Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Look at What We Have Planned for 2016

We expect 2016 to be another year chock full of events and programs that improve the Schuylkill River, expand the Schuylkill River Trail, and make this region a better place to live, work and play.

Improve the Schuylkill River Trail
We are always working with partners to improve, promote, expand and maintain the Schuylkill River Trail. Our Safe Crossings Program is one of the trail projects we will address in 2016, making areas where trails and roads intersect safer for trail users.

Organize a Ride for the River
Ride for the River is a new 40-mile bike ride that will take cyclists from Pottstown to Reading along the Schuylkill River Trail on September 24, 2016. We're holding this event in partnership with Sly Fox Brewery, beginning and ending at the Sly Fox Can Jam festival in Pottstown, which features 8 hours of free, live music.

Promote River Recreation with the 18th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn
The18th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn will be held from June 4-10, 2016 and will incorporate special National Park Service programming at lunch and evening stops in recognition of the NPS Centennial. Since it was first initiated in 1999, the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn has grown increasingly popular. Over the years the 112-mile, seven-day guided canoe/kayak tour has introduced over 3,000 participants from 25 states, Canada, France and Switzerland to paddling the river. 

Complete the Pottstown RiverWalk 
We will cut the ribbon on  the new Pottstown RiverWalk this spring. This new addition to Riverfront Park in Pottstown will connect to the Schuylkill River Trail, creating a one-mile loop through a wooded area and along the river. The RiverWalk will be enhanced by interpretive signs offering information about area wildlife, watersheds, plant life and more. Located behind our offices, it will provide a new amenity for trail users and visitors to our River of Revolutions Interpretive Center.
 Support a Cleaner River with the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund
The 2016 grant round of the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund opened in January. Since 2006, the fund has collected over $2.5 million and awarded grants to 73 projects that improve water quality in the river and its tributaries by reducing pollution from stormwater runoff, agricultural contaminants and abandoned mine drainage.
Host an Evening for the Schuylkill River
On March 12, we will host a dinner and awards ceremony at the Historic Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown. This first-time event will celebrate our work and recognize some of our key partners. Attendees will enjoy an evening of delicious food, live music basket raffles and silent auction items. 
Hold Six Pedal & Paddle Events
Our popular Pedal & Paddles take people on a round trip adventure in Pottstown that includes a 4.5 mile bike ride along the Schuylkill River Trail, a tour of Historic Morlatton Village in Douglassville, and a return trip via kayak on the river. This year, one of our Pedal and Paddles will be held at Schuylkill Canal Park in Mont Clare. Since Pedal & Paddles were first initiated in 2011, they have proven so popular that nearly each event has sold out. Over the years we have introduced hundreds of people to paddling the river and biking the trail through this program. 

Support the Arts through Scenes of the Schuylkill
We recently expanded the reach of our annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show by displaying a selection of 16 pieces of art from last fall’s show at Valley Forge National Historical Park Visitors Center. That exhibit is on display from January 13 to February 26, 2016.  Scenes of the Schuylkill will enter its 13th year next November. Each year, the shown has grown and consistently attracted talented artists whose work celebrates the beauty and character of the Schuylkill River region.
Partner on the SRT SPREE
Last April, we partnered with Sly Fox Brewery to introduce the new SRT Ale, a seasonal beer that celebrates and benefits the Schuylkill River Trail. The beer was launched through a unique event dubbed the SRT SPREE, which took a two-man team on a 110-mile journey along the river and trail. This year, a shorter, weekend SPREE is planned when the next round of SRT Ale becomes available again on Earth Day. In 2015, the sales of the beer yielded over $4,000 for the Schuylkill River Trail.
Introduce a New Water Trail Guide
We are working with a designer on the development of a new Schuylkill River Water Trail guide that includes detailed maps of the river and information on access points, hazards, parks, amenities and notable sites along the river. The guide will be published later this year, replacing our popular but outdated and far less detailed existing guides, and making the river safer and more accessible for recreational boaters.