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November 2012
A Message from the Executive Director


As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it is a wonderful time to thank and celebrate the volunteers who make enormous contributions to the work we do each year, and without whom, Riverbend would not exist. From our volunteer board of directors to corporate volunteer groups, Shiverfest helpers and high school students, volunteers enable Riverbend to serve more than 14,000 people annually.


One of the greatest contributions volunteers make to Riverbend is work towards improving the ecology of our 30-acre preserve. In 2012, 570 people gave a total of 2,400 hours of service to help with general maintenance, removal of invasive vines, and the planting of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. The many hours of service have contributed to Riverbend's ongoing habitat restoration efforts that reduce erosion and improve the habitat and aesthetics of the land, the water quality of the creek that runs through our property, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.


A healthy landscape is also a great teacher, providing an outdoor classroom for children to learn about trees, animals and their homes, and watersheds. It provides the critical hands-on learning for children to explore and discover for themselves. And it captivates their imagination, piques their curiosity and inspires creative thinking. It is the children whose lives are infused with nature and enriched by science education that will thrive and contribute to the future of the Earth itself.


Volunteers make so much possible for the children who benefit from the work we do, as does the earned income from some of the programs we offer. However, Riverbend also needs the charitable donations from generous individuals who believe in the importance and impact of our work. Please consider a gift to Riverbend at this time. You will help to sustain our work in 2013 so the children we reach will thrive and be nature-smart leaders. You will make a difference.


All the best,

Laurie Bachman
Volunteer Highlight: Eagle Scouts  

Riverbend had the good fortune of working with three boy scouts as they completed eagle scout service projects in 2012.  We commend their hard work and dedication and thank them for the notable improvements they contributed to Riverbend!


 David Kimmel, a member of scout troop #181 in Gladwyne, turned an eroded area along Valley View Trail into a native plant garden. David and other scouts in his troop weeded the area, added topsoil to improve the grade, and covered it with burlap for the winter. In the spring they planted over a hundred perennials which will spread to cover the area in a few short years. David, a resident of Gladwyne and a senior at the Shipley School, is planning to pursue a degree in Public and International Affairs, East Asian Studies, or Mandarin. 


Zach Klee, a member of scout troop #434 in Havertown, rebuilt a large section of our dry stone wall. The wall, which runs across our property, was built in the 1800's without mortar. While this method of dry stone wall building is more durable than those built with mortar, there were areas which had been crushed by fallen trees and needed to be repaired. Zach and other volunteers from his troop removed those sections and rebuilt the wall. Zach, a resident of Havertown and a junior at the Haverford High School, is planning to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering.  


Tommy Parkinson, also a member of scout troop #434, is building a tool shed in a convenient location for our volunteers to access when they help with service projects. The 6' x 8' shed, made of cedar siding and shingles, will house a large collection of garden tools. This ambitious project required quite a bit of pre-planning and purchasing of materials, as well as four work days to build! Tommy is a resident of Havertown and a senior at Haverford High School. He plans to study international relations or Middle East Studies in college.


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

Welcome, New Board Directors 

Riverbend is very pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to our Board of Directors. 


Lisa R. Jacobs is a partner in the Corporate and Securities practice group of DLA Piper LLP, based in Philadelphia. She concentrates her practice on domestic and international corporate, finance, fund formation and operations and investment management. Besides being an accomplished lawyer, Ms. Jacobs has been active in a number of civic and charitable organizations such as hireAbility, The Enchantment Theatre Company and The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance. She has her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.


Connie Lees along with her husband and 3 children have made Bryn Mawr their home for the last 15 years. They have enjoyed many classes, special events, hikes and birthday celebrations at Riverbend over the years. Connie has had the opportunity to work in various civic and school organizations such as The Haverford School's Executive Council, Autism Speaks and The Long Beach Island Arts and Sciences Foundation. She graduated from Saint Joseph's University with a business degree and is excited to use her skills to preserving our community's natural resources.  


Dr. Janet Samuels is a strong advocate for children and presently serves as Superintendent of the Norristown Area School District. Previously Dr. Samuels was the Regional Superintendent with the School District of Philadelphia where she oversaw the teaching and learning of more than 18,000 students. As an educator, Dr. Samuels has received various awards including the Rose Lindenbaum Principal of the Year Award and the Schoolmen's Club of Philadelphia President's Award for recognition of her distinguished service on behalf of children. She has previously served on the Board of Trustees for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. She completed her B.S. in Education at Millersville University, her Masters in Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University, and her Doctorate of Philosophy from Drexel University.   

