From the Reservoir: A Feasibility Report for Migratory Bird Habitats and Educational Materials for the Philadelphia Discovery Center
Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Department of Environmental Studies
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
The Discovery Center is a nature and education center operated by the Audubon Society and Outward Bound. It is located in Philadelphia's East Fairmount Park, one of the largest and only green spaces in the urban area. It consists of a bird-friendly building, a climbing structure, and a nature trail, all situated around the Strawberry Mansion reservoir. The Center is only one year old and is in the process of diversifying its current ecosystems while continuing to serve the surrounding community to fulfill its mission of conservation and environmental justice. Our project combined dialogue with members of the center, observation of bird and plant species, and several rounds of water testing to establish background data for the report. This paper is divided into ecological and educational components. The ecology section includes a review of biodiversity and artificial habitats, an analysis of our water testing and observational data, and proposals and information for construction of an artificial floating habitat. By constructing this habitat, the Center will increase and preserve the biodiversity of the reservoir, which will encourage migration and provide resiliency against climate change. The educational component begins with a review of land-based education, accessibility, and informal learning, then provides some sample didactic materials for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to gather comprehensive baseline data and provide feasible recommendations and materials that the Discovery Center will be able to implement in years to come.