 3-4

On your mark, get set, go! DelNature’s Abbott’s 5k and DEEC’s “Run Wild” are going virtual! Run, walk, hike or bike – you choose your pace and place anytime during the first weekend of October! So lace up, stay active, and have fun!

All ages. $25/person Learn more and register here.

Youth Birding on Petty’s Island

Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 a.m.

New Jersey Natural Lands Trust at Petty’s Island
36th Street and Harrison Avenue, Pennsauken Township, NJ

Join New Jersey Audubon and the New Jersey Young Birders Club for an exciting field trip to Petty's Island. Learn about the island's industrial past and its transformation to a wildlife sanctuary as we hike along the Delaware River looking for spring migrants. The varied habitats allow for opportunities to see a variety of birds (and other wildlife too!). Bring an adult along and enjoy this rare opportunity.

Children MUST be 12 and older (or in grade 6 if 11) to participate and accompanied by an adult or in a group with an adult to child ratio of 1:7. Each child must have a waiver signed by their parent or guardian. All adult chaperones must also have a signed waiver to participate. Registration is REQUIRED for this event:

Youth, Community, and the Watershed

Sunday, Oct. 4 from 3-4 p.m.

Independence Seaport Museum’s River Ambassadors were hard at work this summer, meeting (virtually) to share ideas and discussing how to engage their community with the Delaware River Watershed, which is critical now more than ever. Join us for this youth led panel to find out how they engaged with their community, how the community responded, and what you can do to keep our watershed safe for generations to come. Details at

About the Alliance for Watershed Education

The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE) aims to raise awareness about the 13,500-square mile system which provides clean drinking water for 13 million people. The 23 AWE member centers are located along Circuit Trails or major connecting trails throughout the Delaware River watershed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. These centers share a mission to collectively increase and enhance constituent appreciation and stewardship of the Delaware River watershed. For more information and updates, visit AWE’s websiteInstagram and Facebook page.