Wissahickon is the only general nature club in the Pittsburgh area. Every member has something to contribute. We share our diverse knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for the natural world at meetings and on outings in the field.
Wissahickon Nature Club History
One summer day in 1942, a group of nature lovers studying trees and shrubs in Riverview Park on the Northside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were met by John F. Lewis, then a guest naturalist at the park, who asked if he could be of help. That meeting resulted in a class on tree and shrub identification at the Wissahickon Trailside Museum in the park. Mr. Lewis, who was a professor of Biology and General Science at California State Teachers College, conducted the class. With his help and encouragement the Wissahickon Nature Club was formed that summer under the auspices of the Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation, Nature Division. The club was named for the Trailside Museum and for Wissahickon Creek, which runs through the park. Wissahickon is an Indian word meaning Catfish.
The club met weekly; in the winter at the museum with lessons on many nature subjects; in the spring and summer, in the park for first-hand nature study. In the summer of 1967 the Wissahickon Trailside Museum was totally destroyed by fire. Meetings were then held at the Watson Presbyterian Church on Perrysville Avenue. In 1977 meetings were moved to the Woodland U.P. Church of Ben Avon. Meetings were held on every other Saturday night with a covered dish supper preceding the meeting. In 2001 the meetings were moved to Thursday evenings with a potluck dessert table only. Starting in September, 2006 meetings were moved to Fern Hollow Nature Center in Sewickley, until 2021 when meetings where suspended due to the Covid virus pandemic.
We are not currently collecting dues or holding indoor meetings. Our 80th anniversary will be celebrated with a picnic at MIngo Park in June , 2022. Date and time TBA. Field trip information will be posted on this website and will be sent by email to our current list. If you want to be added to the list, email Dianne. See below.
Wissahickon Nature Club
c/o Dianne Machesney
105 Lindley Lane
Pittsburgh, PA 15237-1805
Vice President: Monica Miller
Treasurer: Dianne Machesney
Online Contact: Leave a comment below and we will receive an email with your request.