Cultivating the Wild: William Bartram’s Travels, A Documentary

August 31, 2021
Kyle Scripko

“Cultivating the Wild” is a short (56 minutes 45 seconds) documentary that highlights a group of six environmentalists or, as the film calls them, “modern-day Bartrams.” Roughly following the path detailed by William Bartram in his world-famous book, Travels…, the film tells of the different ways in which these nature enthusiasts connect themselves to the environment around them. Some notable people featured are the ornithologist Drew Lanham; the landscape painter Philip Juras; and the retired riverkeeper James Holland. “Cultivating the Wild” strives to show the devastating effects of humanity on the environment as well as spark hope in the viewer through the stories of these “modern-day Bartrams.”

The film was first released in late 2019 by Eric Breitenbach (director), Scott Auerbach (director of photography), and Dorinda G. Dallmayer (writer), and has been broadcast across the country on public television beginning in 2020. It is currently free and available to view via the South Carolina ETV website. Also available is a review/interview of the documentary by Doug Carlson and Dorinda G. Dallmayer in The Georgia Review. Links to both the film and the review can be found below.

I'm interested in:

Biking & Walking

Birds

Boating & Fishing

Flowers, Plants & Trees

Gardening

History

Kids' Activities

Sankofa Community Farm

Southwest Philadelphia

Water Quality

Workshops, Wellness & Culture

Youth Internships

I'm interested in:

Biking & Walking

Follow the Schuylkill River Trail from the North Mile to 56th Street and beyond.

Birds

Look up! More than 100 species of birds rely on this ecosystem.

Boating & Fishing

Enjoy all that the Tidal Schuylkill River has to offer.

Flowers, Plants & Trees

See what’s blooming, find a favorite tree, and stroll the gardens and natural lands.

Gardening

Bring the Garden home! Shop for plants and grow your own food.

History

Uncover the interconnected stories of this historic site.

Kids' Activities

Join us year-round to learn, make, share, and wonder.

Sankofa Community Farm

“Go back and get it!” Growing food sovereignty with an African Diaspora focus.

Southwest Philadelphia

Resources and opportunities especially for neighbors in Southwest Philly.

Water Quality

Find our latest data on the river’s bacteria levels and recent rainfall.

Workshops, Wellness & Culture

Enjoy upcoming workshops, self-care, and events. Are you a Southwest artist? Let’s partner!

Youth Internships

Calling Southwest students: paid internships available with the river, the farm, and the trees.