Riverbend Environmental Education Center
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November 2015
A Message from the Executive DirectorTop

Dear Friends,


Field trips! Riverbend loves school field trips and we are so thankful that we are able offer a beautiful preserve for kids to explore and learn about the environment through outdoor education.  Field trips are fun, but they are also becoming more of luxury for schools who have to be mindful about showing outputs. It's not easy to measure the impact of a school field trip, and as a result, some kids are missing out.

Twenty five years ago Janelle McClure came here with her 7th grade Watershed Program from Radnor Middle School. Recently she recounted to me her visit in 1990 when she remembered testing the water and evaluating the health of the stream. She told me that her field trip was pivotal to her decision to become an environmentalist. While a nurse by profession and a mother to four children now, her actions are shaped by her environmental values. In her home, trash day consists of  6 recycling bins to 1 regular trash can, showers are limited to 5 minutes (and she has teenagers!), and the lights cannot be turned on until it's dark outside. You see, Janelle, cares. She cares about the environment, she is a role model to her children, and she does what she can to make a difference.

Field trips by themselves may not change the world, but they do foster general awareness of the environment and human life, they do contribute to environmental knowledge and they do help shape attitudes of appreciation and concern for the environment.  These are important steps on the ladder of environmental literacy that contribute to lifelong learning and ultimately to action as aware, responsible and caring citizens.

This year approximately 8,000 students will visit Riverbend for a school fieldtrip, with   our total outreach expected to exceed 20,000 school student visits that includes educators going offsite for programs. Ten years ago we had 3,000 field trip visits and far fewer than that 25 years ago. Yet, we were making a difference then and we making a much bigger difference today.

The need for environmental literacy is becoming more urgent and we are so thankful for our supporters who help us to serve 8,000 school students through field trips annually. You are making a big difference!

See you around the bend!

Laurie Bachman

Year Round
Camp Dates

Camp doesn't end when the summer does! Flexible and low-key, our school holiday camp program meets the needs of busy parents while providing children the perfect place for holiday fun.

 


Upcoming camp days:

November  25th

December 21st, 
22nd & 23rd

December 28th, 
29th & 30th

January 18th
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Upcoming
Public Programs

Full Moon Night Hike & Campfire
December 12th
6:00-9:00pm

Join us for a family friendly exploration of the night! Learn about the phases of the moon as you hike our trails. Then warm up by the campfire and roast marshmallows. Donations welcome.
Please pre-register at 610-527-5234 X108 or scarr@riverbendeec.org.
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Be a part of our family!

With the support of our constituents, Riverbend provides 30 acres of native habitat and walking trails- free and open for the public to enjoy. For as little as $25 for an individual or $50 for a family, you can make an investment in "Growing Greener Children" for the future of our planet.

 

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Thank you to the many Volunteers that made a difference at Riverbend this year!

Corporate Groups
De Lage Landen
Goldman Sachs
Moriarty Environmental Group
PECO
Vanguard
Planalytics
Health Market Science
Qlik
 
School Groups
Episcopal Academy
Harriton High School
Haverford School
Shipley School
Baldwin School
Agnes Irwin Academy
 
Other Community Groups
Gladwyne Boy Scout Troop #181
Elwyn Institute
 
Star Volunteers 
(20 hours or more)
Marisa Sobel
Eric Strasser
Ethan Pentz
Matt Kelly
Anisa Iqbal
Kurt Zaccaria
Kevin Zwolek
Mitchell Brasher
Susan McCown
Lorna Atkinson
Fanny Lacroix

Camp Jr. Volunteers
Alex Bendinelli
Gwen Roode
Henry Long
Robert Samuels
Naveen Gooneratne
Alex Walsh
Jack Mendelson
Hayden Clemmons
Erik Edwards
Andrew Walsh
Liam Connolly
Robert O'Connor
Katie Rush
Alex Fukuchi
Claire Fukuchi
Kathryn Kerr
Andrew Walsh
Ashley Amon
Alex Norbeck
Keegan Gallagher
Ben Wightman
Jamie Flanagan
Isabel Weir
Matthew Norris
Ashley Amon



#Giving Tuesday is December 1st, but why wait?
Make a meaningful gift to Riverbend today!
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Aquaponics at Riverbend in the News! 

