At LandHealth Institute, we have a special interest in neglected urban land. Neglected land in a city isn’t just an eyesore or a place that attracts crime and illegal dumping. It can be those things- but, if it’s taken care of, it can also become a place of possibility, a place where people can grow a new connection with the natural world. Even just mowing a vacant lot can make a neighborhood more comfortable. Better than this, though, is gardening. Vacant lots can become places where neighbors can grow vegetables, fruit, and flowers. They can become places where native plants can be grown in order to promote biodiversity and provide beauty.
With our interest in gardening on neglected urban land, it was only natural that LandHealth Insititute would team up with community members around Logan Triangle. As mentioned in a post last week, Logan Triangle is the largest plot of vacant land in the entire city of Philadelphia. Though mown regulary, the city does not allow any other access to the site, and it’s thus become a magnet for illegal dumping.
It’s now also the site of guerilla gardening. Guerilla gardening is when people from a neighborhood decide to take matters into their own hands and improve vacant land.
Neighbors of the Triangle and LandHealth teamed up with elementary students from Friends Select last June to garden on the triangle.. LandHealth staff installed a series of garden beds. Children from Friends Selected planted a variety of plants, including native plants LandHealth grew at our own PhilaFlora greenhouse at 49th and Parkside. After this, folks from the community took over ownership of the beds and their care and watering. Since then, LandHealth has stopped by regularly to help keep the beds up and to add more. You can see from the photographs accompanying this post just what a great spot the garden has become. We’re happy to have supported the community in this effort to revitalize neglected land in their own neighborhood