Meet the Interns!
Friends of the Wissahickon had the pleasure of welcoming interns from the Walter B. Saul School of Agriculture for the summer! The interns started their work with FOW through the Philly STEM Education for Sustainability (EfS) program with PHENND, a local network of 25+ colleges and universities that helps students to strengthen service-learning, civic engagement, and community partnership in Philadelphia by connecting academics with community involvement.
Philly STEM EfS is a PA Smart Grant funded program in which school teams work with students to identify place-based projects that address real sustainability problems in their community, cultivate the resources and stakeholders in their community that they would work with toward solutions, and explore green STEM career opportunities related to creating a thriving, sustainable city.
The Walter B. Saul School of Agriculture, located in Roxborough, focuses on giving high-school students “opportunities rooted in an urban setting,” and applying their knowledge and skills to “address modern environmental and agricultural challenges.” What better place to make these goals come true than with FOW!
Our interns from WB Saul, Stefanie and Georgia, began their internship in June of 2022. They helped out the field staff with a variety of tasks to help keep the park clean and healthy. A large part of their duties were slashing away at invasive species in the Wissahickon Valley Park, such as the kudzu vine.
Stefanie and Georgia kept track of their days in the park by writing in their journals. They had notes and information on various plants, trees, and invasives in the park. They also collected the leaves of some of their favorites! Stefanie’s favorite tree in the park was the Sweet-gum and Georgia’s was the Umbrella magnolia.
When asked what surprised them the most while interning at FOW, they both agreed that they were shocked they were in the thick of it! In other words, Stefanie and Georgia had the assumption that they would spend their days on the trails in the park. But no, they were deep in the foliage of it! There’s no better way to get rid of invasive plants than by getting up close and personal (so you can rip ‘em out).
Overall, Stefanie and Georgia were a great asset to FOW this summer and made a difference in keeping the Wissahickon Park beautiful and wild. We wish them the best of luck in their environmental and agricultural futures!