A call for healing at Schuylkill Center

“There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift our eyes. Remember that nature is our great restorer.” —Calvin Coolidge

Our 340 acres at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education serve as a source of restoration and education for the thousands of people who visit each year.  Our programs create meaningful connections with nature for students, educators, bird watchers, artists, land stewards, and nature enthusiasts of all ages.

The Board of Trustees and Staff at the Schuylkill Center are the stewards of these important and unique forests and fields. We safeguard these gifts and make them available to the greater community to foster appreciation, deepen understanding, and encourage stewardship of the environment in all of its wonderful forms.

Recently, there has been some unrest in our forests and in the media surrounding the departure of our long-serving Wildlife Clinic Director. The reasons for this change have long roots, were investigated both internally and by an independent, third-party investigator and were the subject of substantial deliberation by the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees. Ultimately, we were guided by the very common sense and compelling ideal that all of our guests, volunteers, and staff deserve a safe and respectful experience and work place. Providing such an important environment for only some or even many guests, volunteers, or staff is not acceptable and never should be.

During this transitional and restorative time, we are re-envisioning the role of our 30-year-old Wildlife Clinic within our larger and substantial programing. As for the staff and volunteers that have departed our Wildlife Clinic, we thank them for their service, devotion and countless hours helping our area’s injured and ill wildlife.  We wish them well in the next chapter regarding the care of such creatures.

Nature is indeed healing and restorative and I invite all to come and explore the 340 acres of forests and fields that we proudly steward.

Timothy J. Szuhaj
President, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
Board of Trustees


Schuylkill Center in the wrong for firing clinic director

Thank you for publishing Sue Ann Rybak’s account of Rick Schubert’s firing from the Schuylkill Center, published Feb. 15. As one of his 50+ dedicated volunteers, I submitted my letter of resignation to the Center’s Board of Directors, supporting the establishment of Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center and look forward to working with Rick again.

In what the Schuylkill Center’s executive director referred to as “a temporary inconvenience”, the absence of an existing wildlife clinic in our region is currently an emotional struggle for the thousands of people who brought us over 4,000 suffering animals in 2017. And the thousands of others who would have, had they encountered such an animal. Imagine there was but one hospital in the Delaware Valley whose executive director decided to shut it down and said such a thing. That’s how we feel.

It didn’t have to be that way.  Mr.  Weilbacher wanted it that way and he got it.

Peg Smith
Chestnut Hill