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Wissahickon East Park Friends



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Why volunteer with us? Volunteer with Wissahickon East Park Friends (WEPF) and you will join an enthusiastic, effective, and fun-loving group of people. If you're looking for meaningful and rewarding volunteer service opportunities, WEPF is just right for you.

At all of our volunteer events, a splendid time is guaranteed for all! 

Who are we? WEPF is a grassroots, community-based volunteer group of people who work together to preserve and sustain the 6-acre plot of woods and stream valley at Anderson Street and Woodbrook Lane in East Mt. Airy in Philadelphia 19119. 

We welcome volunteers, partners, and financial donors. We have volunteer opportunities for folks of nearly all interests and skill levels who would like to help with park maintenance, or special events, or advocacy, or environmental education, or meetings, or any combination of these, and more. No experience is necessary. Our volunteer service opportunities appeal most to folks who enjoy environmental activism, outdoor physical activities, and volunteering together with other people. 

What do we do? We lead cleanups of the woods and the stream, we remove invasive exotic vegetation, we host environmental education events, we lead guided walks, and we maintain a short nature trail in one part of the site. At our volunteer service events, we provide all tools, supplies, and materials, and hands-on leadership. We start with a thorough welcoming orientation and we end with a brief period of reflection. 

 We are currently studying existing conditions at the site and considering potential opportunities to preserve wildlife habitat and enhance the experiences of park users. We are also partnering with Philadelphia city agencies who will be repairing water, sewer, and storm water infrastructure at the site in future years.

Want to know more about us and this very special place? This land is the last remaining large piece of undeveloped land in East Mt. Airy. Until 2013, it was privately owned by a developer. Just before the developer was set to begin work to build a high-density housing development here, neighbors intervened to save the land from development. 

Community volunteers and neighbors worked for years at community organizing, community meetings, legal action, negotiations with the property owner, and hearings at Philadelphia City Council.

While negotiations continued, neighbors volunteered at the site and removed large amounts of trash and yard waste. 

Throughout the process, we built a network of partners which includes over 150 neighbors, private donors, local businesses, Chestnut Hill Conservancy, Friends of the Wissahickon, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, East Mt. Airy Neighbors, local elected officials, Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia Legal Department, and many others. 

Our group utilized persistent follow up and continuous ever-changing problem solving, and eventually prevailed. We prevented the development. The land was transferred from the developer to the City of Philadelphia. In October 2013, the land became part of the Fairmount Park System that is managed by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

Since then, we have worked together with our partners to preserve and sustain the land. We look forward to much more success and fun in the future! 

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Sustainable Development Goals