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Partnership with Aqua America Gets The River Flowing at Please Touch Museum.

Educational Sponsorship will bring Bigger and Better Water Exhibit to Memorial Hall

PHILADELPHIA -- Please Touch Museum, the Children's Museum of Philadelphia, announced today a partnership with Aqua America, Inc. to create Waterway Play, a great winding river brimming with activity that will be a major attraction at the museum's new home at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park.

The announcement was made today by Nick DeBenedictis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aqua America, and Elizabeth B. Cartmell, Chairperson, Please Touch Museum Board of Directors, at an event to mark the reopening of the River exhibit at the Museum's current home at 210 N. 21stStreet. The River had been closed for a series of improvements.

"We view Aqua America's significant support of Please Touch Museum as another confirmation of the importance of play in the development of young children's imagination and creativity," said Cartmell. "We encourage families to play and grow through the myriad experiences we offer, and we are extremely grateful to Aqua for their commitment to education in helping us to bring bigger and better learning experiences to the children of Philadelphia at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park."

"Aqua America is extremely pleased to offer our support to Please Touch Museum's historic effort to create a truly unique educational environment in the museum's new facility in Fairmount Park," said DeBenedictis. "Play allows families to connect, communicate, and learn, and the Waterway Play exhibit gives Aqua an ideal opportunity to help young children become familiar with the world we live in and learn about water safety and conservation in a fun, interactive environment. For security purposes, Aqua suspended on-site opportunities for water education at its treatment plants. This Please Touch Museum partnership has allowed us to partially fill that void."

Waterway Play will help to bring science, nature and weather together in the River Adventures zone located in the first floor east gallery at Memorial Hall. In Waterway Play, children can build and race boats, create bumps and bubbles, crank fans, activate a lighthouse beacon and fog horn, raise and lower a drawbridge, test their boats in water currents, turn an Archimedes screw to activate the water wheel, and play at the Jumping Jet Landing Pool and the Tide Pool.

Nearby, the Aqua America Water Education Program Cart will provide an additional layer of information on water safety and conservation, including interpretations for visitors using props, pieces from the museum collection, and art. Families will be able to take their lessons home and into classrooms via special cards that provide water education in fun, easy-to-do activities.

Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park is scheduled to open in the fall of 2008. Memorial Hall, built for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition and original home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will provide a truly unique children's museum with 36,000 square feet of exhibit space (more than triple the current 11,000), a newly restored carousel, new exhibits, parking and a restaurant.

Aqua America is the largest U.S.-based publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company in the country, serving approximately 2.8 million residents in 13 states. Aqua America, Inc. is listed on both the New York and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges under the ticker symbol WTR. Its largest operating subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, serves about 1.3 million residents in Philadelphia's suburbs.

Please Touch Museum[R] is dedicated to enriching the lives of children by providing learning opportunities through play. Recognized locally and nationally as one of the best children's museums, Please Touch is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is $9.95 for adults and children age one and over. Children under one are free. For more information, please call 215-963-0667, or visit our web site at www.pleasetouchmuseum.org.

WTRG
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 15, 2007
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