Living in a city such as Philadelphia, it can be difficult to find a park or green space to hang out at, let alone a place where people from the community can gather to garden and help food banks within the community. Gardening is a big hobby and passion of mine, and in this post I will discuss several opportunities around the city to not only garden but help people in and around Philly fight food insecurity and promote green spaces and practices throughout the city.
Founded in 1728, Bartram’s Garden started as a collection of plants found in the Northeastern part of the United States. Now, the garden functions as not only a place of conservation, but also as a community center for learning about agriculture and volunteering outdoors. From weeding to helping with their boathouse, there are many different opportunities for all kinds of volunteering at this historic conservation garden!
Philly Peace Park
Located on 22nd & Jefferson, Philly Peace Park (PPP) was founded in 2012 in the historic Peace town neighborhood of Philadelphia. The founders of PPP want to not only grow the historically, culturally-rich African American community, but also pay homage to African American leaders like Cecil B. Moore and Malcolm X that helped originally grow the African American community in the area back in the 1950’s & 1960’s. The garden boasts not only a place of community and volunteering, but also a place where organizers strive to help support community efforts through products made from harvested goods collected from the garden itself. This year, PPP continues their work on implementing a pavilion based on west African cultural practices and designs. PPP has a rich history and mission, and I would encourage, at the very least, learning about it and supporting their mission!
Philadelphia Orchard Project
Who doesn’t like apples? The Philadelphia Orchard Project’s mission is to plant orchards or plants typically found in an orchard (not just apples!) around the city, specifically focusing on lower income neighborhoods and vacant lots to provide said areas with access to fresh fruit. They go a step further by providing these communities with training on designing, maintaining, and growing the orchards through the community. They also directly work with other programs around Philadelphia, like Bartram’s Garden, where they host events like pruning workshops and pest control. If you ever had an interest in orchards or growing fruit, and helping the community while doing it, check out the Philadelphia Orchard Project!
View the Philadelphia Permaculture website to explore more opportunities and places around Philadelphia that promote a greener city while also benefiting the community we live in!