The story of the Valley Forge Park Alliance is a story that starts when the first citizen stewards of this land lived here in the Northeastern woodlands. 1,500 years ago the Lenni Lenape were the first Indigenous Peoples in the land we now call Valley Forge.  The Lenni Lenape were both hunters and agriculturalists residing in bands along various rivers and streams.  They were pushed westward when Pennsylvania was settled by William Penn.

In 1777-1778, the desolate six month winter encampment of the Continental Army took place at Valley Forge. Here, General George Washington transformed separate colonial militias, approximately 12,000 soldiers, into a confident, cohesive and disciplined fighting force that went on to win the Revolutionary War and secure independence for America. Valley Forge National Historical Park and the Valley Forge Park Alliance commemorate the generals, soldiers, enslaved people, Indigenous people, women, and children who sacrificed and faced harsh conditions during the Encampment for our freedoms. Valley Forge National Historical Park honors and represents the courage and perseverance of our citizens, leaders, and all peoples who pulled together to overcome adversity during an extraordinary time.

Citizen stewards under Civil War nurse, Anna Holstein, joined together in the 1877 to protect Valley Forge. Their common vision was the preservation of a significant and meaningful place that had inspired the Continental Army, specifically Washington’s Headquarters.  Anna’s visionary work makes her largely responsible for our ability to enjoy Valley Forge National Historical Park today.

In 1893, Valley Forge was established as Pennsylvania’s first state park.  On July 4th, 1976, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania gave Valley Forge to the people of the United States of America.  President Gerald Ford mandated the National Park “preserve and commemorate …..the heroic suffering, hardship and determination and resolve of …..Washington’s Continental Army. (NPS,Foundation Document, 2019)   Also born on July 4th, 1976, was The Friends of Valley Forge.  The mission is and was to be the citizen stewards, advocates and non-profit partner to The National Park Service and Valley Forge National Historical Park.


In 2017, the Friends of Valley Forge Park became the Valley Forge Park Alliance, a non-profit association with the mutual benefit of preserving, protecting and advocating for Valley Forge National Historical Park through the work of volunteer citizen stewards.

Almost 250 years since The Encampment at Valley Forge, Valley Forge National Historical Park is a backyard park to many in Southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2021, Valley Forge National Historical Park  and The Valley Forge Park Alliance welcomed over 2.4 million visitors to recreate, learn, and renew in our 30 miles of outdoor trails for birding, walking, running, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Our visitors enjoyed 3,500 acres of our substantial native biodiversity which includes a river, numerous streams, forests, wetlands, and a tall grass meadow all of which supports many species of animals.


MAURICE STEPHENS HOUSE – Our biggest project yet is now in the works.  We (The Alliance) signed a lease with the National Park Service to occupy the Maurice Stephens House. Plans are for the Valley Forge Park Alliance to occupy the house in the Fall of 2023.  We are excited to work hand in hand with cafe partner,  Aneu to bring a fresh and healthy menu to our cafe.Once in the house, we will increase our programming and presence in the park. The Maurice Stephens House will be a gathering space for all, with a cafe, meeting spaces, event rental space and two large tented events per year.  We are excited for all that lies in front of us!We have been preparing for the Maurice Stephens House for years with planning and fundraising. We continue to fundraise as we plan Phase Two in our new headquarters.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS – From our outreach to membership and beyond our community grew as our country locked down. Our social media presence grew from approximately 600 followers in 2019 to over 10,000 today. All in all, we reach about 15,000 people a month through our outreach with social media and our bi-weekly e-news.  Our outreach focus highlights our programming, park news, events, and our biggest project yet, the transformation of the Maurice Stephens House to the community gathering space on the Grand Parade Meadow.

SPEAKER SERIES –  On December 6th, 2022, we welcomed back our first in-person Speakers Series event.  A full line up of Speakers Series programs are scheduled for 2023.

LUNCH AND LEARN – Our popular Lunch and Learn series took place this year in-person. Participants enjoyed a variety of subjects, Valley Forge, Colonial America, and The Revolutionary War while enjoying their lunch.

THE MUSTER ROLL –  The Muster Roll project is a volunteer effort of the Valley Forge Park Alliance and is dedicated to the memory of those who were at the winter quarters 1777-1778.  There are over 28,000 entries on the Muster Roll.  Our volunteers maintain and work through online inquires which have resulted in more than 45 new additions of soldiers that had encamped at Valley Forge .

MEMBERSHIP – Our membership makes the mission possible.  Our membership renewal rate is the highest it has been in years.  We have  recently added “Perks of Membership” which allows members to enjoy special offers from our community partners.

TRAIL WALKS – The ever popular Trail Tuesday and Trail Sunday morning walks continue year round. Guest speakers and park rangers are often join us on these hikes. Both Tuesday and Sunday hikes are led by our volunteers. Our Tuesday morning Bird Walks take place every other Tuesday from early spring to late fall.  These are very popular hikes with a lot of enthusiastic birders who share their beautiful pictures with us.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION– In Color Birding , a birding group committed to inclusivity, equity and to bringing BIPOC voices and nature lovers into Valley Forge National Historical Park. We welcome In Color Birding to VFNHP for monthly bird walks.

BLACK IN NATIONAL PARK WEEK – This year we welcomed Nicole Jackson, co-founder of Black in National Park Week, to Valley Forge National Historical Park.  Black in National Park Week celebrates Black experiences in United States National Parks and illuminates what is needed for National Parks to be more inclusive.

HOME SCHOOL DAY – Home School Day at Valley Forge was the biggest yet in 2023. We hosted over 800 participants for a free, unique, and educational experience. Multiple learning stations and curriculum sessions encouraged student to explore topics such as 18th century life, the American Revolution, and natural resources.

CELL PHONE TOUR – The Cell Phone Tour brings the great stories of Valley Forge to life from the convenience of your cell phone. The cell phone tour is entirely self-guided, choose what you want to hear, when you want to hear it. Prompts are organized by the Encampment Tour Stops. Our FREE cell phone tour is possible by a generous donation from PECO Connect.

PADDLE FOR THE PARK – Paddle for the Park will be held for the third year in a row in 2023.  Forty eight platform tennis players enjoyed a fun afternoon of platform tennis at Picket Post Swim and Racquet Club while raising money to support the Valley Forge Park Alliance.

Our Dedicated Team

Executive Committee

Amy Johnson

Board Chair

Retired teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Molly Duffy

Executive Director

Laura Manion

Vice Chair

President and CEP, Chester County Chamber of Commerce

Melissa Jacobs


Editor-in-Chief, Main Line Tonight

Steven Ross


Board Members – Directors

Jeff Devlin

Owner School House Woodworking

Jason Hall

Director of Vaccines at Merck. Founder of In-Color Birding

Ricardo-Herrera-Valley Forge PArk Alliance

Ricardo A. Herrera

Professor of Military History at the US Army War College; author

Margot McGinley

Advancement Chair, VFPA

Don Naimoli

Ops Mgr. and Fiduciary Services at Girard Partners, Ltd

Phillip Ritter

Phillip Ritter IMC - Speical Projects Division

Scott Sibley

Vice President at Gannett Fleming

Tracey Sisko

Owner B/T Business and Technology

Fazal Syed

Owner, Level7Tennis

Dr. Catherine Wilson

Associate Professor at Villanova University and Chair of Department of Public Administration