Joint Letter to Support State Funding for Ecosystems Education Center & Freshwater Mussel Hatchery

Sign now to encourage our state legislators to bring funds to Southwest Philly!

Map showing placement of future stable site on North Bartram section of the Schuylkill River Trail.

Rendering of the new Ecosystems Education Center & Freshwater Mussel Hatchery, adjacent to the Bartram’s Mile Trail and across from Sankofa Community Farm. Rendering by WRT Design.

Bartram’s Garden and our partner Partnership for the Delaware Estuary are currently seeking state funds to support the construction of the new Ecosystems Education Center and Freshwater Mussel Hatchery.

Our state legislators are eager to hear from you as local educators. Please submit the form below to add your voice to a joint letter in support of this project!

Click here for the joint letter about this project.

By submitting the form below, your signature and comments will be added to the linked letter.

Petition for State Funding for Ecosystems Education Center & Freshwater Mussel Hatchery

Bartram's Garden and Partnership for the Delaware Estuary are currently seeking state funding to support construction of the new Ecosystems Education Center & Freshwater Mussel Hatchery along the Bartram's Mile Trail. Adding your name below will help demonstrate the importance of this project to our state legislators as they consider our request.

Your comments will be shared with our state legislators.

Joint Letter

July 2024

Dear State Representative,

We write on behalf of the students and families we serve to express our sincere hope that you will support the construction of the new Ecosystems Education Center and Freshwater Mussel Hatchery at Bartram’s Garden, a visionary project led jointly by the Garden and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE). This new facility will draw together world-class science and watershed restoration with accessible, inviting spaces for hands-on education and STEAM investment, especially for our neighborhood’s youth and young adults. These connections between environmental restoration and investment in education represent some of Southwest Philadelphia’s highest priorities.

As you may know, freshwater mussels play an important role in sustaining healthier aquatic ecosystems: mussels function as natural water filters, removing suspended particles to create cleaner, healthier waterways while also contributing to nutrient-rich, stable riverbeds that can help other plants and animals thrive. PDE’s new Hatchery will propagate up to 1 million mussels annually for use in regional waterways like the Tidal Schuylkill River, helping our area’s rivers, streams, and lakes to be restored using the natural functions of a healthy ecosystem.

Perhaps even more important for the health of our community is continued investment in local students like those we see every day. The new Ecosystems Education Center will create the first dedicated educational space at Bartram’s Garden, with four lab-equipped classrooms and a teaching kitchen supporting dedicated year-round partnerships with the local schools, libraries, and childcare centers we represent.

We firmly believe that Southwest Philadelphia’s students deserve this high-quality place to learn and grow, and we are excited for the chance to show them the extraordinary impact of cutting-edge science happening in their own backyard.

We appreciate your attention to this project and your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

You may also be interested in:

children riding bikes on a trail surrounded by trees

Bartram’s Mile Trail

Take a stroll or bring your bike on our 1.55-mile recreational trail.

Events & Activities

Join us for our upcoming workshops and events, featuring self-care, arts, gardening, kids’ activities, and more!

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

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 or grow food, trees, and more.

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.