Schuylkill River Sojourn Opportunities

SAN Sojourn Steward 

We’re searching for a nature enthusiast!

Are you passionate about environmental conservation? Do you possess a wealth of knowledge on local ecosystems, and do you love sharing what you know with others? And - do you LOVE to paddle? – Then YOU could be the next Sojourn Steward. 

We are seeking a Steward to join the week-long Schuylkill Sojourn, traversing the Schuylkill River via kayak and engaging fellow paddlers in nature-based learning along the way. This year’s Steward should have a strong passion for environmental conservation, an understanding of local biology, ecology, flora and fauna, and excellent communication skills to engage and educate diverse audiences. Strong knowledge of native and invasive plant species, aquatic organisms, and wildlife commonly found in the Schuylkill River watershed would be useful for this role.

The role for the Steward will be to identify living things in and around the river and share their understanding, knowledge and love for the environment with the other sojourners through verbal communication and visual examples. 

Additional tasks for the 2024 Steward include:

  • Takeover the Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) Instagram for the week to highlight the daily discoveries. 
  • Photograph and identify the biodiversity that exists along the river.
  • Share a 20 - 30 minute presentation providing an update on the week so far and discuss what has been found along the way. 
  • Optionally, use iNaturalist to record each day’s findings and engage and educate other sojourners on the iNaturalist program. 

Additional details:

  • The 2024 Schuylkill River Sojourn is June 15 - June 21 and the Steward must be available for the entire trip. 
  • The SAN Steward will paddle all seven days of the Sojourn and be a full-trip participant along with hundreds of other paddlers. Please know that the sojourn is physically arduous and the Steward must be able to paddle approximately 15 miles a day along with the other physical tasks required to get down the river. This includes navigating portages around dams and carrying kayaks at put-ins and take-outs, as well as setting up a tent each night.  
  • The Steward is welcome to bring their own kayak, paddle and PFD if they own one. However, Schuylkill River Greenways (SRG) and their outfitter would be happy to set you up with all of the paddling gear you will need for the week free of charge.
  • The Steward will need all camping gear for a full week including a tent, rainfly, tarp, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, dry bag, etc.  If the Steward can not supply those items, they will be provided through the Sojourn outfitter free of charge.
  • 3 meals are provided each day. The Sojourn host communities work very hard to ensure many options at each meal.  Vegetarian options will be available at all meals.  If you have additional dietary requirements beyond a vegetarian option, you will need to provide those items for yourself for the week.  SRG would be happy to discuss transport of items that do not need to be refrigerated.

The Sojourn Steward sponsorship through the Schuylkill Action Network is made possible by our funder, the Philadelphia Water Department. 

Application Deadline is April 28 by 5pm


Learn more about the Sojourn hosted by Schuylkill River Greenways.

Past Schuylkill Sojourn Steward Projects

2022 Sojourn Steward: Kara Foran
Kara's project was to capture the "River of Refuge" theme for the 2022 Sojourn. She shared updates from partnering organizations situated along the route who have alternative opportunities to recreate by the river. Kara did an awesome job with the Instagram takeover (click here to view) and she also created some incredible reels with drone footage, which you can click here to view. View Kara's photography collection on our Flickr page

2021 Sojourn Steward: Riel Bilto

Riel Bilto is a teacher from Philadelphia. She also creates outdoor adventure videos for her YouTube channel "Rock Climbin' Grandma". Riel's project was to document what it is to experience the Schuylkill River, from the people to the places to the recreation to the drinking water to the industry to the history to the restoration and everything in between. This project fit into the 2021 theme of "Return to the River," so that anyone who views her video project can experience the Schuylkill River. You can view Riel's video project of her experience on 80 miles of the Schuylkill River below:

2019 Sojourn Steward: Julia Aguilar

Julia's project fit into the 2019 Schuylkill Sojourn theme: "Our Working River." Her project highlighted the industrial history of the Schuylkill River via social media, showing sojourn participants and the public the economic and environmental significance of the river. You can view photos of Julia's research and journey on our Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr.

2018 Sojourn Steward: Garrett Hoover

Garrett's project focused on photographing and identifying plants and wildlife found during his trip paddling the Schuylkill River. As part of the biodiversity study, he cataloged species found in the Schuylkill River Biodiversity project on the iNaturalist app. 

2017 Sojourn Steward: Sarah Chudnovsky

Sarah conducted water quality testing during her trip along the Schuylkill River, during lunch and dinner take out locations. She also took pictures that help to indicate water quality along the river and posted on social media. Click the below links to learn more about her trip.

2016 Sojourn Steward: Bradley Maule

Brad used a GPS enabled camera to photograph litter hot spots along the Schuylkill River. During his trip, he posted photos and a daily blog about his experience to social media. Click the below links to learn more about his trip.



Work Group: Engagement & Stewardship

Leading Organization: Schuylkill River Greenways & Partnership for the Delaware Estuary