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 Southwest Philadelphia leaders and ambassadors. 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.

Southwest Leaders 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 Southwest Philadelphia Community Leadership Team 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 community space 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. 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 partnerships with nearly 40 local schools, libraries, and childcare centers as well as paid youth workforce development opportunities for up to 50 local high school students annually. The facility will also have public amenities like trail-front restrooms and seating along the popular Bartram’s Mile Trail, where many neighbors enjoy walking or riding bikes, as well as community gathering space for free events like yoga classes, resource fairs, and more.

This project is the result of a dedicated, long-standing partnership, and we are proud that several members of the Leadership Team have been involved in selecting the project’s architect and advising on other aspects of the project’s design and programming. We firmly believe that Southwest Philadelphia’s students deserve this high-quality place to learn and explore, just as our neighborhood ecosystem and our backyard riverfront are overdue for the environmental restoration that will be made possible by the new mussel hatchery.

We appreciate your attention to this project and look forward to welcoming you to Southwest Philadelphia when this new facility opens.

Sincerely,

Southwest Philadelphia Community Leadership Team

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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.

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Bring the Garden home! Shop for plants or grow food, trees, and more.

History

Uncover the interconnected stories of this historic site.

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