Wiota Street Community Garden
DescriptionWiota Street Garden’s beauty and vegetable production stand out disproportionate to its quarter-acre size. Upon coming to Philadelphia’s West Powelton neighborhood in 1983, developer John Lindsay—assisted by two employees and the Philadelphia government—cleaned up a vacant lot and started giving out garden plots. The garden "turned the neighborhood around," in Lindsay's words, adding free decor to an underserved part of West Philadelphia. The garden space served as a park from the early 1990s to 2008, at which point it was reestablished as a community garden focused on maximizing food production. While the garden’s tenancy on Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority land has sometimes presented challenges from would-be developers, as in 2014 and 2016-2017, the community has rallied between the garden each time. Through all Wiota Street's years, Lindsay proudly maintains, he has "never collected a nickel of dues" from those who wish to garden. The garden provides a weekly farm stand for neighbors, and also donates to the Red Cross House at 40th and Powelton Ave and the Food Pantry based in West Philadelphia’s Episcopal Cathedral.
Story contributed by Joe M.