Protecting Land to Protect the Creek
The founding of the Wissahickon Watershed Association in 1957 grew out of the collective concern of area residents whose goal was to protect the land in the Watershed from the devastating effects of floods from the Wissahickon Creek. They recognized the inseparable link of land and water and adopted the protection of these natural resources as the organization’s key mission.
Today, there are nearly 1,300 acres of protected land and 21 miles of natural wooded trails available to the public for year-round enjoyment. The Green Ribbon Trail begins near the headwaters in North Wales and meanders along the Wissahickon connecting with Fairmount Park's Forbidden Drive, until it reaches the confluence of the Creek with the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
Land Worth Preserving
Preserving valuable open space is a crucial component of the important work of any land trust organization. Our preserved lands are the last remaining wildlife habitat in the watershed. With open space dwindling due to development, preserving the best of what is left is key to ensuring that future generations will enjoy our natural heritage.
The WVWA is committed to the research, restoration and re-wilding of our preserves as a living legacy to nature. We conduct scientific research to better understand how nature is surviving. We restore wildlife habitat by planting new forests, meadows and improving wetlands. We re-wild our preserves by returning rare species of plants and animals that have disappeared from the area. The conservation and management of our suburban wilderness is one of the most important goals of the WVWA.
The Watershed Association routinely monitors the water quality and the aquatic life of the Creek. Data is recorded and passed on to local governments and regulatory agencies. With the support of hundreds of volunteers, WVWA conducts an annual stream clean up to remove trash from the Creek and its stream banks. The solid scientific research and citizen science enables the WVWA to establish a firm foundation to improve water quality in the not too distant future.
Creating Awareness and Education
A greater understanding of the natural world often leads to more environmentally aware and involved citizens. Our outreach programs are designed to foster a deep appreciation for the natural world by engaging participants in hands-on activities that impart the lessons on many levels.
Programs are offered at WVWA's historic Four Mills headquarters, the Evans-Mumbower Mill and the preserves as well as in public and private schools. Adult and family programs include workshops, lectures, classes and walks- all intended to share the value of caring for the land and protecting wildlife habitat with area residents.