A New Way to Love Your Wissahickon

News // May 01, 2024

How do we show love to our park? The answer might seem obvious: by stewarding the Wissahickon, beautifying it for our fellow park visitors to enjoy, and restoring and protecting it for the plants and animals that live there. Well, you’re right, and we have plans in the books to do just that! Join us for our Love Your Park Service Day next Saturday, 5/11; register here. Keep reading to get the scoop on the post-volunteer day celebration, Love Your Wissahickon Fest.

But what if we told you that loving our green spaces also means leaving no trace?

Here are some virtues to live by if you love the Wissahickon:

Pack it in, pack it out. Whatever you bring to the park should leave the park with you. Philadelphia has limited trash collection services for its parks, so to take some of the burden off our park, bring home your trash! This goes for single-use plastic, food waste, and anything else that should be thrown away. Not only do we want to leave the park better than we found it for the next people who visit, but we also want to ensure that trash doesn’t end up in our drinking water sources. Points if you bring a trash bag for litter you see on your visit.

Leave what you find. We understand the urge to take a piece of the park home with you after your visit, but we encourage you to preserve the park by taking pictures and examining natural objects during your visit instead. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them for the next visitor to discover their beauty. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species, and do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

Respect wildlife. At the end of the day, we’re simply visitors in the Wissahickon, to which the animals and plants that live there call home. Respect wildlife and make sure to observe animals from a distance; do not follow or approach them. Do not feed wildlife! It can damage their health, alter their natural behaviors, and can expose them to predators. Lastly, make sure to always have your pets on a leash and clean up after them.

If you’re still here, we’ll assume you’re interested in joining us for our Love Your Wissahickon Fest. We can’t blame you, with games, a community art project, mini Trail Ambassador talks, prizes, and much more! There will also be live music and a native plant sale from our friends at Cedars House Café. We hope to see you there!