Friends of the Wissahickon Seeks Trail Ambassador Applicants

Trail ambassador Diane Garvey leads a hike in the WissahickonThe Friends of the Wissahickon is currently seeking applicants for their Trail Ambassadors program. Trail Ambassadors are park volunteers who assist and educate people in the park with anything from directions to safety needs to park history, flora, and fauna. Ambassadors perform their service in the park and participate in ongoing education. They become experts in the Wissahickon and have the opportunity to delve deeply into their particular topics of interest while providing a valuable public service. "Trail Ambassadors is an excellent program in the Wissahickon that helps park visitors in a variety of ways,” says Joan Blaustein, Director of  Urban Forestry and Ecosystem Management for Philadelphia’s Department of  Parks and Recreation. “The volunteers provide a great public service to the community in Northwest Philadelphia."

Trail Ambassadors share their knowledge by interacting with and providing assistance to park users while walking the trails. staffing information tables at FOW volunteer days and events, leading walks in the Wissahickon Valley and conducting surveys of park users and wildlife. FOW is offering a fall training session for this popular volunteer program. The application deadline is Friday, August 16, 2013.

"It is really nice to be part of the stewardship of the Wissahickon,” says Trail Ambassadors Education Manager Sarah West. “It lets me put my values into practice, not just talk, but actually do something. "

Training will be held on Wednesday evenings, 6 to 8 p.m., at The Cedars House from August 28 to October 9. There will also be one Saturday morning First Aid training session on Saturday, October 12, at FOW's office. Applicants accepted into the program are required to pay a $100 registration fee, sign a one-time volunteer release form, and obtain their criminal background check and child-abuse clearance.

Ambassadors must be FOW members or willing to join the organization. The number of open positions is limited. For more information, program requirements, and an application form visit www.fow.org/volunteering/trail-ambassadors. Contact FOW Outreach Manager Sarah Marley with questions at marley@fow.org or 215-247-0417 x109.