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New programming at local education centers to help you connect to the Delaware Watershed
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New programming at local education centers to help you connect to the Delaware Watershed

Lenapehoking~Watershed: a place for water, art and culture offers programming, performances, games and more.

A new series connects local residents to the Delaware Watershed and its native people.

Lenapehoking~Watershed: a place for water, art, and culture is an environmental art initiative featuring sculptures, community gatherings, performances, and an innovative role-playing card game. The series is running at 23 outdoor nature spaces of the  Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) of the Delaware River, now through December 2021.

The project name, Lenapehoking~Watershed: a place for water, art, and culture was coined after consulting with citizens of local Lenni Lenape Nations. “Lenapehoking” is a place name that means “the land of the Lenape people, a name that pre-dates the current political boundaries of cities, townships, and states,” says Priscilla Bell, a Philadelphia artist who is serving as a Community Liaison for the art project. The name is a hat tip to recognize that the Lenni Lenape’s environmental stewardship is critical to the sustainability of the Delaware Watershed.

Sarah Kavage
Lenapehoking~Watershed lead artist Sarah Kavage (second from left, in overalls) poses with local build team Adriana Amador Chacon, Breiner Garcia, and Priscilla Rios (named from L-R) in front of the sculpture Christina Suncatcher, shortly after they finished building it in June 2021. Photo by www.zverina.com

Water Spirit, a series of sculptures using natural materials was built by Seattle-based artist Sarah Kavage in March 2021. Using materials found in the local landscape, Water Spirit is supported literally and figuratively by collaborations in green spaces and waterways known as Lenapehoking. There will be fifteen installations in total, including Portal at Gateway Park in Camden, NJ, Migration at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Eastwick/Southwest Philadelphia PA, and Al Mudhif – A Confluence at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Roxborough/Northwest Philadelphia.

Photo:  Sarah Kavage at Bartram’s with her tall grass weaving.

“For me, the physical object is only a small part of what art is about. It is the place, its history, and human interactions that truly create it,” says Kavage.

Visitors to the 23 Watershed Educations centers in September will receive free copies of Aqua Marooned!, a game that tells a story of extraterrestrial explorers on a mission to learn all they can about the earth’s mysterious “watersphere” to foster a love of nature and is played outdoors.

For more information, visit the project online:


Cover photo: Calvin (last name not provided), a member of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Mobilize Green youth crews, poses with one of the Migration bench sculptures that he helped build in April 2021 as part of the Lenapehoking~Watershed art initiative.

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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