News From Your Conservancy
Become a Conservancy Spring Gala Benefactor!
The Conservancy will now hold just one major fundraising gala a year, so don’t miss it! We hope you will join us at our Spring Gala on Friday, May 15th in the historic home and sumptuous garden at 8801 Crefeld Street.
Click HERE to learn more about Benefactor benefits and to purchase tickets!
The Great Houses Tour welcomes you to explore SEVEN fabulous Chestnut Hill homes and gardens, representing many different architectural styles and eras of construction. All of these homes have been adapted for contemporary living while embracing the community’s history and landscape.
Presented jointly by the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and the Chestnut Hill Community Association, the Great Houses Tour is designed to celebrate and share the ways that traditional and contemporary design can coexist in this historic and architecturally extraordinary community. The hosts at each house include their architects, designers, and contractors to connect you to a wealth of information. No number of questions for them is too many!
Make it a day in Chestnut Hill. Many restaurants and shops will be offering discounts for Great House Tour attendees – enjoy lunch or dinner at a participating restaurant and receive a 10% discount.
The locations of this self-guided tour will be revealed on the day of the tour, at the registration check-in location. This tour is a rain or shine event. Once you buy a ticket, we will have your name on our registration list at check-in site located at Church of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 Saint Martins Lane, Phila., PA 19118.
Spotlight on Volunteers
Katie Worrall
Katie Worrall grew up in Chestnut Hill where her father taught at Chestnut Hill Academy. She attended Springside School and the now-closed Stevens School before going to boarding school and college. After college, she came back to Chestnut Hill and decided to explore a career in writing. That took her in 1978 to a part-time, volunteer job at the Chestnut Hill Local, where her responsibilities included sorting the editorial department mail; filing photographs with captions and articles used in the paper and typing announcements for the paper.
After a few days away, she returned to learn she had a paying job and her responsibilities grew to also include covering meetings, writing feature articles and helping with the newspaper lay-out before it was done on the computer. She was the associate editor responsible for editing the former Localife section before being named editor in 2001. After leaving the Local in 2004, she joined the board of former Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment.
In 2007, she began volunteering in the Archives at the Chestnut Hill Conservancy, where she sorts, labels, scans and catalogs photographs that the Chestnut Hill Local gave to the Conservancy. We are so thrilled to have someone so uniquely qualified to catalog the thousands of photographs in the Local collection. We are fortunate at the Chestnut Hill Conservancy to have Katie, who has volunteered for a wide range of tasks here, such as filling for vacationing staff on Saturdays, staffing information tables at events, working on the house tours, and much more. Chestnut Hill Conservancy salutes Katie!
The Conservancy Welcomes
Heather Bowlan
Our First Full-Time Development Coordinator
Born and raised in Chestnut Hill, Heather Bowlan is now a part of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy – our first full-time Development Coordinator.
She has experience in writing, fundraising, and community engagement for organizations in Hawaii, Raleigh, and Los Angeles, and holds an MA in European Culture from University College London and an MFA in Creative Writing from North Carolina State University.
Heather is delighted to promote and advocate for the open spaces and cultural history she’s enjoyed all her life!
New Images Added to the Collection
A member of the Benson family has sent us wonderful photographs of the Benson houses and property along Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, including these images from 1930. The Smith Company made the little electric-powered vehicle called the “Red Bug,” pictured here, which would run up to about 15 miles per hour, halfway between a toy and a car.
The Benson children and friends frolic by the pool that still exists today behind the house at 185 Bethlehem Pike. This pool was used for a scene in the 1988 movie Stealing Home, starring Jodie Foster.
Ask the Experts / Open Archives
Homeowner Strategies For Planting and Maintaining Trees in a Changing Climate
Saturday, April 4, 1:30pm
Experts 1:30-2:30pm; Archives 11-4pm
Hal Rosner, certified arborist with Shechtman Tree Care will discuss maintaining and planting trees in the age of climate change, the importance of canopy trees and native species, and spotted lantern fly mitigation.
A free program to the community, Ask the Experts is offered quarterly, and addresses a featured topic by an expert on prevalent issues relating to historic home and landscape care, as well as  free access to the Archives. Ask questions; get solutions! Presented with the Chestnut Hill Community Association.
This series is FREE, and no pre-registration is required.
Conservancy HQ – 8708 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
More Info HERE
News From Our Friends
Learn more about Erdenheim Farm’s
Volunteer Docent Program
The Erdenheim Farm Foundation is launching a new Volunteer Docent Program. Volunteers will apply and then go through an interview and screening process before being admitted to the program. Applications need to be submitted by March 31st. Interviews will be conducted during the month of April and training will begin in May. Once docents have been trained and graduated from the Docent Training Program, they will lead tours of the farm including the sheep barn area and a visit to the Wissahickon Creek. Volunteer docents will also be needed for stationary duty during future open-farm days when they will be positioned in and around the sheep barn to answer questions and oversee public visitors.
Potential applicants to this volunteer program should live locally and be well-spoken, education-oriented individuals, who are comfortable speaking in front of groups, including school age children. Docent training will occur over many weeks and will have a multifaceted curriculum including history, animal husbandry, sustainable practices, environmental stewardship, and more.  There is limited space in this volunteer program, but Erdenheim Farm will likely be adding additional docents to the program in subsequent years.
If interested please fill out the required application form HERE.
You may also email for more information, but this is not a substitute for filling out the required application form.
Please note that at this time Erdenheim Farm is only launching the Volunteer Docent Program. Erdenheim Farm is not open for tours currently.
Mark your Calendars!
  • April 4 – Ask the Experts
  • April 23 – Discovering Chestnut Hill – The Fortuitous Open Spaces of Chestnut Hill Lecture
  • April 25 – Discovering Chestnut Hill – Pastorius Park and Its Neighborhood Tour
  • May 3 – Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival
  • May 15 – Spring Gala
  • May 31 – Great Houses Tour