Our Work

FOW works in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR), the Philadelphia Water Department, and dozens of other regional partners on a wide range of programs.

Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020

FOW’s Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020 confirms FOW’s commitment to preserving all that the Wissahickon is and outlines the work FOW will execute in Wissahickon Valley Park over the next three years. It took more than two years for FOW’s Board of Directors and staff to complete the strategic planning process—an undertaking characterized by actively sought community input. We invited comments at a large public meeting, held two focus groups of park stakeholders, and conducted an online survey. We also conducted dozens of interviews with park stakeholders and FOW partners.

The Blueprint shares our programmatic approach and takes you through an abbreviated version of the process FOW undertook—the topics and questions we explored—in order to arrive at our three areas of strategic priority: habitat, infrastructure, and engagement.

Read FOW’s Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020 here. 

Sustainable Trails Initiative

Capital Projects: Friends of the Wissahickon plans, funds, and oversees trail construction, habitat restoration, and infrastructure improvement projects throughout Wissahickon Valley Park.

Conservation Planning: Friends of the Wissahickon plans for the proper management of the park’s resources by leading and participating in planning efforts designed to prioritize conservation actions. FOW has led and participated in various local and regional planning efforts on wayfinding and signage, trail construction, water quality, and forest management.

Volunteer Program

Friends of the Wissahickon Trail Ambassadors are trained docents who assist park visitors with directions and safety, and lead guided walks to educate visitors about the park’s history, flora, fauna, and geology.

Trail Crew Leadersexperienced volunteers who are trained to lead volunteer groups. They are experts in trail building and/or habitat restoration and have undergone special training.

Friends of the Wissahickon volunteers: park users who rebuild trails, plant trees, remove vines, eliminate invasive plants and replace them with native species, clean up trash and debris, remove graffiti, control erosion, and repair structures.

Protect Our Watershed

The Joint Easement Program: managed by Friends of the Wissahickon and the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Landowners can voluntarily limit future development of their property to protect important conservation values.

Environmental Education: Friends of the Wissahickon hosts free public lectures, guided walks, special events, and installs interpretive signage in the park to educate the public about important current environmental topics.

Advocacy and Policy Making: Friends of the Wissahickon and our partner agencies work to ensure that local and state policies continue to support FOW’s mission and our longstanding commitment to environmental protection.