The community garden in Hunting Park, one of many revitalization projects taking place in the park over the past year, allows residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables in the usually limited green space found in North Philadelphia.
“This is easy enough,” said Carnell Anderson, a Hunting Park resident who has his own plot of land in the garden. “I just retired from park services down in Valley Forge and I always loved being outdoors. It’s just good to get out again.”
The garden, which opened six months ago, is situated on the west side of the park across from West Cayuga Street. It is composed of close to a dozen large plant beds that are divided into individual plots, which local residents can rent for $20 a year.
“I stopped by one day and saw someone here and started talking,” Anderson said. “It was pretty cheap, so it made sense for me and the wife to do this. That’s some money I don’t have to give the grocer.”
Mike Wilcox, from the Hunting Park Recreation Center, is co-captain of the garden and feels that it brings community members closer to the park itself.
“The garden has a lot of benefits,” Wilcox said. “Normally people get in [Hunting Park] to just clean up or to have a nice area for the children. But now they can actually get into the garden and actually grow food for them and their families.”
The Philadelphia Water Department will also be building a rain garden along York Road that will fill barrels in the garden, providing gardeners with a convenient water source.
“I had to bring my own gallons of water over today, so once they get those barrels filled, that will help a lot,” Anderson said.
Many plot owners like Anderson will keep whatever they grow for their own family’s consumption, but several local and city organizations will also be using the space.
The Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School already has their own plot and Little Flower High School for Girls is currently in talks to obtain one as well.
Another plot will be used to grow food for donation to the City Harvest Program, which is a citywide effort led by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to grow food in community gardens that will be given to those in need of food.
There are a few remaining plots available. To purchase a plot or learn more about the garden, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-380-1330.