• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Volunteers clean and green Northwest Philly woods

Volunteers took to the woods and streams of Northwest Philly yesterday to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service by cleaning and greening. 

The Friends of Carpenter's Woods and neighbors spread throughout Carpenter's Woods to remove vines and other invasive species. They were especially focused on removing English ivy from oak trees, which are being choked off by the vines. 

"I've lived here over 20 years, and I've watched the ones on my block just kind of fall off," said Lis Bass, a neighbor and member of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Tree Tenders program. 

Friends group member John Goschke said removing vines and invasive species is an ongoing struggle, but one of importance since the oak trees provide an important habitat for animals, insects and the migratory birds that earned the park Important Bird Area designation from the National Audubon Society. 

"Whatever we can do to preserve the health of the trees is a good thing," Goschke said. 

    • Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
      Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
    • Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
      Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
    • Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
      Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
    • Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
      Friends of Carpenter's Woods cleanup
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Down the street, Friends of the Wissahickon led nearly 40 volunteers in an effort to clean the area around the creek from Historic Rittenhouse Town to Ridge Avenue. They pulled everything from car bumpers to plastic, beer cans, empty alcohol bottles and long johns. 

For Joanna Rotte, a Center City resident who hikes in Wissahickon Valley Park frequently, the day was an opportunity for her to give back to the park. For others, like Suzie Anderson, the event was an opportunity to volunteer in the park for the first time. 

    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
    • Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
      Friends of Wissahickon cleanup
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On the other side of the woods, in Manayunk, volunteers from St. Joe's University, Schuylkill River Project, Umbria Neighbors and Ivy Ridge Green cleared trash and debris from the Fountain Street Steps that lead to the canal. They pulled a substantial amount of vines from the side of the canal and worked up the street to clean Germany Hill. 

    • Ivy Ridge Green cleanup
      Ivy Ridge Green cleanup
    • Ivy Ridge Green cleanup
      Ivy Ridge Green cleanup
    • Ivy Ridge Green cleanup
      Ivy Ridge Green cleanup
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About the author

Christine Fisher, Transportation reporter

From 2012-2014 Christine covered transportation, writing about everything from pedestrian concerns to bicycle infrastructure, bridges, trail networks, public transit and more. Her favorite assignments sent her bushwhacking through Philadelphia’s yet-to-be-cleared bike trails, catching a glimpse of SEPTA’s inner workings or pounding the pavement to find out what pedestrians really think. Christine also covered community news for Eyes on the Street, where her work ranged from food sovereignty to public art and urban greening. She first joined PlanPhilly in fall 2011 as an intern through a partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods website. 


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