For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Mayor Nutter's Proclamation

George Gephart holds the mayor's March 21, 2012 proclamation

March 30, 2012

In recognition of the Academy's Bicentennial, Mayor Michael Nutter proclaimed March 21, 2012, to be Natural and Environmental Science Day in Philadelphia. The proclamation, which can be seen with the Academy’ President and CEO George W. Gephart Jr.  in the photo to the left, will hang in the museum for the duration of our bicentennial year.

The following is the text of this proclamation.

Philadelphia is the proud home to celebrated museums and cultural attractions. One of the most noted of these world-renowned institutions is the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Since 1876, the Academy of Natural Sciences has been a main anchor of the Philadelphia’s Museum District at 19th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Founded on March 21, 1812, “for the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences, and the advancement of useful learning,” the Academy was ideally located near America’s Atlantic Coastline in America’s cultural, commercial, and scientific center-Philadelphia.

Classic expeditions to explore the western wilderness were organized and launched by the Academy. Explorers brought back new species of plants and animals to be catalogued and examined. In 1828, the Academy opened its doors for exhibitions directed to the public. 

The Academy’s scientific collections, held in the public trust, now number nearly 18 million specimens, including Thomas Jefferson’s fossils, John James Audubon’s birds, Titian Peale’s wide-ranging collection of moths and butterflies, and Lewis and Clark’s botanicals.

Specimens are studied and catalogued much as they were 200 years ago. Today, modern technological innovations allow scientists to ask more difficult questions than our 19th-century naturalists could have imagined.

Since 1947 when the Academy established the Patrick Center for Environmental Research, named for Dr. Ruth Patrick who established the ecosystem-wide approach to determining water quality, the Academy has been a leader in the research and science of freshwater quality.

In May of 2011, the Academy announced an historic affiliation with Drexel University which promotes discovery, learning, and civic engagement in the natural and environmental sciences, further enhancing Philadelphia’s reputation as a leader in scientific research and education.

For 200 years, the Academy has carried out its mission to encourage and cultivate the natural and environmental sciences. The 21st Century Academy of Natural Sciences is a world-class scientific research institution, a dynamic museum, a leading provider of science education to all ages, and a recognized convener on current environmental and sustainability issues.


I, Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, do herby proclaim Wednesday, March 21, 2012 to be


in Philadelphia and urge all citizens to be aware of our natural world and to explore ways that will help make our beautiful city more sustainable and greener during this Bicentennial Anniversary Year of the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Michael A. Nutter


Given under my hand and seal of the City of Philadelphia on this twenty first day of March, two thousand and twelve.