Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
Explore the natural world
Four miles of hiking trails traverse the 400 acres of woods, streams, ponds and fields of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, the first environmental education facility ever established within the limits of a major metropolitan area in the country.
You’ll find indoor and outdoor activities for all ages, including the discovery center Children’s Museum, a seasonal butterfly house, an environmental art gallery, a native plant nursery and a bookstore.
Look for the environmental art installations and innovative land restoration research sites along the trails, and be sure to ask about the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, which treats injured, orphaned and sick native wildlife.
Since its incorporation in July 1965, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (originally named Schuylkill Valley Nature Center) has focused on being a regional and national leader in urban environmental education. Today, school programs start at the Kindergarten level and go all the way through Graduate School, including teacher workshops.
The grounds, located on agricultural land that was farmed until the mid-1960’s, have grown steadily from the 11 acres originally given to the center by founders Lawrence M. C. Smith, Mrs. Lawrence M. C. Smith, Mrs. Robert R. Meigs, and Henry H. H. Meigs.
Support the Center
The Schuylkill Center seeks to promote the preservation and improvement of the natural environment through education, fostering an appreciation for, understanding of and the responsible use of the ecosystem. Become a member and show your support.
There is no admission fee to access The Schuylkill Center’s trails or exhibits. There is free parking, dogs are not allowed and sturdy shoes are recommended.
Be sure to visit the Center’s online Events Calendar for a full listing of events, and look out for The Festival of Insects every September, the toad migration and mating in spring, and the return of the American Woodcock in March.
Be sure to check out the Center’s Bloom Calendar before you visit — to preview the amazing flora you’ll see on the trails.
A portion of the 1998 movie Beloved, starring Oprah Winfrey, was filmed on location at the Center, near Wind Dance Pond.