The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. John Heinz NWR is committed to working collaboratively with national, state, local, and community partners. A few key partners include:

Friends of Heinz Refuge (FOHR)

Friends of Heinz Refuge (FOHR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cooperating association founded in 1997 to assist the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) in carrying out its educational, interpretive, and public use missions. They are part of a nationwide network of “Friends” organizations serving over 230 national wildlife refuges.

FOHR Mission:

FOHR works in partnership with John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to connect people with nature and promote a culture of environmental stewardship through education, outreach, service and nature-based recreation for the conservation of wildlife and habitat.

We envision a society that understands, appreciates, and takes responsibility for the natural world. We foresee significant and meaningful preservation of the natural world for current and future generations of people and wildlife.

Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River Watershed (AWE)

Get to know your watershed! The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River Watershed is comprised of 23 environmental education centers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The Delaware River is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, and its watershed stretches all the way into upstate New York, providing clean drinking water for more than 15 million people – that’s nearly 5% of the entire United States’ population! The Delaware River watershed provides important ecological habitats to a multitude of species, and provides recreation for cyclists, hikers, paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Explore. Enjoy. Engage. The 23 education centers in the Alliance share a mission to collectively increase and enhance constituent appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of the Delaware River watershed.

NESt Partnership

The Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Partnership (NESt) between John Heinz NWR and the National Audubon Society collaborates in conservation through hands-on programming in schools, in neighborhoods, and at the refuge. The refuge works with many community partners to educate, engage, and connect Southwest Philadelphia to green spaces. The program includes a native plant propagation program at Fairmount Park, partner schools in Southwest Philadelphia, creating pocket parks, and much more!

Partner Schools

The Philly Nature Kids environmental education program is a partnership between John Heinz NWR and John M. Patterson Elementary School and Penrose School. Refuge staff and classroom teachers work together to provide the entire 4th grade with a full year of inquiry-based and inclusive curriculum that culminates in student-designed environmental action projects.