Community stories from our past in the comfort of your home
For the last few months The Conservancy has been creating and sending you mission-related activities, building our History at Home collection.
We’re now excited to share with you our new History at Home feature – Each month we’ll be highlighting news, events and activities from our Community Partners!
Although you’ll be hearing from us less frequently over the summer, expect to see new narrated videos from our Illustrated Stories collection, a few more architectural coloring pages, new activities such as games and self-guided tours, more “Bloom Where You Are Planted” installments featuring our Tree of the Month, and other new activities by the Conservancy and partners!
Here’s to a safe and healthy summer. We look forward to creating new activities and memories together, so email us your ideas!
We’re proud to launch our Community Partners by featuring Friends of the Wissahickon as the first of our Community Partners. FOW is partnered with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy in our fabulous Easements program, conserving over 100 acres in the Wissahickon watershed!
Friends of the Wissahickon
It’s the 5th Annual All Trails Challenge:
See and Support the Entire Wissahickon
By Ruffian Tittmann
Executive Director
Friends of the Wissahickon
In 2016, Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) launched the All Trails Challenge (ATC) as a way for people to explore the Wissahickon Valley Park’s 1,800 acres and 50+ trails while also supporting the continuation of FOW’s extensive conservation work. Since then, this event has grown in popularity and impact, engaging 1,500 donors and Challengers, with 24,000 miles explored and raising more than $103,000 for park preservation.
On August 17, the fifth annual ATC, kicks off for FOW members; August 31 for the general public, and continues through December 2.
ATC isn’t a race and you don’t have to be a conditioned athlete to take part. It’s a fun, family-friendly activity that invites people of all ages and fitness levels to hike, walk, run, bike or horseback ride through every corner of the beautiful Wissahickon. (Dogs, on leash, of course, love it too!)
Many people rarely go beyond Forbidden Drive when visiting the Wissahickon Valley Park, let alone exploring all 50 scenic trails. Now is your chance to truly go the distance – discovering new, and often lesser travelled, trails is a great way to add social distance between you and more crowded areas. At the same time, you will be helping safeguard the future of the park that adds so much to our quality of life.
The Wissahickon is always there when our bodies and minds need healing, for which we were especially grateful during the height of the pandemic’s restrictions. And, the significant health benefits of spending time outside, from reducing heart disease and high blood pressure to stress, have been widely documented. Overall, it just feels good to get fresh air and move your body.
These, along with other factors, have motivated ATC participants, as you can see from these comments we’ve collected over the years. Maybe they will motivate you to take the Challenge as well:
“I love the park have been walking some trails for 35 years. But always the same trails; I never ventured to the Roxborough side, for example.”
“I wanted to know I’ve been on every bit of trail. I’m a Trail Ambassador and am in the woods a lot but there were crannies I hadn’t been on.”
“I have had significant health problems in the last few years and I joined the Challenge to affirm health, and to have motivation to explore ‘unknown’ parts of the park.”
“I have hiked a lot of the Wissahickon trails already and figured why not raise money for doing something I love!”
“We love the Wissahickon and wanted more time to connect our children to it!
“There are trails I’ve never been on, despite having grown up here, and my wife hadn’t been on more than a few trails (repeatedly) before joining the Challenge.”
“I was new to the area and had a busy fiancé in medical school and a puppy who needed to work off his energy.”
Save These Dates for the Fifth Annual All Trails Challenge:
Thursday, August 6 at 6 p.m. – ATC 2020 Virtual Warm-Up Information Event
Learn about the ATC: mileage tracking and hike apps, setup for your fundraising page, tips for getting donors, sharing updates with friends and family, limiting exposure during the time of COVID-19, and more. Register here.
Monday, August 17 – Advance registration for FOW members
Monday, August 31 – Official ATC start date
Once you register as an ATC Challenger and start sharing your progress, you’re well on the path toward fabulous prizes for mileage and more. And along the way, while ATC Challengers help fundraise for FOW’s trail improvement projects, they’ll be getting cool swag, and building a Challenger community at ATC events. (All participants must register with a minimum of $50 raised or contributed to be eligible to compete for any prizes.)
Find out more participation information at and visit often for regular updates and news about incentives, giveaways, and prizes. And keep up with the ATC fun by following @FOWissahickon and #FOWAllTrails on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
This year, we proud to welcome Chestnut Hill Hospital as the Presenting ATC sponsor, and our early sponsors Univest, AQUA, Kouvenda Media, and Chestnut Hill Brewing Co. Sponsorship opportunities for this popular event are still available by contacting Maeve Pollack at
Games, Trivia, Crafts and other fun stuff from the
Friends of the Wissahickon
Bring a little bit of the Wissahickon into your own home with this adorable paper foldable toy! Print it, cut it, fold it, tape it, and create your own Wissahickon scene!
Be sure to take photos of your creation and tag @FOWissahickon on social media with
Many, many thanks to Bryan Green at for donating the design.
(Round 1)
Think you know Wissahickon Valley Park? Let’s just see!
Below are ten photos taken in the park to test your geographical skills. Grab a piece of paper and pen and write down where you think the photo was taken. At the very bottom are the correct answers.
  1. Monastery Stables
  2. Guard house on Forbidden Drive at the Rex Avenue bridge
  3. Lake Surprise along the Cresheim Creek
  4. Andorra Meadow
  5. Henry Avenue Bridge, as seen from the Yellow Trail
  6. Septa train bridge & Ridge Avenue, as seen from the paved bike path
  7. Thomas Mansion
  8. The Great Beech, in the Andorra Natural Area
  9. Bells Mill Road (thank you volunteers for cleaning it!)
  10. Magargee Dam, as seen from the Orange Trail
How did you do? If you didn’t know some of them, that’s OK – you’ll have a new spot to check out the next time you visit the park!
Visit Virtual Valley for more trivia, games, crafts and more! Be sure to check back again soon for another round of
Ask the Experts – August 20
Homeowner Strategies for Planting and Maintaining
Trees in a Changing Climate
Homeowner Strategies for Planting and Maintaining Trees in a Changing Climate
Thursday, August 20 at 8pm.
Hal Rosner, certified arborist with Shechtman Tree Care will discuss maintaining and planting trees to combat climate change, the importance of canopy trees and native species, and spotted lantern fly mitigation.
A free program to the community, Ask the Experts addresses a featured topic by an expert on prevalent issues relating to historic home and landscape care. Ask questions; get solutions! Organized by the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and co-sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association.
Visit us at for more information.
is made possible by our generous members and supporters
Chestnut Hill Conservancy 2020 Lead Sponsor
Chestnut Hill Conservancy 2020 General Sponsors
Always feel free to contact us with any questions about the Conservancy, our programs and events, or your membership at
Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118