Checking In with the Seasonal Field Crew

Uncategorized // September 13, 2017

Our core Seasonal Field Crew−Dajuan Banks, Desmond O’Donovan, and Oscar Wegbreit−spent the first twelve weeks of summer improving the park for the enjoyment of visitors. We had to say goodbye to Des and Oscar in mid-August as they prepared to return to college, but we were lucky to welcome long-time volunteer Marc Snyder to join the Crew and work with Dajuan for  the rest of the season. (See p. 8 for a profile on Marc.)

Seasonal Field Crew working with volunteers at the Summit Ave. Trail Reroute.

As usual, the first order of business was cleaning up the enormous volume of trash left at Devil’s Pool every day. As of September 5, the Crew had collected 4,000 pounds of trash from the area, bagged it, and carried it to Livezey Lane to be picked up. This work will continue through September, when activity at the site begins to quiet down with the cooler days of autumn.

In addition to cleaning up Devil’s Pool, the crew traveled around the park to tackle a wide variety of projects:

Trail activities included corridor clearing, invasive plant removal, repairs, and building rerouted trail at the Summit Avenue site. Habitat tasks included monitoring hemlock trees after wooly adelgid treatment and monitoring bluebird boxes for active nesting. Other activities included

maintaining stormwater step pools at Historic RittenhouseTown, visiting and cleaning all the parking lots, clearing vegetation from kiosks, greeting and helping park visitors, and assisting a crew of teens from the Student Conservation Association with their work in the park.


Insights from the Field Crew

Seasonal Field Crew: DaJuan Banks, Oscar Wegbreit, and Des O’Donovan

On Working in the Park

I hold the Wissahickon Valley Park very close to my heart. I visit the park and love to explore the beauty the nature provides. I want to be a part of an effort that contests the human impact on the park.−Oscar Wegbreit

I wanted to work in the Wissahickon because I have always enjoyed spending time there. I saw this job as an opportunity to spend more time in the park and to give back to it.–Des O’Donovan

Working in the park means community, togetherness, history, and fun.—DaJuan Banks

On Devil’s Pool

There’s a lot of trash left at Devil’s Pool – especially on the weekends. Having the Park Rangers on site and the police in the area has really helped.  A lot of people will see us picking up trash and ask us for bags to put their own trash in.  We set an example and it encourages everyone else.−DaJuan Banks

Most people use the recycling containers we installed at Devil’s Pool for recyclables, though there is usually some trash we have to separate.  It helps to have them paired with trash cans.—Oscar Wegbreit

I don’t really enjoy working at Devil’s Pool as much, not because I mind picking up trash but because it is sad to see how some people don’t respect the park. I have learned that most park users appreciate and respect the park and the work that we do.–Des O’Donovan

On Working Together

Working independently as a team gives us a greater responsibility for the park’s upkeep and the opportunity to accomplish the tasks that we feel need to be accomplished.−Des O’Donovan

I really enjoyed working with the team – it was a great experience.—Oscar Wegbreit

The team this year was really great.  We worked hard, got along, and had a good time too.—DaJuan Banks

Summer Highlights

I enjoyed monitoring the bluebird boxes because I learned a lot about nest identification.—Des O’Donovan

I really liked monitoring the Hemlock trees that were treated to protect them from Hemlock Whooly Adelgid.—Oscar Wegbreit

Working on volunteer work days has been fun – especially building the new trail.—DaJuan Banks


by Peg Shaw, Project Manager