CONSERVE!: Unit 8.

Communicating Your Message:

Interpretation & Interpreting for an audience

The opportunities below are examples of ways in which Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Volunteers can participate in activities related to interpreting the ecology and natural history of Pennsylvania’s Northern Piedmont and Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain.
Please visit their Web sites to learn more about the groups and their volunteer opportunities.

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education: Philadelphia, PA


The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, founded in 1965, is dedicated to promoting the preservation and improvement of our natural environment. Through the use of environmental education, the Center aims to foster appreciation, understanding, and responsible use of the ecosystem. SCEE offers programs for audiences of all ages and designs these programs to foster curiosity and a love for nature. In addition to educational programs, SCEE coordinates a Student Water Monitoring Network, helping students work together to monitor the quality of the Delaware River watershed, and an organic community garden, allowing locals to grow food for themselves or for local food banks.

The Schuylkill Center relies on their volunteers to keep the Center operating on a daily basis. Volunteers can teach, restore trails, help with the art program, do administrative duties, rehabilitate wildlife, or aid with special events.


The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA 19128; (215)-482-7300;

For more information:
Visit: to learn more about the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. to learn about various volunteer opportunities.

Silver Lake Nature Center – Naturalist Aide Training: Bristol, PA (Bucks Co.)


Located within the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain, Silver Lake Nature Center (SLNC) has 235 acres of natural lands with 4.5 miles of trails. Community types on the site include Coastal Plain woodlands, a lake, marshes, fields, wet meadows, an d an unglaciated bog. Protected within the park are several Pennsylvania Species of Special Concern, including the Red-bellied Turtle, the Coastal Plain Leopard Frog, Maryland Meadow Beauties, Atlantic Blue-eyed Grass, Umbrella Magnolia, Sweetbay Magnolia and American Holly.

SLNC offers a Naturalist Aide Training to individuals who are interested in obtaining the necessary knowledge to become a naturalist guide for educational programs at the Center. Naturalist guides will lead groups of all ages, teaching about the natural history and fascinating environmental aspects seen throughout the Center’s 235 acres. The only requirement is that volunteers are willing to be committed to the program and have a love of the outdoors and children. It appears that this opportunity may not be offered every year. Check to see when the next one may be scheduled.

There many other ways to volunteer with the Center.


Silver Lake Nature Center is part of the Bucks County Park System and is operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation. 1306 Bath Road, Bristol, PA 19007;
215-785-1177; Contact email form: 

For more information:
Visit: for more information about the Center. for interesting ways to volunteer and support the mission of the Silver Lake Nature Center.

 Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center (FWWIC): Philadelphia, PA


The Fairmount Water Works arose in July 1822 when Frederick Graff built a pump-driven waterworks on the Schuylkill River in order to provide safe drinking water to the city of Philadelphia. Because the site merged nature with industrial technology, it has always been a major tourist attraction. The Interpretive Center serves as a educational hub, helping the community connect with the water environment. Although the Water Works no longer pumps water from the Delaware River, the area is still quite active thanks to the FWWIC exhibits, theater, and educational programs. Visitors are able to learn about aquatic environments both in the Center and outside by the River.

FWWIC relies on volunteers to ensure that visitors enjoy their time at the Center, but volunteers also receive a unique training and education. FWWIC provides a training course for their volunteers, composed of three sessions: the history of the Water Works, the technology and science behind the Water Works, and the science of the ecosystems and watersheds affected by the Water Works.


Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 640 Waterworks Drive, Philadelphia, PA  19130; (215)-685-0723.

For More information
Visit: to learn about the Fairmount Water Works and the Interpretive Center. to learn about the various volunteer opportunities with the FWWIC.

Continue to:
This is the last CONSERVE! Unit
for the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Manual for Southeastern Plains (Northern Piedmont) and Southeastern Coastal Plains (Middle Atlantic Coastal Plains).

Go back to :
Unit 7: City Living: Urban Ecology

Updated: June 2018