Fran Rogalsky: A Tribute to a Beloved Member of the Riverbend Family

Fran Rogalsky, as many of you know, passed away at her home in June. Fran served on Riverbend's Board of Directors for more than 15 years and continued to be a tireless volunteer and supporter long after her board service ended. Riverbend honored her at our 2006 Gala for her many years of dedicated service.

Building on a lifelong love of nature, Fran worked to see Riverbend evolve into a thriving center for environmental education. She was a member of the "pioneering" group of Riverbend Board of Directors who created a strong and vital foundation for our work. Fran is remembered for the many important contributions she made to Riverbend and as a very dear friend.

Exciting Changes for Camp 2013!

Even though summer is still many months away, Camp 2013 is shaping up to be the best ever!  Kelly Voorhees will be returning as the Camp Coordinator and she has some wonderful things in store for your children and young teens. We will be using a new online registration through Active Network which will provide instant information to camp families about their registrations.   We are also adding some great new Adventure Camps for ages 10-14, including rock climbing, bay kayaking, white water rafting, and more.  Camp information will go online on December 1st!  Sign up early to ensure your choice of weeks.  
Behind the 'Bend  

This year at Shiverfest we added a few new features including a pumpkin toss game. Here is a picture our staff member, Lisa Matthews, took while she was painting the pumpkins on the board.
In This Issue
Volunteer Highlight
New Board Members
Fran Rogalsky
Summer Camp Announcement
Behind the 'Bend
Annual Fund
Year Round Camp
Wish List
Eco-message and activity
A Big Thank You to our
Corporate Partner

Contribute to our Annual Fund

Please consider a gift to help children thrive and be nature-smart leaders in a rapidly changing environment. Your gift, of any size, will make a difference.  

To make a donation

please visit our Giving Page.
2012 Riverbend Volunteer Groups 
Corporate/ Adult Groups

Waldron Academy Staff


Goldman Sachs






 Eli Lilly

 Independence Blue Cross

 Grant Thorton & PHS


School Groups

  Episcopal Academy 10th graders

 Shipley students - prospective interns

 Episcopal 7th graders (4 x3 hours)

 Baldwin School

 Friends Central Work Day

Friends Central Work Day

 The Haverford School

 Shipley School Seniors (4)

Academy in Manyunk

Haverford College

Episcopal 11th graders

 Episcopal 12th graders

 Friends Central School


Community Groups

St. Denis Confirmation Class

 David Kimmel 's Eagle Project 

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Camp

 Zach Klee's Eagle Project  

Tommy Parkinson's Eagle Project  

Year Round Camp
We offer some exciting camp days around the holidays for busy parents!
Wednesday, November 21st  Lenape and Nature

Wednesday, December 26th- Friday, Decomber 28th

mal Tracks

Wednesday, January 2nd- Friday January 4th

Beaks and Feet: Wonders of Birds

What you need to know:

* Ages 5-8 years old

* Times: 9:00am- 3:30pm (extended day option from 8:00am- 6:00pm available)

*Fees: $75 per day for non-members, $20 additional per day for extended option

* Campers need to bring clothing appropriate for the weather, a bagged lunch and a water bottle

* To register, visit here or contact Stacy Carr-Poole at 610-527-5234 X108 or  

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!

 Desk chairs
 40-48" Round office table
Lego Blocks
Children's Board Games
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Keep up to date with what is going on at Riverbend and get exclusive details on programs and more!
Eco-Message and Activity: Are you ready for winter?   

By: Kelly Voorhees


This is my favorite time of year; the cold has finally settled in, the leaves are falling, and the air is crisp with the anticipation of snow. The resident birds that chose to stick out the long cold Pennsylvania winters, in lieu of migrating to warmer climates, are frolicking around snatching up the last of the berries and insects or visiting neighborhood bird feeders for winter staples of sunflower seeds and hearty suet.  Continue Reading...


Late fall and winter are great times to learn about your neighborhood's resident birds like the Black-Capped Chickadee, the White-breasted Nuthatch, and the Tufted Titmouse to name a few. Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees providing better viewing opportunities and many birds are in search of a winter food source, making backyard bird feeders quite attractive. To get the family involved place a bird feeder or suet container outside an easily assessable window. As birds come in to grab a quick "bite" your family will have a perfect opportunity to observe and identify their feathered friends. Don't be discouraged if they don't show up eagerly at your bird feeders right away, it may take some time for them to realize the feeder is there. Click for more fun  

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together." -Vesta M. Kelly