The Perki-Bay Expedition is designed to be a resource awareness campaign centered on the protection of the Perkiomen Creek.
The Perki-Bay expedition is a 5-day canoe trip where members of our youth conservation program paddle the Perkiomen Creek from its source in Schwenksville to the Delaware Bay. Our goal for this expedition is to generate increased community support for the protection of the creek and for the Conservancy’s new Water Quality Monitoring Program.
2019 Expedition Quick Facts:
Dates: June 24 – 28, 2019
Total Mileage: 50 Miles
Paddling the trip:
8 Conservation Corps Members, 3 College interns, 3 Conservancy Staff, 3 Research Members, and 2 Safety Boats
Day 1 – PWC Headquarters to Lower Perkiomen Park
(11 miles – Perkiomen Creek)
Day 2 – To Conshohocken (9 miles – Perkiomen/Schuylkill)
Day 3 – To Boathouse Row / Fairmont Water Works
(12 miles – Schuylkill River)
Day 4 – To Bartram's Garden (10 miles – Schuylkill/Delaware River)
Day 5 – To Fort Mifflin (8 miles – Delaware River)
Create Community Awareness and Engagement
Increase protection for the Perkiomen Creek
Establish the Perkiomen Creek as a PA State Water Trail
Highlight the Perkiomen Creek's conservation partners
Develop a Citizen Science Monitoring Program
Create a network of strategic data points and tests
to monitor water quality and creek health
Provide Learning Opportunities for Youth
Expedition to serve as a capstone project for the
PWC Youth Conservation Corps
Provide experiential learning opportunities for local high school and college students
Publish an Expedition Documentary
Highlight conservation needs and challenges for the Perkiomen Creek
Showcase the PWC's conservation partners
Explore the recreational opportunities the Perkiomen Creek affords
Document the expedition and use the
documentary as a teaching tool
Disseminate the documentary to the local community
Contact Ryan Beltz to learn how
you or your business can get involved!
Sponsor - Financial Contributor
50 Mile Club - $50 sponsorship includes expedition t-shirt and recognition on the PWC website.
Flag Sponsor - Flags to be flown on canoes during expedition
$1000 - Full Flag with only your logo
$500 - Half Flag with two sponsor logos
$250 - Quarter Flag with four sponsor logos
Partner - In-Kind Good or Service Provider
Partners support the expedition by providing speakers, lodging, expertise,
other in-kind good or services or the waiving of fees that would otherwise
by incurred by the expedition.
Advocate - Expedition Promoter
Parties who actively engage in the promotion of the Perki-Bay Expedition via email or
social media, handing expedition flyers or passing out expedition literature or
by providing time or space for the Conservancy to advertise the expedition.
Thank you to our 2018 Expedition Sponsors!
Academy of Natural Sciences, Upper Perk High School, Wilderness Canoes
2018 Perki-Bay Expedition Recap
On June 25, 2018 through June 29, 2018, members of the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy’s youth conservation program embarked on a five-day canoeing expedition. Eighteen students and leaders from Montgomery County, PA launched into the Perkiomen Creek at the Conservancy’s headquarters near Schwenksville, PA and traveled a total of five days: first down the Perkiomen Creek to Oaks, PA, then out the Schuylkill River through the heart of Philadelphia, and last down a portion of the Delaware River. The goal of the expedition was to raise awareness for the Perkiomen Creek as a new potential addition to Pennsylvania’s State Water Trail System and to kick off the Conservancy's new Water Quality Monitoring Program. The group carried all of their own food and equipment and camped their way down the 50-mile route - in effect modeling a wilderness-style expedition through urban Philadelphia.
On Day 1, the expedition traveled 13 miles down the Perkiomen Creek from Schwenksville to the Lower Perkiomen Valley Park where they made their first camp. The group assembled for their first water quality monitoring tasks of the trip! They sampled the Perkiomen Creek both above and below the Indian Head Dam, collecting sampling data such as water temperature, turbidity, and levels of dissolved oxygen. Later, the group quickly made camp, ate burrito bowls and recounted exciting tales of portaging around the dam earlier in the day.
On Day 2, after breakfast, our team disassembled their tents, loaded their gear, and began their descent on the Perkiomen Creek. Our team carried boats below the Wetherills Dam and continued down the Perkiomen toward the Schuylkill River. As we continued down the Schuylkill, our team explored Barbadoes Island, where we saw four bald eagles, before ending our paddling journey at the Upper Merion Boat House. We were shuttled to the glorious Philadelphia Canoe Club for the evening and enjoyed paddle boarding, water quality monitoring testing, and a delicious dinner of pasta primavera.
On Day 3, we shuttled back to the Upper Merion Boat House and started the day by portaging the Norristown Dam. The expedition team made speedy work paddling to the Flat Rock Dam. The group was met by paddling guides Judy and Manny from the Philadelphia Canoe Club. Judy and Manny led the expedition through the rapids below the dam and on to the canoe club headquarters at the mouth of the Wissahickon Creek. At the canoe club, PWCC members enjoyed kayaking and paddling boarding in the Schuylkill and the Wissahickon before completing their water quality monitoring tasks in both waterways. We enjoyed delicious homemade pizzas before rolling out our sleeping bags for the evening!
On Day 4, the group set out from the Philadelphia Canoe Club and headed toward Boathouse Row after having a yummy pancake breakfast. When we arrived at the Boathouse Row docks, the expedition crew began the daunting quarter mile portage around the Fairmount Dam. Before getting back on the water, we stopped by the Fairmount Water Works for a tour and ate lunch along the Schuylkill. We continued to paddle along Route 76 and through the heart of Philadelphia until we made our way to beautiful Bartrum's Garden. Here our team made camp for the evening, performed water quality monitoring tests, and enjoyed Mountain House meals.
On Day 5, the group arose early in the morning and was ready to conquer the Delaware River on this final day of the expedition. We departed Bartrum's Garden and continued on the Schuylkill River toward Fort Mifflin. As our team finally meet the confluence of the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, we stopped for lunch on a small island and watched the bald eagles and osprey soar overhead. After lunch, and some sea glass collecting, we got back in our boats and completed our journey down the Delaware River to Fort Mifflin. Though tired from our week of paddling and camping, our crew celebrated our triumphant finish before loading our gear for the final time. We had a fantastic trip which allowed PWCC members to learn more about the Perkiomen Creek, the Schuylkill River, and the Delaware River. Members had the opportunity to not only perform water quality sampling and testing in each waterway, but also experienced paddling through and enjoying these ecosystems. Stayed tuned for the 2018 Perki-Bay Expedition video that is to be released this fall!