Love Note #86: "This urban wilderness is truly a gift of love for all Philadelphians." Aaron Ogle on Wissahickon Valley in Fairmount Park

Aaron Ogle
Favorite Spot: Wissahickon Valley in Fairmount Park
Neighborhood: Lots? None?
Address: Fairmount Park

I am: Urbanist, ruralist, craftsman of quality software for cities at OpenPlans, family man, stubbornly certain of a beautiful future.

Years in Philly: 4ish
Current home: Narberth

My love note:


Dear Philadelphia,


In all honesty, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out between us. You know how much I love the great outdoors and how restless I get if I don’t hear the sound of a babbling brook, enjoy the smell of an old forest, or walk a few miles on actual earth. I assumed that an old East-coast city, with its industry and concrete, didn’t have much to offer a nature-boy like me.

But I have long since learned that you, my dear, are full of surprises, the greatest of which has been Wissahickon Valley. This section of your Fairmount Park is practically perfect. The rolling waters of the Wissahickon creek are flanked by towering trees and thick vegetation, insulating it from nearly all signs of the city. Its miles of trails are a gift to pedestrians and equestrians, runners and cyclists, historians and naturalists, children and artists. The first time I hiked along these paths I could only think, “I can’t believe this is Philadelphia.” And now, I can’t think of you without it.

This urban wilderness is truly a gift of love for all Philadelphians – past, present, and future. May we enjoy it (and steward it) well for generations to come.

With great affection,
Aaron

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