Winter in the Wissahickon is fast becoming a holiday tradition for many Philadelphia families. "I like that all four of us work together as a family to create something that we enjoy, both visually and aromatically, every time we walk in our door," said Laura Schwingel of Mt. Airy. "We also like the event because it supports the Friends of the Wissahickon, the materials are mostly natural, and you get creative decorating ideas from other participants."
Sponsored by the Friends of the Wissahickon, Winter in the Wissahickon offers everyone the opportunity to decorate their own holiday wreath, while enjoying chestnuts roasting on an open fire, hot apple cider, a winter woods hike led by staff from the Wissahickon Environmental Center, and lunch. This special holiday event took place on December 3, 2011, at Valley Green Inn.
FOW had experts on hand to help people design their wreaths made from balsam fir, an evergreen native to Pennsylvania. It has a dark-green appearance with long-lasting needles and retains its pleasing fragrance throughout the holiday season. For accents on the wreaths, FOW supplied a variety of bows and natural ornaments, such as western juniper with blue berries, incense-cedar with its yellow tips, and assorted pine cones. These natural decorations can be used after the holidays to feed birds, while the balsam fir can be ground into mulch or composted.