The River Unites Us
For thousands of years, the Schuylkill River has provided humans with many important benefits. At this location, the Lenape people hunted, fished, and canoed along the river. They called it the Ganshewahanna, which means “noisy river.” This was due to the nearby natural rocky falls (now mostly underwater). Philadelphia’s first industrial sites were built along the Schuylkill and its creeks. Water was used to mill grain and manufacture textiles and paper. Over time, the industry polluted the water. In 1855, city leaders created Fairmount Park to protect the river. The City bought land and removed industrial sites. Today, the river is an important source of drinking water for over 600,000 Philadelphians.
The river is also a significant ecosystem. It is home to hundreds of species of plants, fungi, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, insects, other types of invertebrates, and microscopic organisms.
Educational Audio Clips
Click below to hear educational audio clips about the history of the Schuylkill, water safety, our ecosystem, and more.
Lenape Nation of PA