In Celebration Of National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary – SRHA & MCCC Partner To Host Nationally Touring Art Quilt Exhibit W/Opening Reception Oct. 5


Wings of Fire by Melani K. Brewer

Pottstown, PA—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area (SRHA) will present a traveling juried art quilt exhibit, “Piecing Together a Changing Planet,” which illustrates how pollution and climate change have affected national parks.

The 26-quilt exhibit has been on display at national parks and partner venues since 2014 and is continuing its journey across the country in celebration of the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary this year. Since the exhibit started, it has been seen by nearly a quarter-million people, according to Gary Bremen, a park ranger who helped to coordinate the exhibit.

The exhibit will be held at at MCCC’s Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown, from Oct. 3 through 28 with an opening reception on Wednesday, October 5, 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the community—everyone is welcome.

The Last Resort by Mary Rhopa la Cierra

The Last Resort by Mary Rhopa la Cierra

The quilted artwork was created by Florida members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a 3,000-member international organization dedicated to the promotion of art quilt. In addition to traditional stitching and piecing, this type of quilting features graphic design and layering of pieces of fabric, creating a dramatic, three-dimensional effect. As a result, butterflies appear to flutter from treetops, while glaciers seem to melt into oceans.

According to exhibit curator Maya Schonenberger, “The artists’ goal is to help open people’s eyes to the beauty of nature that surrounds them, and share their concern for its loss.”

Over the years, climate changes, particularly the warming of the atmosphere, has created many changes in the environment, which are often evident in America’s national parks.

“Stories of how artists have played a crucial role in environmental protection are legion,” said Bremen. “The arts convey beauty, fragility and urgency in ways that touch the heart and soul, thus opening the mind as well.”

Last Leaf by Linda S. Hoffmeister

Last Leaf by Linda S. Hoffmeister

The national tour of Piecing Together a Changing Planet is made possible by SAQA and Biscayne National Park, with financial support from the National Park Service’s Climate Change Response Program, the South Florida National Parks Trust, Les Bouquinistes Book Club and an anonymous donor.

For more information about the Schuylkill River Heritage Association, visit

The Fine Arts Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday, 8;30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed weekends. For more information about MCCC, visit

Schuylkill River Heritage Area Receives $226,000 Grant

POTTSTOWN — On the heels of a $395,000 grant, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area was awarded a $226,000 Community Conservation Partnership Grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The money will be used to fund annual events sponsored by the Heritage Area, such as the Schuylkill River Sojourn and the Scenes of the Schuylkill juried art show.

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Bern Section Of Schuylkill River Trail To Be Built

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s taken nearly five years to get to this point, but a half-mile walking trail along the Schuylkill River in Bern Township will be built by summer.

“It will be nice for people to get out on the trail,” Bern Township Manager Brian Potts said. “It’s picturesque in the summertime. It’s a nice location. Hopefully, people will enjoy it.”

The idea for the trail started in 1996, as Bern officials began working on a comprehensive parks and recreation plan. Potts said the trail was discussed again in the middle of the last decade, but Bern officials seriously began work on the project in 2007.

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Ron Downie Reflects On 20 Years In Pottstown Public Service

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Very nice article by Evan Brandt on Ron Downie’s public service to Pottstown.

POTTSTOWN — When Ron Downie first came to the Pottstown area as an infant, his family for a time got water from a hand-pumped well and used an outhouse at a home outside Harmonyville.

Now, he composes poetry on a hand-held electronic device thinner than most books of poetry and shares his words with the mere touch of a button.

All of which is to say he has seen times change.  And he has changed with them.

One of four children of Scottish immigrants, Downie has alternately been a landscaper, a Firestone plant worker, a bartender, a ski-slope operator, a school board member, the president of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area and the AMBUCS and the Building and Industries Exchange.

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