PHILADELPHIA — Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) is celebrating 95 years as stewards of Wissahickon Valley Park on Saturday, June 1, with a Super Mega Volunteer Service Day Service day taking place simultaneously at 10 different park entrances. Teaming up with local community partners, businesses, and residents, FOW is hoping to recruit 500 volunteers – 50 at each location – to help beautify the park by removing trash and recycling and clearing invasive plants. Taking care of litter before it reaches Wissahickon Creek is a preventive measure – the creek is the source of drinking water for one in three Philadelphians.
No experience is necessary; FOW will provide the gloves, tools, and direction. The Super Mega event takes place from 9 a.m.-noon at the following locations throughout the park:
- Ten Box and Historic Rittenhouse Town – meet at the Upper Lot at Historic Rittenhouse Town-
- Ridge Avenue Trailhead – meet at the Ridge Avenue Kiosk
- Blue Bell Hill – meet at the Blue Bell Picnic Pavilion
- Saylor’s Grove – meet at Wissahickon Avenue and W. Rittenhouse Street
- Wigard Avenue Trailhead – meet at Wigard Avenue off Henry Ave.
- Mt. Airy Avenue Trailhead – meet at West Mt. Airy and Mt. Airy Terraces
- Lavender Trail and Covered Bridge – meet at the Crefeld Street Trailhead
- Wissahickon Environmental Center – meet at the upper parking lot on Northwestern Ave. (Roxborough side), community partner- Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association
- Bells Mill (East and West) – meet at Bell’s Mill Rd. and Forbidden Drive
- Houston Meadow – meet at Courtesy Stables
Following the service day, all volunteers and partners are invited to join a celebratory picnic from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Historic Rittenhouse Town.
FOW was founded in 1924 when a group of concerned citizens came together in response to a damaging winter storm and raised thousands of dollars over the next decade to plant native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in the park. Nearly a century later, this legacy of civic responsibility and environmental activism continues to conserve Wissahickon Valley for future generations.
“We are incredibly proud to celebrate 95 years of caring for Wissahickon Valley Park, one of Philadelphia’s greatest resources,” said Maura McCarthy, FOW’s executive director. “We hope you will join our efforts to conserve the watershed, habitat, history, and sheer beauty of our beloved urban forest oasis.”
The once small group of individuals has evolved into a vibrant, engaged community of members and friends more than 3,000 strong and growing. These individuals, including 1,100 volunteers, and corporate and community partners are the foundation of FOW’s many accomplishments since its founding.
Thank you to current site sponsors Manko, Gold, Katcher, Fox LLP; Larry Weaner Landscape Associates; and The Nature Conservancy, and community partners Historic Rittenhouse Town, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Mt. Airy Community Development Corporation, Boarders and Stewards of the Monastery, Inc., Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, and Chestnut Hill Conservancy.
FOW partner organizations or businesses interested in supporting the Super Mega Volunteer Service Day are invited to contact Sarah Marley at [email protected].
For more information about individual volunteer locations and to register, visit fow.org/supermega.