FOW Veteran Set to Take the Park Into Its Next Phase

Ruffian Tittmann, Executive Director, Friends of the Wissahickon

Dear Shuttle Readers:

I’m excited to be taking over this column as FOW’s new executive director. Although I am new to this position, I know the organization well, having served in various capacities since 2006, most recently as deputy director. Like most people who know Wissahickon Valley Park, I love the way it instantly transports you away from the everyday into the magic of the forest.

I am more than thrilled to be guiding FOW into its next phase of growth, and soon into its next century. Over the last 15 years, we have grown from a yearly revenue of less than $500,000 to nearly $2 million. This past year, we celebrated 95 years of stewarding the park with two fantastic events, and engaged hundreds of new friends in our conservation mission. I look forward to building on this momentum, and to the many opportunities for engagement with and for our community.

In 2020, FOW will launch its next major capital project — the restoration of the Lower Valley Green Run and the construction of a pedestrian bridge that will be an architectural feature and the cornerstone of future fundraising. My long-term priorities include fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout FOW, and providing innovative strategies for managing the Wissahickon’s habitat and infrastructure. My main goal is to ensure a welcoming and ecologically healthy park for everyone. Together we can make an even greater impact on the environment, habitat, and, most importantly, the people we serve every day.

I will continue to share news about FOW’s work in this column, but I invite you to hear about our plans for 2020 and look back at FOW’s major accomplishments from the past year at our upcoming Public Projects Meeting, which will take place Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. in Cathedral Hall at Cathedral Village, 600 E. Cathedral Road in Roxborough. Register at