Get ready for some bragging rights, Philly. Last month, I told you about a contest on the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers website, in which our own Schuylkill River was named a contender for 2014 Pennsylvania River of the Year. After five weeks of voting, which saw 5,527 total votes cast, the Schuylkill was declared winner, with 43 percent of the vote. Good job, guys!
Surprisingly enough, this is only the second time the Schuylkill has won the title in the 30 years that the annual honor has been doled out. Last year, we lost by a slim 146 votes. But this year, with 2,402 votes in our favor, we creamed the second-place competitor by over 1,200 votes. Take that, Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers.
The other losers were Brodhead Creek and Watershed (663 votes), Ohio River (677 votes), and West Branch of the Susquehanna (655 votes).
As the reigning River of the Year, the Schuylkill will receive $10,000, held by the Schuylkill River Greenway Association, to host activities throughout 2014. To wit:
The Schuylkill River Greenway Association plans to integrate the River of the Year message in its existing programs, including the Schuylkill River Sojourn (a seven day sojourn held annually since 1999), newer pedal/paddle events, and a bike tour series on the adjacent Schuylkill River Trail. Additionally, POWR and DCNR will work with the greenway association to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Schuylkill as the 2014 PA River of the Year.