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Schuylkill River Town Program 


  • Facilitated a 5-town River Town program along the Schuylkill River and adjacent trail

  • Developed year-round programming to educate and engage people about the Schuylkill River

  • Developed and supported local, grassroots “action teams”

  • Conducted outreach to elected officials and multiple constituencies

  • Created Schuylkill River Towns Program “Passport” to encourage river and trail users to visit local businesses located on or near the river and trail

  • Created events to celebrate the Schuylkill River

  • Promoted stewardship through education and events

  • Produced a website and guidebook



The Schuylkill River Towns Program spanned four years and engaged five towns along the Schuylkill River and adjacent Schuylkill River Trail. Using Progress Fund's Trail Town model, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Eastwick Solutions worked with residents, business owners, local governments, and non-profits to encourage economic development and promote stewardship along this 27-mile regional trail.

Through a grassroots effort of creating and supporting local “action teams”, developing local action plans, extensive programming, and outreach to multiple constituencies, Eastwick created a foundation for a regional river town program. Supporting both economic development and environmental stewardship required imagination, outreach to business owners, engagement with residents, and promotion  to the general public.

Eastwick and Pennsylvania Environmental Council developed a "passport" that trail users could get stamped for Circuit Trails swag as a great way for trail and river users to discover new places to eat and drink! We also introduced fun and interactive programs like Tyke Hikes for moms to hit the trail with strollers (ending up at a local coffee shop!) foraging for edible plants, and yoga on the trail. We also partnered with Montgomery County Community College, Elmwood Park Zoo, CCATE, and Audubon at Mill Grove to develop unique and engaging events for English and Spanish-speaking residents.

The second was to promote stewardship. Understanding that people are more likely to protect what they love, Eastwick worked with a local kayak outfitter to host an "intro to kayaking" for first-time paddlers, both children and adults. It’s incredibly gratifying for first-time kayakers to master the paddle and explore the river through different eyes! Additionally, we worked with local Historical Societies to develop programs about the Schuylkill River (it caught on fire twice!) and the Industrial Revolution. Finally, educating people about its' comeback story from being declared a "dead river" (meaning it could not sustain any life in or around it) to being named 2014 River of the Year confirmed the importance and value of this treasured waterway.

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