40 West Evergreen Avenue
Suite 108
Philadelphia, PA 19118

Friends of the Wissahickon

The Friends of the Wissahickon, an official park partner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, conserves and improves the 1800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park. FOW’s dedicated community of members and volunteers has supported the park’s wild beauty since 1924. Staff and volunteers work with expert contractors and environmental scientists to mitigate stormwater runoff into the watershed, reduce erosion, and address the impacts on the native habitat posed by climate change. Volunteer hours and membership dollars support our work to sustain this unique urban oasis.

History and Mission

Friends of the Wissahickon is a 3,000-member, non-profit organization founded in 1924 with a mission “to conserve the natural beauty and wildness of the Wissahickon Valley and stimulate public interest therein.”

Conservation and Restoration

FOW conserves the natural beauty and wildness of Wissahickon Valley Park. With our volunteers, we implement projects that encourage the balanced regeneration of native plant and wildlife species, reduce stormwater erosion, and preserve manufactured trails, bridges, and other park structures.

  • The Sustainable Trails Initiative is a multi-stage commitment by Friends of the Wissahickon to help make the 50 miles of natural surface National Recreation Trails in Wissahickon Valley Park an environmentally and socially sustainable system that works for all park users.
  • The Protect Our Watershed program is pursuing initiatives to understand better and resolve flooding and excessive stormwater runoff that severely impact the health of Wissahickon Creek and its tributaries.
  • Since 1996, FOW’s Structures Crew has completed countless building projects throughout Wissahickon, intending to maintain the integrity and heritage of the park.