From the American Revolution, to the Industrial Revolution and Environmental Revolution, the Schuylkill has always played a central role in Pennsylvania’s story, and in Philadelphia’s growth as a city. What was a dead river in the mid-1900s is now home to more than 40 species of fish and a wide variety of other wildlife thanks to improved water treatment systems, watershed education programs and other cleanup measures.
Since 1992, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) has worked in a public-private partnership, along with the City of Philadelphia, to coordinate, plan and implement economic, recreational, environmental and cultural improvements and tourism initiatives on the lower tidal Schuylkill River. Through the years, the City has acquired and reclaimed former industrial properties and brownfields along the Schuylkill, making it possible for SRDC to steadily transform this abandoned no-man’s land into a continuous greenway to be enjoyed by all.
The Schuylkill Banks greenway and connecting trails create a riparian buffer between the Schuylkill River and bordering sites, helping to manage stormwater runoff into the river and mitigate flooding during storms while providing an ideal spot for outdoor recreation.
If selected for River of the Year, SRDC will continue to offer basic and specialty kayak tours, including a half hour of training and an hour on the water. SRDC will also continue our annual outdoor movie series and other special events, including the Philly Fun Fishing Fest. SRDC is also working towards a new and improved educational “Secrets of the Schuylkill” riverboat tour series, as well as a riverboat tour to Bartram’s Garden—the country’s oldest botanic garden—within the coming year.