Friends of the Wissahickon Hosts a Weekend of Leave No Trace Stewardship Activities: July 23-25

Plus, FOW Trash Smash World Championship Team Cleanup Competition Kick-off


 From July 23 to 25, Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) will be partnering with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to host a weekend of community events and educational activities around responsibly enjoying the outdoors in the Wissahickon Valley Park, this summer and all year long.

With increased numbers of visitors in recent years, the popular urban park, especially in the area around the Valley Green Inn, has experienced excessive trash, damage to vegetation and trees, and trail erosion from heavy recreational use. Leave No Trace, a national organization based on a mission to sustain healthy and vibrant natural lands, selects Hot Spots in geographically and environmentally diverse areas across the United States that have been severely impacted by recreational use and provides grass roots solutions and prevention measures. As a designated Leave No Trace Hot Spot, the Wissahickon Valley Park joins some of the country’s most significant parks, including Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming and Joshua Tree National Park in California.

The weekend’s long-term goals include community engagement and education, training for staff and volunteers, and strategic goal setting for managing future recreation impacts in the Valley Green area, which includes Devil’s Pool and Margaree Dam. Programming for the Hot Spot Weekend will include educational workshops, volunteer service projects, guided walks, and a variety of fun and engaging community events. Some highlights include:

  • Friday, July 23 – Two morning history hikes will trace the connection between a desire to protect the Wissahickon Creek and the creation of Wissahickon Valley Park. The weekend festivities begin that evening with a Leave No Trace Quizzo and the opening ceremonies of FOW’s Trash Smash World Championship.
  • Saturday, July 24: A multi-site cleanup around the Valley Green area followed by a community celebration at Valley Green Inn with family friendly activities offered by FOW’s partners at Let’s Go Outdoors.
  • Sunday, July 25: A public workshop on building community around Leave No Trace principles.

For more information and to register for events, visit

The Leave No Trace Hot Spot weekend also kicks off a new FOW summer stewardship program: The FOW Trash Smash World Championship, a trash cleanup team competition to beautify the Wissahickon Valley Park. From July 23 to August 8, team up with your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to pick up as much trash as you can. FOW will provide the gear to steward the park in style as well as fun activities. All registrants receive free FOW membership and all the benefits that come with it. Prizes will be awarded to the top three Trash Smash World Champions, determined by how many bags of trash each team removed from the park.

If you’re ready to start smashing, register your team at!

About Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. The Center accomplishes this mission by delivering cutting-edge education and research to millions of people across the country every year. Learn more at, at or on Instagram through @LeaveNoTraceCenter.