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The core group of the Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers (WRV) formed in 1984 as the Conservation Committee of the Friends of the Wissahickon, a long-established organization in Philadelphia. The group undertook its first reforestation project in 1985, and followed that with a five-year restoration / reforestation project in the Gorgas Valley section of Wissahickon Park. Participation and scope of the Conservation Committee's work grew rapidly. In 1990, the Committee restructured, established five field subcommittees: Clean up, Hydrology, Reforestation, Trials, and Wildlife. Several support committees were also formed: Outreach and P.R. / Education. Vigorous activity ensued, reaching our high water mark in 1996 with 4,565 volunteer hours of fieldwork and a budget of $73,000, of which $23,000 went to reforestation. In January 1997, the Committee members decided to become an independent organization. The Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers was formed and became a member agency of the Resources for Human Development.
As a member agency of RHD, the RHD board of directors is technically WRV's board as well. RHD board members are: Cody Anderson, Fred Bonaparte, Avrene Brandt, Jo Anne Connelly, Caryn Reichlin Johnson, Samantha Jones-Thomas, Virginia Kricun, Anthony Parrotto, Edward Robinson, Barbara Shoulson-Kuhn, Sheldon Steinberg, Marvin Weisbord, and Bertram Wolfson. RHD provides some essential administrative support, such as accounting services, grant management, computer support, and office space. RHD serves as WRV's treasury department: it receives and disburses funds, does the bookkeeping and issues a monthly statement. The cost to WRV is 15% of disbursed funds. WRV, however, led by a Steering Committee consisting of the chairs of the standing committees, sets it own agenda and develops its own projects.