Taking Care of our Planet is a Lifelong Investment
The crux of our mission here at FOW is to conserve the Wissahickon Valley Park’s natural beauty and ecological health while balancing our community’s recreational use of this unique green space. We think we’ve done a pretty great job; we have over 2 million annual park visits to prove it! Our park users scale a network of rugged trails, explore forests of luscious fauna, enjoy serene tributaries, and reconnect with nature with each visit. We’re ecstatic that the park is a cornerstone of public life for many Philadelphians, but with increased park visitation, we must confront the environmental effects of our presence.
This year, on Earth Day, we’re practicing giving back more than we take from our park. Let’s invest in our public spaces today and every day. Here are some ways we’re investing in the planet and how you can join us.
FOW is showing its commitment to creating inroads and fostering the health of our park with the Germantown Connection Project, which centers around an access point to our park on Harvey Street in the Germantown neighborhood. We want to share the magic of the Wissahickon Park with everyone. In the case of Harvey Street, this means creating more accessible pedestrian access with an expanded trail network to the main stem of the park and implementing newly defined signage and wayfinding.
We’ve directed efforts to rebuild the sidewalk on Harvey Street that has been crumbling for many years, making it increasingly difficult for park users to navigate. The current access point to the park in this area is situated on Lincoln Drive, a hectic road that is dangerous for pedestrians to cross, especially during rush hour. In order to keep our friends of the park safe, we’re implementing a crosswalk and traffic slowing elements to alert motorists of folks that may be using the crosswalk ahead of them.
To repay our park for the many ways it provides for us, we’re investing in new plantings to restore the native habitat, which will, in turn, reduce stormwater runoff. We believe that the summation of these investments will make the Wissahickon a more equitable public space and help balance the effects of increasing access to the park for our community members.
This Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, FOW will lead a group of volunteers to this less frequented area of the park to collect litter and cut back invasive plants. To register for this location, click here.
Photo courtesy of FOW Staff