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Along the Manayunk Canal

About FMC

Friends of the Manayunk Canal (FMC), a local not-for-profit watershed organization annually holds numerous events that seek to enhance the community in proactive ways, including Dog Days of September (an educational event promoting responsible pet ownership), Historic and Environmental tours (professionally guided walks along the Towpath), Philadelphia Cares Day Clean Up (a local opportunity to pitch in to clean up Philadelphia) and Trunks for the 'Yunk Tree Planting Party (a day of helping out with Towpath restoration work followed by hanging out at the Manayunk Brewery).

Civic groups, like FMC, are also powerful tools for change and often give the community a collective voice during times of dissent.  Friends of the Manayunk Canal has a long history of organizing and advocating for the responsible development of Venice Island, a sensitive island in the floodway of the Schuylkill River located between Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River.  Keep checking this website and our "develop"ing news section to get the latest on developments proposals for Venice Island.


Mission Statement

Friends of the Manayunk Canal is dedicated to the protection, restoration and preservation of the natural and historical resources of Venice Island, the Manayunk Canal and Fairmount Park's Towpath. It is our goal to promote and maintain our cultural resources through public education programs, community volunteerism and advocacy. We are committed to citizenry actions that respect and support the fundamental balance between cultural history, the natural environment and humanity.


President: Nicole Lick
Secretary and Webmaster: Nancy Parsons
Treasurer: Hal Schirmer

When we meet

Annual Meeting: First Thursday in April (contact for next meeting place and time)
Officer's Meetings: First Tuesday of the month and as needed (contact for next meeting place and time)
Information: fmc@manayunkcanal.org
Mailing address: FMC, 450 Shurs Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19128

Bylaws (click here)

Our Geographic Areas of Interest

  • The Manayunk Canal & Fairmount Park Towpath
  • Property adjacent to the Towpath
  • Venice Island
  • Venice Island Recreation Facility
  • Creeks and Springs along and below the Towpath
  • The Schuylkill River and its banks between East Falls Bridge & Flat Rock Dam

Major Focus

Environmental protection
   Indigenous wetlands
   Water quality
   River banks & slopes
Public education programs
   Cultural history
Preserve industrial archeology
Enhance recreational opportunities
Promote advocacy
Review zoning proposals and considerations for economic development

Some On-going and Short-term Goals

  • Provide environmental education programs for local school children
  • Facilitate community participation in land use decisions
  • Review opportunities for public use of government property
  • Improve public access to natural and historical resources
  • Inventory and monitor wildlife, nature and land use
  • Designate historic sites
  • Survey industrial archaeological sites
  • Limit automobile traffic on Venice Island
  • Restrict number of parking spaces on Venice Island
  • Raise awareness of issues tied to living in a floodplain

Long term goals

  • Pedestrian and water access to the canal
  • Development of a historical and conservation educational center within the historic district
  • Designate and maintain a portion of the canal, tow path and Venice Island as a nature preserve


  • Seek the support of organizations which share similar goals
  • Community education
    • Land use codes and regulations
    • DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection)
    • Zoning issues
  • Volunteer committees
  • Participation with local civic associations, Manayunk Development Corporation, City Planning Commission
  • Fundraising and outreach
  • Disseminate information to Manayunk residents and the general public
  • Provide public testimony at zoning hearings and other regulatory hearings