From the Director’s Notebook: Our Park Provides

News // March 26, 2020

In these uncertain times, I have never been more thankful for the green open spaces of the Wissahickon – or more dedicated to our mission of conserving the park for generations to come.  We know the Wissahickon Valley Park’s value is not dependent upon when or how often we visit. The park provides an invaluable public service independent of its visitors, protecting our drinking water supply and improving air quality for our City.

Now we see more clearly than ever before how essential our connection to green open space is for our health and well being, as more people than ever before are visiting the Wissahickon Valley Park.  It remains one of the few public spaces still open for the community to enjoy time outside during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Parks provide us with so much, from space for recreation to clean water and improved air quality, and we will ensure that the Wissahickon continues to be a resource for the Philadelphia community. This is not something we can do alone, and we are grateful for the support of our members, friends, and partners in taking care of this unique place.

If you are still visiting the park, be sure to practice social distancing and share what you’re seeing and experiencing with us. We’re continuing to collect reports from the public on conditions in the park and sharing these reports with our partners throughout the city. You can stay connected and share information with us in a number of ways:

  • Report a non-emergency problem in the park, donate to FOW, or subscribe to text updates, by texting WISS to (267) 966-2207.
  • Follow us and communicate via social media- we’re on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @FOWissahickon
  • Use our online contact form here or reach out to the FOW staff directly. Email is best as we’re all working remotely.
  • Check-in periodically at We are regularly updating this page with important information about the Wissahickon Valley Park.

During this challenging time, Friends of the Wissahickon has new responsibilities – and possibilities.  We are expanding our use of virtual tools to connect with all of you, and I’m happy to say that next week we are launching a Virtual Wissahickon Valley Park filled with Wissahickon-focused videos, maps, and activities to help you enjoy the park from home. We want to share our archives and dedicated volunteers’ wisdom about the park’s history, geology, flora, and fauna with you online.  Even though you may not be able to physically visit the Wissahickon, you’ll know a knowledgeable guide is just a click away.

As you look to the Wissahickon Valley Park for refuge, either physically or virtually, now more than ever we need your support.  Please help us conserve this important community resource by donating to FOW today. You can be confident FOW is prepared to hit the ground running and get back to physically stewarding the Wissahickon once this public health crisis passes. Just know we are here, working behind the scenes to ensure the Wissahickon Valley Park remains the unique urban oasis we all know and love. 

Wishing you all good health,

Ruffian Tittmann