Around the bend Newsletter Banner  
February 2012
A Message from the Executive Director: Innovation

In September of 2011, Riverbend began the work to develop a financial sustainability plan. We recognized the need to create a new framework that would guide us to a successful future. The planning process enabled time to rethink, innovate, focus and change. With the support of consultant Sandcastle Strategy Group, a strategic and tactical plan was created.  The initiatives in the plan support and strengthen our educational mission to provide a vital connection to the natural world for all children and ensure that our 30-acre site remains open space that is available to the public for passive recreation.


In January the board of directors and staff began to implement the plan and you will be hearing more in the coming months as the initiatives gain momentum and traction. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and we look forward to embarking on this new phase with you, our supporters, program participants and partners.

Laurie Bachman
 Riverbend will be part of the 2nd Annual Philadelphia Science Festival
April 20th-29th 
Philly Science Festival
10 days of interactive events that showcases Science in everyday life 
Riverbend is excited to once again be a part of the 2nd Annual Philadelphia Science Festival April 20-29, an innovative initiative to celebrate the region's strengths in science and technology. Launched to critical acclaim last year - and attended by more than 120,000 visitors - the city-wide Festival will again feature an extensive line-up of mostly-free programs and exhibitions designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and spark discussion. It kicks off with a public outdoor carnival on the Parkway (look for our interactive tent!) and continues with dozens or more events at institutions like ours and in each city neighborhood.

**Not only will we be at the Carnival on April 21st but we will also be hosting an Astronomy Night at Riverbend on April 27th at 8:00pm.  Join us and a guest astronomer as we gaze at the moon, constellations and other celestial objects in the night sky. Participants can also enjoy a night hike and marshmallow roasting over the campfire.


We hope you will enjoy exploring science with us this Spring!

Volunteer Highlight:

Samantha Shain


What would we do without our volunteers? Maintaining a 30 acre property is a huge task, and we couldn't do it without the many individuals and groups that work with us each year. 


This quarter we would like to thank Samantha Shain, a sophomore from Haverford College, who completed an internship at Riverbend this fall. "We were so lucky to have Sam work with us," explains Volunteer Coordinator Jeanne Angell. "She worked one day a week at Riverbend, accomplished so many things, and was wonderful to work with!"


In addition to assisting with our nature club and field trip programs, Sam weeded, mulched and raked our trails and gardens, helped with mailings, planted trees, shrubs, and perennials, cleaned and organized our facilities, and assisted with volunteer work days! That's a lot for one semester!


In addition to her interest in environmental issues, Sam has a passion for organic gardening and the politics of food production and availability.


Best of luck to Sam as she follows her passion and embraces new challenges!


 Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jeanne Angell, at if you are interested in volunteering.

Eco-Message and Activity


What DO animals do during the winter? 


Zzzzzz. While you might think that most animals sleep away the cold weather by hibernating, there are many animals that find ways to adapt to winter. Bears and chipmunks, among others, do indeed spend most of the winter in a deep slumber, using up the fat reserves in their body to get through the cold months. Others, such as birds and whales, migrate all over the world to find a more suitable climate. Some insects and worms migrate too - all the way down through several inches of soil! Still other animals, such as some rabbits and deer, stay and adapt to their own cold surroundings, growing more fur and eating whatever is available.


Are you interested in learning what some animals do to survive? Try this activity on a blustery day. First, stand outside alone. Then huddle down on the ground, wrapping your arms around your legs and tucking your head. Next, stand in a covered spot, such as next to a wall or tree. Finally, do each of these things closely surrounded by two or three other people doing the same thing. How did each of these activities feel? Which one was the warmest and which the coldest? Can you now understand why many animals huddle close together during the winter?


To learn more about the winter lives of animals and to try some more fun activities, click here.

Behind the 'Bend 

This past month we have had some of the highest winter temperatures in a long time. Here is our Volunteer Coordinator, Jeanne Angell, taking advantage of a nice January day to replant some baby trees.

Welcome our newest member to the Riverbend Staff: Deb Stone

Riverbend is excited to introduce all of you to our new Education Program Registrar, Deb Stone. Deb started as one of our camp parents and quickly grew to become more involved in Riverbend as she attended a few of our family programs. In 2011, she became one of our valued educators, teaching various programs that we offer throughout the year.

Prior to Riverbend, Deb worked for 12 years at the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston in various roles (from researcher to project director and production manager). She worked mostly in the New Media division which produces online companions to WGBH's national television series on science, history, how-to, and children's programming. She has always had a love of science and the environment, and we are excited that she has taken on this important role at Riverbend.Welcome Deb!


In This Issue
Riverbend is part of the PSF
Eco-message and activity
Behind the scenes
Welcome Deb!
Summer Camp Registration
Wish List
Upcoming Family Programs
Annual Appeal
A huge thanks to everyone who has made a recent gift to Riverbend!  Thanks to your generosity, we are able to continue our mission to teach environmental principals to children in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

If you would like to make a donation to Riverbend, please visit our Giving Page.
 2012 appeal
Summer Exploration Camp is the most popular program we offer. Sign up now and allow your children to learn about the earth around them while having fun!

*We have gone greener this year so to learn more and register now,
click here.*
Wish List
We appreciate every donation we receive at Riverbend. Our offices and garden equipment always could use a TLC. Help us by donating in-kind gifts from our wish list!

 Office chairs
 40-48" Round office table
 Garden rakes
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Keep up to date with what is going on at Riverbend and get exclusive details on programs and more!
Upcoming Family Programs
2012 offers some exciting programs that the whole family can enjoy. Check out some of our upcoming ones below!

ness Survival Day
Sunday, February 12th
Can you start a fire, make a shelter out of logs, or find your way in the woods? Join a Riverbend Naturalist and learn how to survive in the wild. Participants will learn how to start fires, identify wild edibles, build shelters and read a compass. *recommended to wear long pants and sturdy shoes.
Winter Trek 4: Riverbend Ramble
Saturaday, February 18th
Bring binoculars to look for birds in the Alec Williamson Bird Observation Area, enjoy the view of hundreds of native saplings taking root in the restoration area, and remember what it is like being a kid exploring nature in winter. Meet at the Riverbend barn at the end of Spring Mill Rd. 
Spring Peeping: Family Fun Night
Saturday, March 24th
Bring your family out for an evening of natural fun. Join us for an early spring night hike to see what might be coming out after the long winter. The hike will be followed by a craft and hot chocolate at the barn.
Planet Protectors: Celebrating Earth Month
Sunday, April 15th
From turing off the water to unplugging electronics, there are many ways that we can each reduce our impact on the Earth. Through fun games and experiments, participants can find new ways to tread lightly this Earth Month.
Please pre-register for these programs by contacting  
or 610-527-5234 X106.

 We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

~Native American Proverb