This year, Earth Day is all about acts of green and measuring your carbon footprint. You can help make a difference in some enjoyably green ways. Visit and learn from these education centers, then be sure to share. Find a passion to support the message of Earth Day, every day, and help make it contagious.
Educating places of green
The Philadelphia area has so many naturally beautiful spaces devoted to educating the public of the importance to restore and protect wildlife habitats for people, plants and animals. Learning and sharing the message can be among your acts of green by visiting one or all of these treasures of nature. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, in Tinicum, offers year round programs that emphasize the importance of this last remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Philadelphia. The refuge provides haven and habitat for over 300 species of visiting birds, 80 bird species that nest here, and a rich diversity of fish, wildlife and plants. Paved trails along the freshwater marsh and several wildlife observatory platforms, as well as, woodland paths easily connect visitors to nature while being so very close to the urban buzz. Join in with one of many programs offered weekdays and weekends to participate in learning more of about connecting with nature. The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, in Roxborough, is one of the first urban environmental centers in the United States. Sisters Eleanor Houston Smith and Margaret Houston Meigs envisioned an “island of green” where Philadelphians could connect with nature through exploration, discovery and education. The center provides interactive exhibits such as the green roof, an on site Green Woods Charter School, as well as, outdoors solar panel array, organic community garden, and even a wildlife rehabilitation clinic to care for injured and orphaned wildlife. Spread among its 340 acres, are trails, meadows, ponds, wetlands and forest to inspire a connection between people and nature through deepened understanding. Third on our list to visit is the Wissahickon Environmental Center. It is commonly known as the tree house as it previously had a giant sycamore tree growing through the porch of the 1750s farmhouse where the center now calls home. Located at the northern end of Wissahickon Valley Park, this valley has been validated as a billion years old. It continues to provide natural habitats for native plants, birds, butterflies and raptors and a living classroom for young and old. Be sure to check the calendar for plenty of guided nature walks, drawing workshops and hiking options to help you find your passion and green focus for this Earth Day tribute and many to follow.