SGCDC creates and maintains parks, gardens, social venues, and green spaces in the community. The SGCDC (and its Board members/community residents) were instrumental in the founding of the North Street community garden in 1992, "The Spring Gardens" community garden in 1995, the revitalization of Roberto Clemente Playground in 2011-12, and, more recently, the development of Green Street Dog Park in 2017 - - all venues where residents from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds can come together in activities of camaraderie and friendship, to share a common interest, and engage in healthy outdoor exercise.
The SGCDC was granted permission to use City vacant property for "The Spring Gardens" community garden in 1995. In 2021, the SGCDC entered into a long-term lease with the City to preserve the property as a community garden under the jurisdiction of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.
The Spring Gardens - - one whole square city block of land between Wallace and North Streets, and 18th and 19th Streets - - serves over 200 gardener families (and thousands of individuals) from throughout the entire community and provides a green attractive "social venue" for the community. The Garden was founded to bring together our diverse residents in an activity of camaraderie and beautification, and to serve as a unifying, green, sustainable neighborhood landmark in the Spring Garden community. In the Garden's earlier years, SGCDC secured funding for the iconic sculpture fence that surrounds the site. The Garden provides an oasis of beauty and greenery for the benefit of the entire community. The site is a model for urban agriculture in Philadelphia and is used for many public events and programs, including public classes in gardening, yoga, holiday decorations, cooking, and other subjects; food production to combat food insecurity in Spring Garden and Philadelphia; children’s programs; garden plots for local schools/school children; regular community social events, including food truck nights; conservation activities, including bee hives; as a staging area for community cleanups and tree plantings; and other events and programs.
The SGCDC (and gardeners) are also seeking to make numerous improvements to the Garden, to facilitate additional public activities, including more perimeter greenery to improve the aesthetics for the surrounding community and Garden users, a seating area for seniors, a pavilion for public events year round, better lighting, better water service, and other amenities.
The SGCDC also assists smaller community gardens and has provided the land for two such gardens.
In 2017, the SGCDC inaugurated an additional community social venue, Green Street Dog Park, at 1819-27 Green St., to encourage healthy outdoor exercise and bring together individuals from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and income levels who share a love of dogs, including seniors and others who, for reasons of age, allergies, cost, or other reason, cannot own a dog, but enjoy being with them. The project, created out of a parcel of weed-covered wasteland, dramatically improved the block on which it is located, and the entire surrounding area, and has been a stunning success.
The SGCDC partnered with the City in 2011-12 to revitalize the playground, and contributed many amenities including estate style fencing and gates, landscaping, pedestrian entrance pavers, poured concrete curbs, resurfaced basketball court, trellis in the sprayground area, enhanced lighting, security cameras, and other amenities. The SGCDC maintains the Playground facility and rec center and plants and maintains colorful spring flowering bulbs and annuals to brighten the facility for the many families and children who visit the playground. It also provides staff for Playground activities and oversight, including for the summer day camp and afterschool program. The site, formerly one of the least desirable playgrounds in the City, is now one of the most popular and attractive, and welcomes families from throughout the area, and even the suburbs and New Jersey.
The SGCDC, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (“PHS”) and its Tree Tenders program, and Spring Garden Civic Association, plants new street trees twice a year. It also removes dead trees and stumps, waters new trees, repairs buckled sidewalks, and plants and maintains spring bulbs and annuals in the neighborhood.
Copyright © 2021 Spring Garden CDC - All Rights Reserved.