CONSERVE!: Unit 1.


Natural History & Ecology

Below are possible service opportunities for Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Volunteers related to natural history and ecology of southeastern Pennsylvania. The websites listed will provide you with more detailed information about volunteer opportunities and the organizations.

Fairmount Park and other Philadelphia Parks : Philadelphia, PA.


In addition to providing opportunities for recreation, activities, and appreciation of history, art, and culture, Fairmount Park places an emphasis on environmental restoration, stewardship, and education. The Park’s Environment, Stewardship and Education Division manages the environmental resources, implements educational programs, and coordinates volunteers who aid in caring for the Park’s resources.

Fairmount Park is always looking for volunteers to aid in environmental restoration efforts, assisting in activities such as controlling invasive species, planting trees within the State Tree Program, constructing and restoring wetlands, promoting riparian zones, and more. Within the stewardship division, Fairmount Park is always looking for volunteers to aid in projects that fall under one of many categories, including advocacy, clean up, education, planting, and planning special events.


Fairmount Park Commission Office, One Parkway–10th Floor, 1515 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, 215-683-0200, OR Office of Stewardship, Parks & Recreation , One Parkway, 10th Floor, 1515 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215-683-3679.

City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, One Parkway, 10th Floor, 1515 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215-683-3679.

For more information: 
Visit: to obtain more information about the environmental education programs and stewardship conducted within the Park. 

A related organization: Fairmount Park Conservancy may also be of interest.

City of Philadelphia: Parks and Recreation Home Page. Check out 156 Parks, 148 Recreation Centers, Swimming Pools, Boat Launches, Historic and Cultural Attractions, Environmental Education Centers, and more.

Friends of the Wissahickon – Philadelphia, PA. 8708 Germantown, Ave., Philadelphia, PA  19118-2717 ; For information about volunteering. Click here.

TreeVitalize : PA – Statewide.


DCNR launched TreeVitalize as a broad-based public-private partnership to increase public awareness of the importance of community trees, and to reverse the loss of tree cover in the state’s metropolitan areas. The program began in southeast Pennsylvania in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In 2008 it was launched in Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and by the end of 2009 it will be available in all 14 of the state’s metropolitan areas, as defined by the US Census Bureau. The state, through DCNR and DEP, contributed $3 million to TreeVitalize in southeast Pennsylvania over four years. Private corporations and foundations contributed another $1.7 million to the effort. Major contributors included the William Penn Foundation, Aqua PA, the Philadelphia Eagles, PECO/Exelon, and the US Forest Service.

The goal of the TreeVitalize Program is to plant 1 million trees within the next five years, by 2012. These are to include larger caliper trees for city streets, parks, and other public property; seedlings in buffer plantings along streams to reduce erosion and improve water quality; and those purchased by homeowners for planting on private property with a TreeVitalize rebate discount. An additional goal is to train 10,000 volunteers in basic tree biology and tree care to assist their communities in establishing and maintaining new plantings. Ultimately, the goal of TreeVitalize is to establish strong urban forestry partnerships in all 14 Pennsylvania metropolitan areas and to build local capacity for sustaining the urban forest resource. (Excerpt from TreeVitalize website:

Keep up to date at:


TreeVitalize is a public-private partnership working within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. TreeVitalize has a contact form on their website; to apply for a planting project in the Philadelphia region (Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Philadelphia counties), contact Michael Leff (Program Manager), PA Horticultural Society, 100 North 20th Street 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215-988-8795,

For more information
Visit: for more information about how you can become involved in the efforts to restore tree cover or apply for a planting project in your area.

Continue to:
Unit 2: Rocks, Ice and Dirt

Updated: June 2018