POTTSTOWN—The Schuylkill River Heritage Area announced Thursday its new organizational identity that includes changing its name to Schuylkill River Greenways NHA, and revising its logo.
Both the new name and the logo, are reflective of the organization’s mission to connect people and communities to the river and the river corridor.
The new logo features a green and blue graphic representative of fields and towns with a river running through the center. It replaces an old logo with an encircled image of sun and water.
“We have changed our name and our logo, but we are not changing what we do,” said Schuylkill River Greenways Executive Director Elaine P. Schaefer. “Our new identity better represents the work we do, building and promoting the Schuylkill River Trail, championing the river and revitalizing the communities along it.”
The rebranding comes on the heels of a new strategic plan that sets a course for the Schuylkill River Greenways for the next decade. That plan, completed earlier this year, calls for finishing the entire Schuylkill River Trail, which will run a projected 130 miles from Philadelphia to Pottsville. It also sets goals for protecting and restoring the river, connecting communities to it, and engaging people in programs that encourage them to value and advocate for the river.
The new name was selected following a series of meetings that sought input from board members, staff, and other constituents. It harkens back to the organization’s roots, while incorporating its present identity as a National Heritage Area.
The organization was founded in 1974 as the Schuylkill River Greenway Association. Its primary goal was to build a trail along the length of the river, protect its greenway and advocate for river conservation. The Schuylkill River Greenway Association changed its name to the Schuylkill River Heritage Area after being designated as a National Heritage Area by Congress in 2000. Prior to that, in 1995, it had been named a Pennsylvania State Heritage Area.
However, the non-profit managing entity for the Schuylkill River Heritage Area maintained the name Schuylkill River Greenway Association.
“Having two names became problematic for us,” said Schaefer. “Some people continued to call us the Greenway, while others knew us as the Heritage Area.”
The new name, Schuylkill River Greenways NHA maintains the National Heritage Area distinction and embraces the organization’s founding identity. Furthermore, making the word Greenways plural (rather than singular as it had been), speaks to the fact that there are many greenways along the tributaries of the Schuylkill that are important to the river’s health and the region’s economic well-being.
The Schuylkill River Greenways NHA is headquartered in Pottstown. It encompasses the Schuylkill River watershed in Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. It is one of only 49 national heritage areas in the country, a designation that recognizes this region as nationally significant for the role that its people, places, and events played in the American, Industrial, and Environmental Revolutions. The region is home to over 3.2 million people across five counties. Approximately 1.5 million people draw their drinking water directly from the River.