Saturday, March 24, 2012

News From the Front ... The Riverfront

Blogger's Note: The following is cribbed shamelessly from the spring newsletter for the Schuylkill River Heritage Area in Pottstown's own Riverfront Park. Enjoy.

Work has begun on the Interpretive Center
Contractors have begun construction on the exciting new Schuylkill River Heritage Area
River of Revolutions Interpretive Center.

The family-friendly center is set to open in May at the headquarters in Pottstown, and will serve as a visitors' center for the entire Heritage Area.

It will feature interactive displays that tell the history of the region through the American, Industrial and Environmental Revolutions.

It will also provide information on historic, environmental, recreational and tourism resources.

Highlights will include a water wall, interactive monitors and a 3-D table with a relief map of the river corridor.
The center is intended to provide a fun and educational experience for residents and visitors to the region who want to learn more about the river's fascinating history and the many recreational and tourism opportunities that exist today.
The Revolutionary River
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Speaking of that history, a special screening of the PBS documentary "The Revolutionary River" will be held on May 17 at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl will introduce the film, then, following the presentation of the 47-minute documentary, he will participate in a panel discussion on trail-related projects.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Cynwyd Station Revitalization and the Schuylkill River Greenway Association. Click here to learn more or purchase tickets.
* * *
Also in film news, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area has been selected to be the subject of a short-form documentary series that will air on public television and some commercial stations. 
Footage for the documentary, will be shot in June during the Schuylkill River Sojourn. 
It will focus on the history of the region and the recreational opportunities available. 
From that footage, "American Milestones," which is hosted by Joan Lunden, will produce three segments: a 3-5 minute educational piece that will air in between regular programming on public television stations nationwide; a one-minute segment that will be shown on  commercial stations such as Fox News, Discovery and MSNBC; and finally, a 5-6 minute corporate documentary that will be available on our website and will be emailed to up to 1 million people.  
Click here to learn more about American Milestones. Funding for this project was provided by the William Penn Foundation.
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Kurt Zwikl, executive director of the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, based in Pottstown, had a rare opportunity to participate in an invitation only White House Conference on March 2.

The conference, Conservation: Growing America's Outdoor Heritage and Economy, was highlighted by an appearance by President Obama, who closed the session with a speech on conservation initiatives (which is embedded below for your viewing pleasure).  

Zwikl was among conservation leaders from 50 states who attended, including local government leaders, recreation industry representatives, park officials, and others.

They heard panel discussions and participated in workshops on conservation issues.

The purpose of the conference was to allow President Obama and members of his Cabinet to "strengthen partnerships and identify next steps in advancing community-driven conservation and outdoor recreation initiatives," according to information issued by the White House.

It is part of the America's Great Outdoor's initiative, established by Obama two years ago, that seeks to create a 21st century agenda for conservation and recreation.
This year's Schuylkill River Sojourn is June 2-8
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For recreation, you can't beat canoeing (or kayaking) on the Schuylkill.

The Heritage Area staff is busy planning for the 14th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn.

On June 2 through June 8, the week-long, 112-mile guided canoe/kayak tour will once again take a fleet of paddlers from Schuylkill Haven to Philadelphia, camping at parks along the way.

This year's theme will be Recreation With the River, and will feature presentations on a wide range of recreation topics, such as hiking, biking, yoga, and, of course, paddling.

Look for registration brochures, which will be emailed out in early April. Remember to register early! The first few days of the sojourn fill up very quickly. Check out this website to learn more about the sojourn.

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