Director’s Notebook: Bridging to the Future

News // March 27, 2024

by Ruffian Tittmann, FOW Executive Director

Friends of the Wissahickon is excited to be soon starting a project a decade in the making: The Valley Green Run Restoration and Pedestrian Bridge Project.  

This two-part project, which will break ground later this spring, is a critical piece of providing safer pedestrian access to one of the Park’s most popular entrances, the Valley Green Area, and creating a stable, non-erosive stream channel that will improve the water quality of the Wissahickon Creek. 

The first phase will reconstruct the Valley Green Run streambank and streambed to address years of worsening storm-induced erosion that led to the collapse of the original footbridge that served the area in 2014.  

The second phase will build a new pedestrian bridge, allowing a safer and more immersive park experience at this popular access point. A new observation platform along the 200-foot extended walkway will offer visitors expansive views of the park’s schist outcroppings and the historic Valley Green Bridge.   

We’re inspired by this opportunity to bridge the future of the Wissahickon. If you are, too, we have some opportunities for you to help support the next 100 years of stewardship in our beloved Wissahickon Valley Park.  

You already know and love Valley Green. Picturesque views of the Creek, gooselings hatching in the spring, lunch on the patio of the Inn overlooking the Wissahickon Creek, and afternoons spent meandering along Forbidden Drive. The new pedestrian bridge offers the perfect location to honor loved ones and memories made in the park or to celebrate the place that has made a lasting difference in your own life! This project’s dedication opportunities include: 

  • Engraved stone pavers in the new trailhead plaza  
  • Laser-cut metal planks spanning the new bridge’s length 
  • Interpretive kiosks welcoming the park’s many visitors 
  • Stone benches offering a place to rest and take in the beauty around you.  

You’ll be able to carve out a special spot in the Wissahickon to visit for generations to come, forever engraved on the newest addition to the park’s landscape. 

For more ways to contribute or honor a loved one, visit our In-Park Recognition website here to submit an inquiry and the FOW team will connect with you. 

Support for this project will not only ensure the construction of this essential piece of infrastructure but will build our future capacity for large-scale capital investments like this project, that increase accessibility as well as restore and protect native habitats.  

A beautiful tribute to your family’s love of the Wissahickon is a meaningful contribution to our fundraising goal of $1 million. 

This year, our 100th anniversary of stewarding the Wissahickon Valley Park is a celebration of the past and a launch pad to the future. Creating the Park’s newest landmark and a new way to experience all it has to offer feels rather fitting.  

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to sharing more official project updates through our weekly e-newsletter, which you can sign up for here. 

For more information, visit the project page here or email capitalprojects@fow.org.