Are you interested in starting a community garden, but aren’t sure where to begin? Well, begin here, at a one-day Garden Tenders crash course designed to teach you how to get a garden up and growing in no time.
Some possible questions this training might answer include:
- Who owns the land on my street?
- How do I get permission to use it?
- What about those fenced-in lots around the city?
- What if there’s no land near me—what else can I do?
- Where can I get help?
- How do I get my neighbors involved in making a community garden?
- What about soil, seeds, plants, supplies—where do they come from?
- What can I plant? When? How?
- How can I get a garden started at my school?
The class is open to everyone—individuals, groups, educators—who might be interested in starting a community garden in their neighborhood. The cost is $10 per person.
When? Thursday, November 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Where? PHS Headquarters, 100 N. 20th St., 5th floor
To register, click here.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com or contact Dawn at 215-988-8845.
PHS is pleased to announce this year’s Community Greening Award recipients!
Each year PHS investigates and celebrates community landscapes, gardens, and other green sites in the tri-state area and acknowledges the efforts of those who keep them beautiful. The Community Greening Awards includes main streets, public parks, train stations, churches, schoolyards, libraries, traffic islands, and so on. The award is given based on plant variety, design, use of space, and horticultural practices.
Among the sites chosen was the Memorial Garden for the Fallen located at the only site in the U.S. where the families of military personnel can be present for the dignified transfer of their loved ones. After a Center for the Families of the Fallen was built on the base in Dover, DE, the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs installed a healing garden adjacent to the Center. The garden, with its tasteful selection of plants, water feature, and benches, offers comfort and solace to grieving families.
Another honoree is the Haddington Library Garden in Philadelphia, which was slated to close just a few years ago, and is now the pride of the neighborhood. A friends group rallied to clean up the grounds and plant a garden. The now-established rose garden serves as the venue for children’s activities and events, and the friends group plans to incorporate a vegetable garden as part of its five-year plan. These volunteers are proud of what they have accomplished and their excitement is contagious.
These are just two examples; the full list of recipients can be found here. Congratulations to everyone, and thanks for your hard work!
For more information about the Community Greening Award, contact Flossie Narducci at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-988-8897.
Volunteers are a significant part of Philadelphia Green and PHS. Groups such as Interfaith are important not just to individual project sites, but to the community at large. PHS staff member Nic Esposito talks about his experience with Interfaith below.
One of the best things about working in community gardens is the number of volunteers I have the privilege to collaborate with. Just like the crops they help to tend and harvest, volunteers may be temporal, but their presence and efforts can be felt in the soil long after they leave. Recently I was lucky enough to cultivate some of this energy with volunteers from a group called Interfaith.
For the 10 college students who participated, this trip served as their spring break trip. So although most of their peers view spring break as a time to forget about responsibilities, this group was part of a mission to not only learn about how to affect communities through gardening, but also to discover how their spirituality could be strengthened through service.
The mission of Interfaith is social justice through Christianity. It was inspiring to work with young people who were taking time to help build a community, learn about service, and put their ideals into action. Experiences like this are a great reminder of why I do the work that I do.
photos courtesy of Nicole Diroff
PHS executive vice president J. Blaine Bonham Jr. will retire from PHS at the end of June. He joined PHS in 1974 and has been influential in the development of many PHS programs, including its acclaimed urban greening program, Philadelphia Green.
“For many years people have called Blaine the ‘Father of Philadelphia Green,’ and with ample justification,” says Jane G. Pepper, outgoing president of PHS. “When Blaine started at PHS, Philadelphia Green was a mere sapling of a program with two staff members and a truck. Under his leadership, it grew from a small, grassroots initiative to the most comprehensive urban greening program in the nation, and it now serves as a model for programs in other cities.”
Among Bonham’s accomplishments is the development and expansion of Philadelphia Green’s vacant land management program, a partnership with the city that has converted millions of square feet of once-derelict land into green space. During his tenure Philadelphia Green also launched Tree Tenders; created an extensive parks revitalization network; and led the renovation of prominent civic landscapes, including the grounds of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Azalea Garden, Logan Square, and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
As Philadelphia Green’s reputation grew, Bonham became a national spokesperson for the importance of investing in green space as a key part of urban revitalization. Through speaking and consulting roles, conferences, and publications, he established PHS as a greening resource for other cities throughout the United States. Continue reading