Youth Stewardship

Part of our mission is sharing the joy and importance of tending to our public lands with the next generation of park stewards. We offer a variety of options for youth stewardship from 6th grade through 12th grade. Check out the options below.

School Groups

Volunteering as a school group provides a wonderful outdoor experience for students – they learn about the history and necessity of Wissahickon Valley Park, get their hands dirty while helping maintain it, and walk away with the pride of knowing that they made a positive difference.

In addition to taking part in our public Volunteer Service Days, we are happy to plan a private event for you and your students. Start/end times and projects can be flexible, based on the group. For schools interested in scheduling a service day, we ask a donation of $15 per student in order to put a project together for you. Private service days are free of charge for School District of Philadelphia schools. Transportation is not provided by FOW. Contact Amelia Marren, Volunteer Program Coordinator at marren@fow.org for more information.

Please fill out the Corporate and School Inquiry Form here and a staff member will get back to you shortly.

Internships & Externships

Friends of the Wissahickon is dedicated to educating the next generation of stewards through our internship programs designed for high school students in the School District of Philadelphia. These programs not only teach students about how to steward green spaces, but prepare them for the workforce and provide them with an attractive addition to their resumes and/or college applications.

We offer several options:

  • Fall-Spring Internship for the duration of a school year. Students taking part in this will work with FOW Field Staff members one day per week from 8:00-3:00 for most of the school year. They will learn and take part in the following: history, significance and stewardship of Wissahickon Valley Park as a watershed, a habitat, and a public space; trail work; habitat restoration; team work and leadership; proper tool usage & maintenance. Interns are invited to our annual First Aid & CPR training classes. This internship can count for school credit. While FOW does not provide transportation to and from the park, we can provide transportation stipends.
  • Spring Break Externship.  Students taking part in this will work with FOW Field Staff members for three full days during spring break to work on a project from start to finish. This experience equals 16.5 hours and can be counted as an externship. While FOW does not provide transportation to and from the park, we can provide transportation stipends.
  • Summer Trail Building Experience. For one week this summer, five School District of Philadelphia students will work alongside FOW Field Staff to build sustainable trail infrastructure in Wissahickon Valley Park. They will learn tool safety, sustainable trail design, basic plant identification, proper plant pruning techniques, and trail maintenance. Attendance all week is required. Upon completion, students will receive a $500 stipend or 37.5 hours of service. Transportation reimbursements are available. More information and apply here. 

If you are a high school student in the School District of Philadelphia and are interested in taking part in an internship with FOW, contact Amelia Marren at marren@fow.org

Volunteer Service Days

Our Volunteer Service Days are fun, educational and provide a much needed service to the park. If you need volunteer/community service hours for graduation or clubs, this is an easy way to take care of those requirements. Our service days are easy to sign up for and no prior experience is needed. Some important information can be found below:

  • Check out our upcoming service days here.
  • Teenagers between the ages of 14-18 may volunteer on our service days with the signature of their parent or guardian on our online release form. Kids under the age of 14 may volunteer, but must be accompanied by an adult.
  • If you have paperwork for us to sign to confirm attendance at any service day, be sure to bring it with you.
  • What to wear:
    • Work gloves – these are provided at workdays if you don’t have them
    • Sturdy boots/sneakers – no open toed shoes
    • Long pants
    • Clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty
    • Sun protection – a hat & sunscreen
  • What to bring:
    • Your own reusable water bottle to help reduce waste

For more information contact Marisa Miller at miller@fow.org.

Scout Projects

When possible, Friends of the Wissahickon welcomes scouts and students to complete individual projects within the Wissahickon. Our ability to collaborate depends on our availability and the nature of the proposed project.

If you’re interested in completing a project, submit your proposal here.

For more information contact Amelia Marren at marren@fow.org