Chester Avenue Community Gardens
DescriptionFormerly known as Squirrel Hill Community Garden, Chester Avenue Community Garden focuses on sharing community culture and providing fresh produce to west Philadelphia’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The garden began around 1984 on a lot that had previously been home to an apartment building. Garden co-founder Guina Hammond recalls that “it was really just a big open lot, and myself and some of the community residents got together to build the garden.” In a tradition started at the founding, each member contributes their unique expertise through a committee system, Hammond explains. This includes committees for projects such as a communal herb garden, a compost system, a fruit tree orchard (established with aid from the Philadelphia Orchard Project), and a toolshed, but also ongoing logistics such as membership and watering. The garden also partners with the John R. Heinz National Wildlife Center to provide habitat for pollinators. Since 1993, Chester Avenue Community Garden has been preserved by the Neighborhood Gardens Trust.
Story contributed by Joe M.