The Friends of the Wissahickon celebrate 90 years [gallery]

    Friends and neighbors gathered for a picnic at Roxborough’s Salvatore Pachella Field on Saturday evening to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Friends of the Wissahickon.

    The nonprofit organization was founded in 1924 with a mission “to preserve the natural beauty and wildness of the Wissahickon Valley and stimulate public interest therein.”

    Since its founding, FOW has worked in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to preserve the park’s historical structures, restore trail systems, manage watershed and invasive plant species, and host events and programs to raise park awareness and stewardship to the surrounding communities.

    From its humble beginning as a handful of concerned park lovers, FOW’s membership has grown to over 1,600 members and has played an instrumental role in maintaining the beauty and rich history of the Wissahickon Valley.

    Saturday’s picnic was a celebration of those 90 years of hard work, community and preservation.

    The evening kicked off with a visit from the Philadelphia Phanatic and Engine 66 of the Philadelphia Fire Department.

    Crafts and games kept the kids entertained while the adults enjoyed music from the Bacchus Boys and beer from Stone Brewing Company.

    Picnic fare like corn on the cob, potato salad, hot dogs and chicken was served as well as a 90th anniversary cake donated by Bredenbeck’s Bakery in Chestnut Hill.

    As guests began to arrive, FOW Executive Director Maura McCarthy took a moment to greet and thank them.

    “What a beautiful day to celebrate the beauty of the Wissahickon and all those who have loved and used the park for so many years,” she said.

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    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.