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Riverbend Environmental Education Center teaches environmental principles to children in Southeastern Pennsylvania through a direct connection with nature, inspiring respect for our natural world and action as aware, responsible and caring citizens.
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 Around the 'Bend
Quarterly Newsletter
September 2010
A Note from the Executive Director
I can hardly believe that it's the end of August...where has the summer gone?  It seems like just a few days ago that our first campers were stepping foot in our stream and ponds...eager to catch tadpoles, sing nature songs, and learn new things about the environment of which they are part.  Now, it is our last week of camp, and the summer is officially winding down for us.  Children will be returning to school, and the barn will be quiet for a few weeks until school groups come for visits.

It's been another good summer camp season...with many campers coming back for multiple weeks, and many counselors coming back from last year.  I'd like to take a moment to thank our camp coordinator, David Lowe, who drives our summer camp program.  There are a lot of moving pieces to pulling off a successful summer camp, and David handles the pressure and stress in stride.  I'd also like to thank the summer camp staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication...without them, we would not be able to run efficiently or effectively.  Finally, I'd like to thank the parents who chose to send their child or children to Riverbend this summer.  Your continued support of Riverbend and commitment to your child's nurturing means so much to us.  A special thank you goes out to those who participated in "Operation Summer Camp: Riverbend Gives to the Gulf."  With your help, we were able to raise local awareness of the Gulf Coast oil spill as well as more than $1,400 for the Nature Conservancy's efforts in cleaning up the region.

As summer draws to a close, we're already gearing up for a great fall at Riverbend.  Be sure to check our calendar of events for upcoming family activities at Riverbend, including our annual Halloween spooktacular, Shiverfest, held on October 23rd from 4-9 p.m. at Riverbend.  Please see below for event details and program book advertising opportunities.

Enjoy the last few days of summer, and best wishes to our "Riverbend kids" for a great school year!

Laurie Bachman
Executive Director

Check out our Video!

Riverbend now has a video highlighting who we are and what we do! Check out
"Growing Greener Children" to learn more about Riverbend...and tell a friend!
Nature Clubs and Year-Round Camp

Come join the fun!

Riverbend has just released our new schedules for Nature Clubs and Year-Round Camp!  If your little nature lover can't get enough Riverbend, then check out the opportunities that await!  Nature Clubs begin September 20th...so sign up today!
Family Fun Night - Saturday, September 18th

Bring your family out for an evening of natural fun.  Come out to Riverbend to enjoy a wonderful late summer night.  Take a hike and learn about the many insects that you can hear and see moving about the night, and then finish up with marshmallows over the campfire.  Please pre-register to scarr@riverbendeec.org or 610-527-5234 x108. The cost is $15/family.
Summer Camp Wrap-Up
Thanks for a great summer!

This week is the last of summer camp at Riverbend...and what a summer it's been!  With almost 700 campers visiting us over the last 12 weeks, Riverbend has been a busy, busy place.  Campers learned about a whole host of topics--from habitats and endangered species to forest life and invertebrates, every week offered something new and different.  We'd also like to thank our partners, Natural Lands Trust and Harriton House, who have generously shared their locations with Riverbend this summer. 

In July, we had the opportunity to provide a week-long summer camp experience with a group of children from ACHIEVEability, a non-profit organization that aims at breaking the cycle of poverty for single-parent, low-income families through education and support services.  Twelve boys and girls from 8 to 12 years of age traveled to destinations in and around their urban community and further afield, including Riverbend and Pea Patch Island in Delaware, to learn, hike, explore, discover, and soak in everything nature provided.  We also provided a group of 25 students from Norristown Area School District with a similar camp experience.  The third- and fourth-grade students selected for the summer camp had participated in the environmental enrichment program partnership between Riverbend and their elementary school and demonstrated a keen interest in science and the natural world.

We wish to thank all of our Riverbend Exploration Camp parents for choosing to send your child/ren to Riverbend and wish all our campers a great start to their new school year!
Check Out Our New Deck!
Many thanks for Littleton Contractors and Glackin Thomas Panzak!

It's was a work in progress for much of the spring, but now it's finally done!  Our mahogany deck is beautiful, and it has provided this summer's campers with a great area to run, play, snack, and display their camp crafts. 

Many, many thanks goes out to Wick Littleton and Littleton Contractors for their hard work and dedication to the project, even under difficult weather conditions and time constraints.  We also thank our friends at Glackin Thomas Panzak for their help with landscape architecture design. 

We look forward to having many more visitors enjoy the view of the Alec Williamson Bird Observation Area from the deck this fall.
Volunteer Work on the Yellow Poplar Trail
Many thanks to Peter Grove and the Bridlewild Trail Association

Riverbend's Yellow Poplar Trail is one of our most beautiful trails and runs along Saw Mill Run. Unfortunately, this trail was extensively damaged by a summer storm in August 2009 and erosion over several years.  It was in serious need of repair! Thanks to the efforts of Peter Grove and his crew from Bridlewild Trails along with our friends from the Palace Mission,  the trail is up and running again. Heavy excavating work and stone fill was necessary to repair the entry area of the trail, further down rainbars were repaired and they were able to level off the areas most affected by erosion. Peter also widened the trail to create a path alongside a natural spring that was uncovered by the erosion. Everyone here at Riverbend would like to thank Peter, his top-notch team, Bridlewild Trails and the Palace Mission for all of the hard work. Many hikers will truly enjoy the benefits of your effort!
Shiverfest - Saturday, October 23rd

Riverbend's spooktacular Halloween event, Shiverfest 2010, will take place on October 23rd from 4 - 9 p.m.  There will be plenty of family fun, including a reptile show, creative pumpkin decorating, storytelling by the campfire, a haunted hike, costume parade/contest, and much more!

Be sure to mark your calendar for October 23rd!  Tickets and advertising space in our Shiverfest Program Book may be purchased online through our website!

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