The Perfect Way to Say ‘Thank You’ Wissahickon
Our green spaces are better when they’re shared.
Next Saturday, September 23, is National Public Lands Day, a nationwide volunteer effort that celebrates the connection between people and green spaces in their community, according to the National Parks Service.
We’re celebrating the best way we know how: with a service day dedicated to restoring and enhancing our park! Meet us at Harvey Street for a variety of trail work, invasive plant and litter removal.
This year, we’ve made a commitment to make parkland by Harvey Street more welcoming and accessible by rehabilitating its stone staircases, installing a brand-new informational kiosk at the entrance to welcome visitors, and improving the area’s trails to make them more sustainable and accessible.
National Public Lands Day is a reminder that the designation of land as a park is a promise of protection.
Wissahickon Valley Park was set aside as a public land in 1868 for the health and benefit of the citizens of Philadelphia. Its park designation was primarily intended to protect its drinking water source, which now services 1 in 3 Philadelphians, one of our most precious resources.
Since Friends of the Wissahickon’s inception nearly a century ago, our mission has been the same: to protect this essential cherished urban green space.
Our public spaces, like the Wissahickon, are the cornerstones of our communities. They’re where strangers become neighbors. Our parks, town centers, markets, and playgrounds draw us out of our homes and become places that bring us a sense of pride in our community, especially with a bit of investment.
But not all public spaces are created equal. Investment in the beauty and resiliency of the places we gather can be correlated to the affluence of the community. Time and money are a luxury that is oftentimes essential to the maintenance of basketball courts, community gardens, and waterfronts, especially with lackluster city budgets. A well-loved space quickly falls into disarray if a community doesn’t have the resources to maintain it.
We’re grateful for the generous donations of time and membership from our community. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your support. As the official parks partner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, we have a responsibility to steward our park and educate the next generation of environmental advocates.
Our park is a reflection of the love our park visitors have for it and the power of community investment.
Photo courtesy of Stacey Gray