October 28th was a great day for Riverbend and environmental education. A celebratory spirit filled the air as TV crews from two local news stations, Norristown Area School District 7th graders, leadership from Riverbend, the school district, county, and township assembled with PECO and other key funders in the Aquaponics Greenhouse for a PECO check presentation.  
 
Dr. Janet Samuels, Norristown Area School District Superintendent who is a Riverbend Board member, conveyed the importance of the newly launched aquaponics education program for 500 7th graders that addresses STEM education goals. "Aquaponics is the perfect tool for engaging inquiry into a wider range of science and environmental topics" she said. "Not only will students learn how the nitrogen cycle works, they will experience firsthand, the ways natural systems rely on this process, as they apply elements of chemistry and biology. Through the Aquaponics program, our students will be challenged to create a plan for sustainable agriculture in the own neighborhoods as well as ponder critical issues such as water conservation in smaller communities and on a global scale."
 
Riverbend Executive Director Laurie Bachman highlighted Riverbend's role, sharing that the program builds on a nine-year partnership with the district. It is our hope that this innovative program benefits many more students in the Greater Philadelphia region. Riverbend is uniquely positioned to deliver the models, curriculum and teacher training required to drive the critical thinking, investigation, and inspiration needing for solving the environmental problems of the future.
 
 


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Save the Date!
December 1st



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New Board Member: Angela Allevi
We are so pleased to announce that
Dr. Angela Allevi has been elected as Riverbend's newest serving member of the Board of Directors.

Angela is a pediatric physician at Nemours Pediatrics Philadelphia. Her family has actively participated in Riverbend programs and Angela has served on the Shiverfest committee for many years. As a board member, Angela will serve on the Property Commitee. 

We warmly welcome  Angela and thank her for her increased  commitment to our mission. 

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Meet the Volunteer: Molly Atz 

This summer we welcomed recent college graduate Molly Atz to Riverbend as the new Habitat Management Intern. During her internship Molly helped maintain the property, planted trees from our TreeVitalize grant and assisted the Property & Volunteer Manager in planting a 15- tree chestnut grove. "Love of the environment has been a consistent force my whole life" Molly said.

In addition to her habitat work, Molly also managed the Teen Volunteer Program throughout the summer. "Seeing a group of young people volunteering their time for the environment gives me hope for the future of our earth."

Riverbend was fortunate to extend Molly's summer internship through the fall thanks to the generosity of Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation . "The leadership skills that I gained throughout this internship, especially the coordination of volunteers, has been instrumental in my transition from a college student to an environmental professional, and the opportunity to network will aid me in my career search." We wish Molly the best as she ventures out to be a positive influence for our environment!

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Eco Activity for kids: Fall Scavenger Hunt

Beautiful leaves, crisp weather, migrating birds, hot cocoa, and spending time with family all come to mind this time of the year. As the busyness of Thanksgiving and the holiday season descends on us, it is important to slow down and make time to enjoy the beauty of the season. There are so many fun things to find, touch, and see this time of the year- from sticky pinecones and spiky chestnut seeds, to crunchy leaves and honking geese heading south.
 
Get Outside! Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to get the family outdoors to savor the beauty of autumn. Nature scavenger hunts are a fun way to guide exploration, get the little ones' gears turning, and get some energy out. So get the food in the oven, print one of the scavenger hunt sheets below, grab a clipboard and pencil, and get outside!
 
Scavenger Hunts
 
 

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Stay Connected with Riverbend Through the Winter






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Behind the Bend
Have you seen the pavilion coming to fruition? We can't wait until this spring when we will utilize this beautiful space for education programs, camps and events. To follow pavilion progress, follow us on Instagram (Riverbendeec).