iMargaret Rohde

Water Initiatives

At Wissahickon Trails, we know that the land and water are intricately connected. Our water stewardship programs protect the 116 miles of the Wissahickon creek and its tributaries. We work to protect the health of the creek now and for future generations. 

What is a watershed?
A watershed is an area of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to a common body of water, such as creeks, streams, and rivers. The Wissahickon watershed is 64 square miles and covers portions of Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. It is defined by the land-area where rainfall and snowmelt flows into the Wissahickon Creek and its tributaries.

Stream Monitoring

Partners: Creek Watch volunteers, The Academy of Natural Sciences, Stroud Water Research Center

Through the Stream Monitoring and Assessment Program, our staff conduct year-round surveys to monitor the water chemistry, habitat and insect communities in the Wissahickon Creek. This allows us to identify problem areas in the watershed, see trends in water quality, and understand whether our projects are working.

The Creek Watch program trains community members to monitor streams across the watershed. These critical volunteers are our eyes and ears, and have been instrumental in updating staff on stream conditions, and catching and reporting several pollution incidents.

Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership

Partners: 13 Watershed Municipalities, 4 Wastewater Treatment Plants, Montgomery County Planning Commission, University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center

We’re working with municipalities throughout the watershed to create a plan for a cleaner Wissahickon Creek. Together with town leaders, we have created a watershed-wide plan to improve stream health in the coming years. By working together on a solution, the Partnership ensures that we prioritize local interests and that no town is alone in combating pollution. The ultimate goal is to implement a shared plan that protects and improves the Wissahickon Creek for all to enjoy.

Delaware River Watershed Initiative

Partners: William Penn Foundation, Greater Philadelphia Watershed Organizations, Temple University, Villanova University

We work alongside other local watershed organizations to improve water quality in the Delaware River and its tributaries. Through this program we promote positive actions for the Wissahickon Creek among municipal leaders, businesses, volunteers, and residents. Coordinating with other organizations allows us to have a larger impact. As part of the Initiative, we’ve launched the Stream Smart House Calls program, which allows Abington residents to get a tailored plan for their home to manage stormwater runoff. Our goal is to reduce flooding in the Sandy Run headwaters.