COVID19 Update: The Interpretive Center is closed to the public until further notice. Read the latest statement here.

Mission & Values

The mission of the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center is to foster stewardship of our shared water resources by encouraging informed decisions about the use of land and water.

We educate citizens about Philadelphia’s urban watershed – its past, present, and future – and collaborate with partners to instill an appreciation for the connections between daily life and the natural environment.

Two young men exploring the science activities under the Waterworks pavilion at an Art In The Open event - one examines a specimen in a petri dish through a microscope.

Over the next 25 years, the Center will be the leading repository for urban watershed research and data associated with PWD’s innovative green management solutions to treat storm water as a precious resource and to restore our rivers and streams to clean, safe, fishable, swimmable, and beautiful amenities. This EPA-approved pioneering model of Philadelphia as an outdoor laboratory in monitoring the effectiveness of these new tools has national and global significance.

The public plays a vital role in understanding and supporting the City’s goals and programs, and the FWW serves this very special purpose and educates citizens regarding the interconnections between their community and environment, particularly the public’s essential role in protecting and stewarding our water and natural land resources.

Our Core Values

  • We care about Clean Water for all living things. We recognize that clean water starts with each individual’s actions and we nurture a sense of personal responsibility for the conservation of our watersheds and the health of the planet.
  • We take a Personal Approach to guide visitors in thoughtful exploration of our historic site and to engage their intellect.  Every visitor is warmly greeted and treated with courtesy.
  • We believe that Collaboration is the way to bring creative people, sound science, and great ideas together to cultivate excellence in all we do. We accomplish this by developing Strategic Partnerships with those individuals and groups who share our values and aspirations.
  • We provide Experiential Learning that engages all visitors in understanding the concepts that pervade our messages, programs, and exhibits.  Our approach is both “hands on” and “minds on,” for all audiences, recognizing that people come to us through different “gateways.”
  • We value the History that has shaped our lives, informs our messages, and inspires our future. Our National Historic Landmark setting, exhibits, and programs celebrate Philadelphia’s past and the engineering marvel that was and is the Fairmount Water Works.
  • We care about Our People, value their individual contributions and seek to attract and retain the very best staff, volunteers, and advisors.