In the 57 years since the founding of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, over 1200 hundred acres have been preserved as wildlife habitat. These hardwood forests, wetlands, waterways, pastoral lands and farms have helped create a mosaic of open space that not only allow for wildlife habitat to survive but contribute greatly to the quality of life of the residents and businesses that call the Wissahickon Valley home. Countless hundreds of additional acres have also been preserved such at Fort Washington State Park, Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve and Prophecy Creek Park among others.
Answering the question of how wildlife is doing in our preserves in 2013 is important to help shape our understanding of how to best manage the lands for nature. The WVWA initiated a series of studies to learn how our fauna and flora are surviving. The first study was of the breeding birds. Since all birds are territorial and the males guard their territories, once you recognize their song and plumage, identifying them is relatively easy. They are also reliable since they remain close to their nest until the young are old enough to fly. Surveys were conducted at the 55 acre Four Mills Reserve in Upper Dublin, the 109 acre Willow Lake Preserve in Whitemarsh Township, the 68 acre Camp Woods and the 58 acre Armentrout Preserve, both in Whitpain Townships The results of the first WVWA Breeding Bird Survey are encouraging!