A Valuable Volunteer Experience for You and the Park

Conservation // December 14, 2016

When you become a volunteer with Friends of the Wissahickon, you get back as much as you give to the park. Through FOW volunteer programs you will meet and work with others who care about the Wissahickon as much as you do. With them you will learn more about the park—its history, geology, wildlife, plants, and more—which will enhance your experience of the Wissahickon.

FOW volunteers provide critical support needed to protect, preserve, and enhance Wissahickon Valley Park. Each year, our volunteers work over 12,000 hours to help FOW perform duties and complete projects that are essential for the Wissahickon to thrive, and the skills they learn can be transferred to the work sector. In exchange for their support of our mission, FOW provides volunteers with a range of benefits and special opportunities. Their work is valuable to us, and so we try to make their volunteer experience valuable for them.


Choose the Volunteer Program That Works For You

FOW is committed to enabling our volunteers to be leaders in the community and allowing them to directly participate in the preservation of Wissahickon Valley Park in ways they choose.

FOW’s leadership volunteers complete four core classes together, during which they learn about park history, watershed health, FOW and our current projects, and First Aid/CPR/AED training. Classes are usually scheduled on either weeknights or weekends.

Once these classes are completed, volunteers will have the option to pursue additional classes focused on their particular interests and expectations. Three areas of focus are currently available for volunteers—Trail Ambassadors, Outreach Corps, and Crew Leaders—and new classes and subjects are always being added. Read about our programs below, and then apply here!

Crew Leaders Love to Get their Hands Dirty

Crew Leaders are volunteers who become skilled in leading volunteer groups in the park and sharing their knowledge and expertise with others. They work directly with our Volunteer & Field Coordinators to help plan and lead volunteer workdays throughout the park. Crew Leaders can choose to focus on trail work, habitat restoration, structures, or trash and graffiti removable.  Class schedules vary from year to year. Learn more here.

Be the Face of FOW in the Outreach Corps

Become a member of the Outreach Corps and you will have the opportunity to represent Friends of the Wissahickon in the park and in surrounding communities. Many visitors to Wissahickon Valley Park have never heard of FOW and are unaware that FOW membership is a great way to support the park they love. Personal contact with our Outreach Corps volunteers is often just what they need to become an FOW member. Learn more here. 

Be FOW’s Eyes and Ears as a Trail Ambassador

Trail Ambassadors are park docents who aid and educate park visitors about everything park related: directions, safety needs, park history, flora, fauna, and geology, and more. Learn more here.

Training Requirements for All Volunteers

  • Be committed to helping preserve Wissahickon Valley Park.
  • Meet with the Volunteer Coordinator to discuss the training and program requirements so you can determine which volunteer leadership group is for you.
  • Pay $100 registration fee, which includes one-year basic membership with FOW. (Volunteer leaders are expected to maintain a current FOW membership.)
  • Obtain free criminal background and child abuse history background checks every two years.
  • Maintain a working e-mail address. (Communication and scheduling of FOW volunteers is primarily via e-mail.)
  • Sign the one-time volunteer release form.

Benefits for FOW Volunteers!

  • Become a Wissahickon expert!
  • Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping others and Wissahickon Valley Park.
  • Gain valuable, transferable knowledge you can share with your friends, neighbors, and community.
  • Connect with other lovers of the Wissahickon.
  • Participate in ongoing education about the Wissahickon through workshops, programs, and field trips.
  • Receive uniform/gear: hat, shirt, backpack, etc.
  • Become First Aid/CPR/AED certified.
  • Be recognized at FOW’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Night.
  • Become a community leader.
  • While on duty, receive 50% discount at Valley Green Inn snack bar and a 10% discount at The Cedars House Café.
  • FOW volunteers can attend continuing educational opportunities, such as workshops and lectures, by contacting FOW’s Volunteer Coordinator.

Have questions? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Christina Anthony at anthony@fow.org to talk more about volunteering in the Wissahickon!