As the monuments sprang up, the Valley Forge park commission worked to do something about the landscape. Ever since the park's formation, employees had been clearing a dense undergrowth of wild grapes and other brambles from park land, their work proceeding as steadily as possible given the weather and the park's chronic lack of funds. In 1906, during Pennypacker's administration, park commissioners were finally able to come up with a plan for what they called the "natural adornment" of the park.  They began by moving the picnic area away from Washington's Headquarters and closer to the nearby redoubt they called Fort Huntington. This was a long walk from the train station, but those who couldn't make it could go to the private picnic grounds near the Washington Inn. 
A number of dogwood trees discovered at the base of Mount Joy inspired the park commission to create a defined dogwood grove there. As springtime visitors sauntered or drove along Inner Line Drive, they found themselves surrounded by white and pink dogwoods. The Chestnut Tree Blight around 1911 forever changed the composition of the forest by killing all mature American chestnut trees, but the ensuing removal of dead and damaged trees may also have inspired the creation of "vistas," or lines of sight, created by the deliberate removal of trees so that visitors could gaze from one historic attraction to another. By 1917, the park commission minutes referred to their various vistas by name, calling them "Knox's Point Vista," "The Creek Vista," and "The Tower Vistas."  After the park acquired land on either side of Valley Creek, this gorge was also landscaped with hemlock and oak. The oaks grew from five bushels of acorns gathered from the grounds of nearby historic Saint David's Church. They were planted in random patterns by an industrious corps of boy volunteers.  Then in 1919 the park superintendent reported: "We have purchased a flock of sheep with the idea of running them on the Park for the purpose of keeping the grass down and also for ornamental purposes."  The park now required a shepherd, and the commission advertised for a "married, sober, industrious, thoroughly experienced shepherd, . . . Scotchman preferred."