Make a difference in the Wissahickon this Giving Tuesday

News // November 28, 2022

Dear Friends,

So many of us have a Wissahickon story. Maybe you first learned to fish while wading through the Wissahickon Creek. Maybe you moved from miles away and found comfort in this new city through time spent in the Wissahickon Valley Park. Or maybe you found a place to heal. 

This Giving Tuesday, think about how the Wissahickon Valley Park has been there for you and donate today to the park that gives us so much. 

Back in 2020, Lilian Haas signed up for the All Trails Challenge to trek all 50+ miles of trails in the Wissahickon Valley Park while fundraising to support FOW’s stewardship mission. She needed to get out of the house and brought her son and husband along for the journey.

Lilian had been enduring a personal challenge of her own. For a year and a half, she had been helping her best friend through various health crises. Despite best efforts and Lilian’s unwavering support, she lost her best friend at the end of July in 2021. One month to the day after the loss of her friend, Lilian signed up for a second time to participate in the 2021 All Trails Challenge. While her hikes in 2020 were usually spent with her son or husband, almost all of her hikes in 2021 were spent in difficult but necessary solitude. Lilian was heartbroken and came to the Wissahickon by herself to heal.

She explained, “Being alone in the woods gave me time to think, time to talk to my friend (more precisely, to myself, but saying what I needed to but couldn’t say to him), time to process my overwhelming grief. I needed that time under the trees, beside the water…”

“By the end of my 50 miles, I had regained some (though far from all) equilibrium, and I could cope with the world again. It sounds like such a cliché, but the Wissahickon healed me.” 

Here at FOW, we know deeply the importance this park plays in the lives of all its neighbors and visitors. That is why we work tirelessly to keep the Wissahickon the exceptional place that it is–but we cannot accomplish this vital work without your help. 

Every day of the week, FOW’s field staff and volunteers are out stewarding the park through habitat restoration, trail improvements, environmental education, and outreach to the park visiting community. This work supports that unique experience you come to the Wissahickon seeking. 

No matter what your Wissahickon story is, our work goes towards making it possible. Donate today and support generations of Wissahickon stories to come. 

See you out on the trails,