The Schuylkill Center For Environmental Education

There is a sense today that we cannot simply rely upon government or industry to supply all our needs or support all the people that require assistance in society. The good will and efforts of those that volunteer with nonprofits are alive and more widespread than ever. The nature and variety of their tasks may vary in the fields of health care, environment, education and social work, but there is a place for everyone to do their part for the less fortunate. Some bring skills they have mastered in their careers, while others will be trained for specific duties, but the spirit is the same. Here in Philadelphia, we are blessed with a multitude of folks with a big heart, and our series can help them find their niche in the scheme of things.

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education inspires meaningful connections between people and nature, using 340 acres of fields, forests, ponds and streams in northwest Philadelphia as a living laboratory to foster appreciation, deepen understanding and encourage stewardship of the environment since 1965.

There are four core program areas: environmental education, environmental art, land stewardship and wildlife rehabilitation. As a leader in the next generation of environmental education, the Schuylkill Center works to create a world where all people play, learn and grow with nature as a part of their everyday lives.

The Center hosts more than 1,200 volunteers each year, planting trees, installing environmental artworks, manning tables at festivals, helping with wildlife rehabilitation, photography, graphic design and office organization. Every spring, upwards of 400 volunteers run the Toad Detour program that helps to shepherd American toads to reach their breeding grounds.

Volunteers do not require a background check unless they wish to work directly with children. They each receive an orientation and project-dependent training. Work is generally accomplished in two-hour time blocks. Claire Morgan, volunteer coordinator, notes, “We host restoration volunteer workdays on the third Saturday morning of each month during spring, summer and fall. Volunteers remove invasive plants, plant native species and help to improve trail systems.”

To volunteer, call Morgan at 215-482-7300 ext.120, or email For more information, visit

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