Hot Spot Happenings
Big news: Wissahickon Valley Park has been designated as a 2021 Leave No Trace Hot Spot! From July 23-25, Friends of the Wissahickon will be partnering with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to host community events, cleanups, and educational activities around responsibly enjoying the outdoors in the Wissahickon.
With increased numbers of visitors in recent years, the park has experienced excessive trash, damage to vegetation and trees, and trail erosion in popular destinations like Valley Green. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly through the seven Leave No Trace Principles, and their Hot Spot Program brings solutions and prevention measures from successful Leave No Trace programs in public spaces across the country to public lands that have been severely impacted by recreational use. The Wissahickon joins other 2021 Hot Spots at some of the country’s most significant parks, including Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming and Joshua Tree National Park in California.
What to do, what to do…
Our goals for the Hot Spot weekend include community engagement and education, training for staff and volunteers, and strategic goal setting for managing future recreation impacts in the Valley Green area, which includes Devil’s Pool and Margaree Dam. During the weekend there will be educational workshops, volunteer service projects, guided walks, and a variety of fun and engaging community events – check out the highlights here!
- Friday, July 23 – A morning history hike will trace the connection between a desire to protect the Wissahickon Creek and the creation of Wissahickon Valley Park. The weekend festivities begin that evening with a Leave No Trace Quizzo and the opening ceremonies of FOW’s Trash Smash World Championship.
- Saturday, July 24: A multi-site cleanup around the Valley Green area will be followed by a community celebration at Valley Green Inn, including family-friendly activities offered by FOW’s partners at Let’s Go Outdoors.
- Sunday, July 25: FOW will be joined by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and community leaders for a public workshop on building community around Leave No Trace principles.
For more information and to register for events, visit fow.org/LNThotspot.
Trash Smash World Championship
Feeling the stewardship bug? The Leave No Trace Hot Spot weekend also kicks off a new FOW summer stewardship program: The FOW Trash Smash World Championship, a trash cleanup team competition to beautify the Wissahickon Valley Park! From July 23 to August 8, team up with your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to pick up as much trash as you can. FOW will provide the gear to steward the park in style as well as fun activities – and all registrants receive free FOW membership and all the benefits that come with it. Prizes will be awarded to the top three Trash Smash World Champions, determined by how many bags of trash each team removed from the park.
If you’re ready to start smashing, register your team at fow.org/trashsmash!