Spotlight: Marc Snyder, FOW Volunteer of the Year 2017
FOW honored Crew Leader Marc Snyder by naming him Volunteer of the Year for 2017 at this year’s Volunteer Recognition Night on November 16 at Valley Green Inn. Other honorees included Kris Soffa, Trail Ambassador of the Year, Dan Mercer, Crew Leader of the Year, and Kevin Eikov, Structures Crew Member of the Year. FOW Volunteer Coordinator Christina Anthony had some questions for him that we are reprinting here from our fall newsletter.
How do you volunteer with FOW?
I started volunteering with FOW in 2015 and gladly accepted a Crew Leader position in 2017. I am basically open for whatever the task is for the day, applying the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired along the way. John Holback (FOW Field Coordinator) has been a great mentor to me, and I learn something new every time I volunteer. Additionally, I spearheaded the Livezey Mill project with Craig Johnson, the current tenant at Glen Fern, uncovering and beautifying the ruins of the Livezey Mill. I also participated in the 2017 Bluebird Box Monitoring Program for Andorra and Houston Meadows. There is such a sense of pride and satisfaction that goes with volunteering with FOW, and I enjoy every opportunity I get to help out.
What do you love about the Wissahickon Park?
There is so much to love about the Wissahickon. The most obvious is the breathtaking beauty that can be found throughout the park. Whether hiking through the trees on the Yellow Trail, pausing for a moment of reflection at the Toleration or Tedyuscung statues, bird watching in the meadows, or listening to the water flow over the Livezey Dam, my “love” list is pretty endless! I also enjoy learning about the history of the Wissahickon and highly recommend the Metropolitan Paradise four-volume book series to anyone who shares a passion for the Wissahickon. [Available for purchase at FOW!]
What is one of your favorite moments from volunteering with FOW?
It was a snowy Saturday in January when a large group of volunteers ventured out to clean the habitat boxes in Andorra Meadow. A volunteer with the group spotted an owl in a box, but wasn’t sure what kind. We decided to investigate, and there it was−an eastern screech owl roosting in a habitat box! I managed to snap a few pictures and get some video, which received thousands of views on social media. Definitely one of my favorite moments!
How do you think FOW contributes to the Philadelphia community?
FOW contributes in so many ways. Along with all the hard work from the staff, who tirelessly strive to make the park more enjoyable for the community, there is such a strong network of Trail Ambassadors, Crew Leaders, and volunteers that help assist park visitors. They provide knowledge, history, and directions, while keeping the park safe and beautiful for all trail users. FOW’s efforts continue to make this park a staple of Philadelphia tourism, even for Philly natives.
What is your favorite spot in the park?
Is the whole 1,800 acres an acceptable answer? Man, this is the hardest question yet! Honestly, with so many amazing points of interest, I would say it probably depends on my mood that day. If I had to narrow it down, some of my favorite spots are the Lavender Trail, the meadows (Andorra and Houston), the Toleration statue, the Great Beech, Glen Fern/Livezey homestead, and Hermit’s Cave. I would encourage park users to explore all the Wissahickon has to offer. Stay on the trail, but explore. Also, Cedars House makes some delicious smoothies!
by Christina Anthony, Volunteer Coordinator