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Kayaking Program

Ready to see Philly from a new perspective?

Paddle the Schuylkill River this Summer!

LandHealth is excited to announce that we recently received grant funding from the William Penn Foundation to start a kayaking program on the upper Schuylkill River, above Fairmount Water Works. Lead support for the project is provided by the William Penn Foundation. As part of this program, LandHealth will offer free weekly boating opportunities for community members of all experience levels to safely explore Philadelphia from its waterways, through guided expeditions and open-paddle, public boating days. This program allows us to grow our educational programs and community offerings, opening up a whole river of possibilities for exploring Philly’s natural spaces! From sunset paddles to community science surveys on the Schuylkill, keep an eye on your email for updates about specific program dates and locations. 

Types of Kayaking


Guided Style

Participants will register ahead of time for guided paddling programs, as spaces are limited. LandHealth staff will lead participants on a beginner-friendly, 1-3 mile paddle to explore the natural spaces and history of the river. Participants will learn about a variety of topics, including Schuylkill River history, Philadelphia history, water management practices, river ecology, native flora and fauna, and more! People of all ages and experience levels are welcome, with children under 12 requiring a legal guardian on the water. While some paddling experience is encouraged, first-time kayakers/paddlers are welcome and will receive instruction in safe paddling practices. 

Open Style

Participants borrow a kayak for 30 minutes at a time and freely explore the Schuylkill River near the Dragon Boat Dock with LandHealth supervision and instruction. LandHealth staff will provide paddling and safety instructions for all participants, as well as educational opportunities to engage with the environment around them while they are on the water. People of all ages and experience levels are welcome, with children under 12 requiring a legal guardian on the water. This is a great program for first time paddlers interested in trying something new and folks looking to cool off this summer! No sign-up is needed for this type of paddling.

Want to get your team, staff, or students out on the water? To arrange an independent kayaking opportunity (guided or open) and/or on-water ecology-based lesson for your group this summer, please contact Mayci Shimon,, about group pricing.

Riverways Collaborative


This funding supports our ongoing work as a member of the Riverways Collaborative, a coalition of six member organizations–Discovery Pathways, Bartram’s Garden, Glen Foerd, and LandHealth Institute in Philly, and Urban Promise and the Center for Aquatic Sciences in Camden, NJ–engaging the urban waterways to increase safe, equitable access to our natural resources and to improve the water quality of area streams and rivers. This newly funded kayaking program will allow us to showcase the beauty and importance of our local watersheds, and make a splash while doing so! 

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