PHILADELPHIA — Roxborough is blessed with an abundance of open space, but that open space vanishes daily under new development as builders discover some of the last available land in the city. Given the importance of open space to the character of our community, the Schuylkill Center will host a free town meeting, Roxborough Green: Preserving Open Space, on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.

At this town meeting, community leaders and city planners will discuss actions you can take to preserve this community’s open space. Panelists include James Harry Calamia of the Roxborough Development Corporation; Kay Sykora of the Roxborough/Manayunk Conservancy; Celeste Hardester of the Central Roxborough Civic Association; and Matt Wysong, a planner for the City of Philadelphia.

“The town meeting format,” said the Schuylkill Center’s executive director Mike Weilbacher, who will also emcee the meeting, “allows participants to talk with panelists and each other at length, so the event becomes a community conversation on open space.”

Co-sponsors of the town meeting include the Roxborough Development Corporation, the Upper Roxborough Civic Association, the Central Roxborough Civic Association, Friends of the Shawmont Valley Association, the Roxborough-Manayunk Conservancy, and Friends of Gorgas Park, all of whose members will be attending.

The town meeting is also the ninth annual Richard L. James Lecture, established in memory of the Schuylkill Center’s founding executive director, a former columnist for the Roxborough Review and leader of the center for 30 years. The event brings leading voices in environmental and education circles to Roxborough to discuss issues like climate change in Philadelphia, the importance of native plants, nature play, and more.

“Dick’s son Andy James,” continued Weilbacher, “will kick off the event and share memories of his father, a charismatic leader in the state’s environmental education movement – he placed the Schuylkill Center at the forefront of national trends in education.”

This event is free and open to the public.

The Schuylkill Center was founded in 1965 as Philadelphia’s first environmental education center. Our 340 acres of fields and forests serve as a living laboratory to foster appreciation, deepen understanding, and encourage stewardship of the environment. We offer a wildlife rehabilitation clinic, an environmental art program, volunteer opportunities, and educational programs for all ages, including Nature Preschool. It is located at 8480 Hagys Road, Philadelphia.

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