iDavid Freed

Engagement Initiatives

Conservation requires a community. At Wissahickon Trails, we engage children and adults in a variety of educational initiatives.

Virtual Engagement

We're working to bring the Wissahickon watershed to your home! Visit our Virtual Engagement page for fun activities, educational videos, programs and more.

Community Science

Partners: Caterpillars Count!; Monarch Watch; Monarch Larva Monitoring Project; Project Monarch Health, Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestWatch

Through our Community Science program, community residents receive hands-on training to support our land management. Community Scientists collect data with us about the wildlife and habitats throughout our preserves—from monitoring salamanders, to banding bluebirds, to observing our chimney swift towers. Volunteers are engaged in real scientific fieldwork that ensures our conservation efforts are successful.

If you are interested in learning about how you can do Community Science with your classroom, club, or homeschool group, please contact Jenn Bilger, Director of Engagement at jenn@wissahickontrails.org.

Creek Watch

With over 116 stream miles within the Wissahickon watershed, we rely on help from the community to monitor conditions along the Wissahickon and its tributaries. Creek Watch volunteers are our boots on the ground, stationed at 39 sites, to ensure that conditions like algae and erosion are regularly monitored, hazards along the stream identified and removed, and pollution incidents are reported. Thanks to Creek Watchers, five pollution incidents have been reported and all have resulted in immediate action.

Conservation Crew

The Conservation Crew is a dedicated group of volunteers who help with on-the-ground conservation and trail projects on our 12 nature preserves and 24 miles of trails. Volunteers build boardwalks and footbridges, clear and improve trails, and remove invasive species to plant native species. Conservation Crew members also help with urgent trail repairs, such as storm damage or broken boardwalks. This program creates opportunities for the community to improve the local habitat and make our trails better. With their help, we are better able to create a community where people and nature can thrive.

Classroom-based Education

Partners: Wissahickon School District, The Center School, Germantown Academy, Fairwold Academy, Meadowbrook School

Each year nearly 2000 students from local schools participate in curriculum-based education programs designed to enhance their knowledge of current, local environmental issues. Our certified teacher works in partnership with local schools to give all students, including those with disabilities, a hands-on opportunity to explore science and the natural world. Academic-related program topics include: surface water, groundwater, water quality, watersheds, wetlands, nature’s decomposers, insects, wildlife and historic water milling. This curriculum-based enrichment program gives students the chance to transform classroom science into useful knowledge in a living outdoor laboratory. This program is supported through EITC funding.

Trailblazer

I had the pleasure of attending my son's 3rd grade field trip this May. I was impressed with the knowledgeable and energetic staff and how actively they engaged the students in learning about the environment. The excitement of the children, at even small discoveries, was inspiring. You could see their understanding grow and watch as lessons from the classroom came to life for them in the experience of it all.

Steph Frantantaro, parent of 3rd grader at Lower Gwynedd Elementary School, Wissahickon School District

Help Support Education