Sojourn Steward


Each year, the Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) provides one full scholarship ($1000 value) for the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn, a 7-day, 112-mile guided paddle from Schuylkill Haven to Philadelphia. The SAN sponsors an enthusiastic individual, preferably with paddling, photography, and social media experience, to complete a stewardship activity while paddling down the Schuylkill River. The Sojourn Steward engages sojourn participants in the stewardship activity while taking photos and posting on social media about their experience. All materials are provided by the SAN, including sojourn registeration, kayak rental, and photography supplies. 

Click here to learn more about the Sojourn, organized by Schuylkill River Greenways

2020 Sojourn Steward

The theme of the 2020 Schuylkill River Sojourn is "What's Under the Water?" Going along with this theme, the overall stewardship project of the 2020 Schuylkill Sojourn Steward is to asses habitat of the Schuylkill River using the Penn State Extension FISH (First Investigation of Stream Health) protocol and photograph what’s under the water. Additionally, the Sojourn Steward will share their experience on the SAN’s social media and educate other sojourn participants about healthy habitats along and within the river.


  1. Habitat Assessment
    • Conduct habitat assessments each evening, using the Penn State Extension FISH protocol.
    • Upload data to the FISH app / website.
  2. Photography
    • Photograph under the water – fish, aquatic plants and life, etc.
    • Photograph habitat along the river – what’s healthy vs. unhealthy habitat.
    • Photograph others paddling and other interesting sites.
  3. Social Media
    • Post “live” social media updates to the SAN’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the evening and at lunch if time permits. Posts should relate to stream and riparian habitat.
    • Use the following hashtags: #SojournSteward, #SchuylkillSojourn
    • Tag Schuylkill River Greenways.
  4. Outreach to Sojourn Participants
    • Throughout the trip, interact with other sojourn participants.
    • Educate them about habitat in and along the river.
  5. Presentation
    • On Wednesday, June 10th, give a brief presentation about your experience as the Sojourn Steward. The talk can include what you learned; what you enjoyed the most; what you want others to take away from your project; etc. You will have access to tech support (laptop, projector).

Applications are due at 11:59pm on April 24, 2020. Click here to apply to be the 2020 Schuylkill River Sojourn Steward!


Contact Virginia Vassalotti, Schuylkill Action Network Coordinator, at or (302) 655-4990 ext. 121.

Past Schuylkill River Sojourn Steward Projects

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: Recreation

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