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The Friends of Valley Forge Park is a group dedicated to the preservation of the American spirit demonstrated during the winter encampment, to the conservation of the landscape that contained the 1777-1778 encampment of the American Revolution, and to the promotion of today’s Valley Forge National Historical Park.


Guided Bird Walks in Valley Forge

Tuesdays: September 16 & 23 8 am meet at Artillery Park parking lot 1.5 mile walk, ~2 hrs
bird walks

Join Mary Ellen and Tom Heisey, avid local birders and members of the Friends, on Tuesday, September 16 and Tuesday, Sepember 23 for a fascinating and fun bird walk intended for birders of all levels, even if you have never been on a bird walk. Walk is mostly paved trail but includes sections of gravel and grass. Good walking shoes recommended plus binocular and hat. Bug spray and sun protection optional. Walks will be canceled during electrical storms.


National Public Lands Day

Saturday, September 27 9 am – 1 pm VFNHP Lower Parking Lot
National Public Lands Day

Please bring work gloves and arrive by 8:45 am. Rain or shine.

Join park staff, partners, and your neighbors on this day set aside each year to educate and engage the public in caring for their beloved public lands. Lend a hand on a wide variety of projects, visit the Environmental Expo, and enjoy special programs and activities.

Volunteers are invited to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. FREE T-shirt, compliments of REI, provided to the first 150 volunteers. To volunteer, email or call 610-783-1777.

Learn more about National Public Lands Day here.

Following work projects, attend the Young Friends Annual Fundraising Cookout with burgers, hot dogs, and assorted snacks available by donation.


Friends Speaker Series

Tuesday, October 7 7 pm Washington Memorial Chapel
The ‘Unhappy Explosion’ of the
Continental Powder Works at French Creek

At a time when America’s industrial might was far in the future, the Continental Powder Works and gun factory at French Creek were crucial wartime operations in the early years of the American Revolution. Established in 1776, the powder stamping mill exploded in March of 1777 (sabotage perhaps?). The entire industrial complex was put to the torch by Crown Forces on September 22, 1777 and never rebuilt or reoccupied. Funded by a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), East Pikeland Township is searching for the archaeological remains of the site. Recent archaeological investigations, including outstanding geophysics, have identified several of the foundations and the raceway associated with this complex, and a new trail system commemorates the story of this important early industrial complex.

About the Speaker

Wade Catts

Wade P. Catts, MA, RPA is an Associate Director of Cultural Resources with JMA in their West Chester office. He holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology/ History and a Master’s degree in American History from the University of Delaware. A Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA), he has worked in the field of cultural resource management for over thirty years, with expertise in historical archaeology, the archaeology of conflict, African American archaeology, rural sites archaeology, Delaware history, and the history of the Middle Atlantic.

His Revolutionary War historical and archaeological experience spans several states. In Pennsylvania he has worked at Valley Forge, the site of Camp Security (a British POW camp near York), and on portions of the battlefields at Brandywine, Paoli, and the “Battle of the Clouds”. In New Jersey his work has included researched at Morris County’s National Register-listed Beverwyck Plantation, and at the village of Raritan Landing, where British forces cantoned during the winter-spring of 1777. Recently his JMA team completed an archaeological survey and National Register nomination for the Short Hills battlefield near Plainfield, New Jersey, and he directed a survey of the battlefield at Princeton. In Delaware he has completed historical and archaeological studies of Cooch’s Bridge battlefield.

He is a former member of the New Castle County Historic Review Board, a member of national and regional professional archaeological organizations, and a member of the Company of Military Historians. He is the current president of the American Cultural Resources Association. With the assistance of a McKinstry Award from the Delaware Heritage Commission, he is completing a book of the history and archaeology of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware’s only Revolutionary War engagement. He resides in Newark, Delaware.


Membership on the Move: Here, There, and Everywhere!

Saturday, October 18 1 pm – 4 pm Upper Merion Farmers Market
Membership on the Move

Join us at several offsite locations and become an ambassador for the Park by promoting upcoming park activities and Friends events. Offsite locations include Upper Merion Farmers Market. No experience necessary except a friendly smile. If you are interesting in volunteering, please call 610-783-1777 or email us.


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