Celebrate Earth Week at Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne

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Riverbend Environmental Education Center
Image via Riverbend Environmental Education Center
Plant a tree for Earth Day.

Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne is celebrating Earth Week with a family-focused Earth Day Open House and Tree Planting on Saturday, April 23rd from 10:00 am to noon.

After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, Riverbend has reopened the Snider Barn and Aquaponics Greenhouse to school groups. The greenhouse was shut down to reduce costs and save energy.

Now, through a generous grant from Constellation as part of their EEnergy to Educate program, the greenhouse is now in a fully operational state and better than ever.

To commemorate this exciting milestone and celebrate Earth Day, families are invited join Riverbend at an Earth Day Open House and Tree Planting on Saturday, April 23rd starting at 10am. Registration is $25 per family to cover the costs of trees and staff time. The event is limited to 30 families.

Upon arrival, guests will walk from the parking lot up to the iconic Snider barn. The Snider barn is a 99-year-old Sears Roebuck Craftsmen barn situated on Riverbend’s beautiful 30-acre nature preserve in Gladwyne. Guests will be greeted by Riverbend staff who will usher them into the barn where they can view and greet Riverbend’s Animal Ambassadors including snakes Flame and Cornelius, leopard geckos Spot and Smiley, treefrogs, Ron and Leslie, a collection of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and Eastern box turtles, Fred and George. After visiting with the animals, guests can check out a display of interesting natural artifacts.

A Riverbend educator will guide them through an exercise where guests describe what they “notice” and “wonder” about each artifact using the same techniques used in Riverbend’s education programs with area students.

Guests will then head through the barn to the newly updated and reopened Aquaponics Greenhouse for a brief tour and Q&A with Riverbend staff. Along the way, they can sample refreshments including basil lemonade made with basil grown in the Aquaponics greenhouse and other treats.

Once the tour of the greenhouse is complete, guest can take an easy hike up the Valley View Trail to the tree planting area where they will meet Riverbend’s Habitat and Volunteer Manager. Guests will be shown how and where to plant a tree in celebration of Earth Day. Tools will be provided.

Guests are asked to bring their own work gloves and water. Once they plant their tree, guests are welcome to explore the trails around Riverbend on their own before departing the preserve.

The first Earth Day in 1970 saw 20 million Americans join in rallies and marches around the U.S.

Earth Day is marked globally by more than a billion people who recognize that our only home is worth celebrating. Earth Day is a special time when we reconnect and celebrate the wonder and beauty of the planet that we call home. What better way to give back, connect, and help our climate than by planting trees in the soil that sustains us and by enjoying the benefits that nature provides by spending time with nature at places like Riverbend.

“Riverbend teaches school students to investigate the phenomena that they observe around them and formulate solutions. The Aquaponics Greenhouse is a hands-on laboratory where students consider the intersection between the water we use and the food we grow. It’s a space to investigate and learn.” says Riverbend Executive Director Erin Reilly. “Riverbend is inviting students to rethink the way we grow food and use water. When we give children the tools to identify solutions, addressing climate change feels less overwhelming and taking action becomes a catalyst for hope.”

To reserve a spot for the Earth Day Open House and Tree planting, visit here.

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