An Urban Garden Oasis

A new garden popped up recently in a Philadelphia neighborhood, a showcase for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s community greening programs.

| July 1, 2011

Philadelphia — A vacant lot in the center of the asphalt jungle has suddenly gone green. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recently introduced “PHS Pops Up” at 20th and Market Streets, a showcase for PHS’s community greening programs.

Thanks to the generosity of Brandywine Realty Trust and Independence Blue Cross with funding from the William Penn Foundation, PHS is cultivating a temporary oasis that will grow much more than vegetables, herbs, grains and flowers. The effort will garner support and awareness for PHS’s City Harvest program, which provides fresh produce for underserved residents. Joining the effort are six of Philadelphia’s well-known chefs – Daniel Stern of R2L, Guillermo Tellez of Square 1682, Chris Scarduzio of Table 31, Michael Schulson of Sampan, Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo, and Lynn Rinaldi of Paradiso – who will create special dishes using the garden’s bounty and donate proceeds back to City Harvest.

“This unique project brings together an amazing team of corporate partners, great chefs, landscape architects, academics, and urban farmers,” says PHS President Drew Becher. “Our goal is to engage residents and visitors in the beauty and impact of community gardens, and inspire them to support programs that build healthy communities.”

The garden brings together the nonprofit and corporate sectors for an extraordinary collaboration.

“We are delighted to participate in PHS’s inaugural pop-up garden,” says Gerard H. Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. “This greening initiative is an important program that activates the urban landscape and creates a community gathering place within our central business district. We believe this is an excellent use of our site for this growing season as we prepare the land for future development.”

“Independence Blue Cross is excited to partner with PHS on this project that combines greening and improving the community’s health in a unique way,” says Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of IBC. “The Pops Up Garden beautifies this Market Street corner and offers an original way for thousands of workers, residents, students and families to learn more about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.”

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