Ceremonies, Citations and Proclamations Abound
Philadelphia Water Commissioner Kumar Kishinchand presided over a ceremony recognizing the partners and funders of the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center during the second of a two-day celebration marking the grand opening of the Center.
After the ceremony, the City's new $5.6 million, 7,200 sq. ft. environmental education center and eco-tourism attraction on the Schuylkill River was officially opened to the public.
In remarks to those who have supported the Center, Commissioner Kishinchand offered his thanks, noting that from conception to today's opening had taken more than a decade. He went on to say the Center has two important messages for its visitors.
"First," he said, "watersheds are where nature and civilization meet. Our care of watersheds directly affects the quality of our lives.
"And rivers tell the truth about our stewardship of the environment. We all have a personal responsibility in maintaining and improving the health of our rivers," he added.
Philadelphia City Councilman Darrell Clarke then presented citations from city council to the major funders of the Center including the United States Environmental Protection Agency; the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; the Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and the William Penn Foundation.
The Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center will offer visitors a variety of experiences through mechanical and computer interactive exhibits, programs in a classroom and water laboratory, and the opportunity to experience the Schuylkill River from river balconies and a riverbank esplanade.
The Center will also feature historical information about the Fairmount Water Works.
The center will be able to accommodate 100,000 visitors yearly and will be completely ADA accessible.