PHILADELPHIA — Friends of the Wissahickon is celebrating 95 years of successful stewardship of Wissahickon Valley Park with Love Where You Live, a 95th Anniversary Celebration Party at Erdenheim Farm on Oct. 11.
And they want you to know there’s still time to join the party! You can help FOW celebrate nearly a century of stewardship of Philadelphia’s urban oasis, the beloved Wissahickon Valley Park. At this milestone event, FOW will honor individuals who are essential to the fulfillment of its mission to “conserve the natural beauty and wildness of the Wissahickon and stimulate the public interest therein,” presenting past FOW president Cindy Affleck with its long-standing Wissahickon Award, and David Haas with the organization’s first Founders Award. The event is being co-chaired by FOW past president Will Whetzel and his wife, Kim. All proceeds benefit the organization’s ongoing conservation and advocacy efforts.
Erdenheim Farm is an especially fitting location for FOW’s celebration, given its significance as a green space in the heart of the Wissahickon Watershed and the critical environmental role it plays. Erdenheim embraces a portion of the Wissahickon Creek and forms part of the greenway system that begins at the creek’s source in Montgomery Township and extends south through 11 municipalities ending in the Schuylkill River. A working farm, Erdenheim Farm is owned and preserved by Peter and Bonnie McCausland, who granted easements for the construction of public trails on the perimeter of several tracts. This enabled completion of the Montgomery County Green Ribbon Trail linking Fort Washington State Park and Wissahickon Valley Park, as well as provided connections with the Township’s trail system.
The Wissahickon’s natural beauty doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of effort and careful planning to conserve and improve the park for its more than 1 million visitors, while facing the growing pressures of climate change, pollution, stormwater runoff, and erosion.
FOW’s stewardship makes the park cleaner and more accessible, and improves the health of the watershed, which directly impacts the quality of the creek - a source of clean drinking water for a third of Philadelphians. The organization’s work also protects the park’s delicate ecosystem and natural environment, sustaining and restoring 1,800 acres of woodlands, meadows, and streams, while caring for more than 50 miles of scenic trails, dozens of historic landmarks, and unique works of public art. FOW’s strong civic responsibility and environmental activism represents the voices of park neighbors and visitors.
“We are incredibly proud to celebrate 95 years of caring for the Wissahickon Valley Park, one of Philadelphia’s greatest resources,” said Maura McCarthy, FOW’s executive director. “As we look ahead to nearly a century of service, we hope you will join us to mark this milestone in our history and our continued work to conserve the watershed, habitat, history, and sheer beauty of our beloved urban oasis.”
FOW is grateful for the support of its sponsors: Glenmede; James Corner Field Operations; Team Whetzel, Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty; Skelly and Loy; Bryn Mawr Trust; Mitchell Sinkler & Starr; Timoney Knox, LLP; Jeffrey A. Miller Catering; Aqua America; Blake Development Corp.; UBS-Market Street Investment Group; Whitemarsh Foundation; Glanzmann Subaru; The Aranda Group; Prentiss Smith & Company, Inc,; Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP, Fairmount Park Conservancy, McFarland Tree, Landscape, & Hardscape Services, Inc.; The Nature Conservancy; and Weavers Way Co-op; and The Hill at Whitemarsh.
If you “love where you live,” join FOW for a festive farm dinner of locally sourced fare and dancing to celebrate this momentous occasion in the organization’s history. Ticket prices start at $350. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit fow.org/FOW95th, or contact Sarah Marley at firstname.lastname@example.org.