River Renaissance: Connecting to the Schuylkill in new ways

There has been an important reawakening for many Bartram’s Garden visitors in recent years. The Garden has again become a place where people of all ages could connect with one of Philadelphia’s greatest natural resources, the Schuylkill River.

Our boat dock will be buzzing with activity this spring, summer, and fall with free canoe and kayak rides, chartered cruises with Patriot Harbor Lines, a floating ice cream parlor festooned with a brass band, and the colorful Tidal Schuylkill Boat parade. The river also served an outdoor classroom for children in our new after-school program and summer camp. Plans are in the works to expand our public access hours and develop even more fun, new programs focused on our branch of Philly’s “hidden river” in 2015.

Following a major restoration and replanting recently, the tidal wetlands located on the southern end of Bartram’s Garden is now flourishing with native species and providing an expanded habitat for wildlife. The only one of its kind on the Lower Schuylkill, the wetlands serve several important functions and improve the health of our ecosystem by protecting water quality, storing floodwaters, and providing breeding grounds for a variety of species. Look for green herons, redwing blackbirds, sandpipers, kingfisher, and other migratory birds standing among the cattails the next time you visit!

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