Philadelphia Backyard Chickens has been busily reorganizing since establishing itself last year as an independent group. Originally founded in 2012 as a club of Weavers Way Co-op, the group now has almost 1,400 members working on legalizing backyard chickens in Philadelphia and educating officials and their neighbors about the benefits of keeping chickens.
The group’s increased advocacy work and food study created the need to organize a leadership team and develop a strategy to address the problem that backyard chickens are illegal in Philadelphia although they are legal in most other large cities. The new leadership team of seven members from various Philadelphia neighborhoods has met several times for strategic planning, led by Co-op member Susan Saxe. Strategic planning will continue through the summer with an emphasis on harnessing and leveraging the resources of Philadelphia Backyard Chickens members throughout the city.
Some members of the group are also participating in research to measure the value of backyard chickens in reducing municipal solid waste by eating kitchen scraps, leftovers and other edible-only-to-chickens materials. After a year, the group estimates that each chicken keeps about 6 pounds of kitchen scraps out of the waste stream every month. (Austin, TX, so highly values this role of backyard chickens that they pay people $75 toward the purchase of a chicken coop.) This research is ongoing and open to anyone interested in participating.
With all the excitement from reorganizing and completing the first year of the study, member Suzanne Dunn was inspired to create a new logo for the group. It features an artistic reinterpretation of a famous Philadelphia landmark along with silhouettes of the artist’s own chickens to show how much many Philadelphians love backyard chickens. A sale of T-shirts with the new logo, Philadelphia Backyard Chickens’ first fundraiser, has already netted more than $300, which the leadership team will use to implement their strategic plan.
To get your shirt, visit www.customink.com/fundraising/backyardchickens2.
With new leadership, new knowledge and a new logo, Philadelphia Backyard Chickens is poised to fulfill its founding mission and bring the backyard chicken home to roost in Philadelphia.
Weavers Way member Maureen Breen is one of the founders of Philadelphia Backyard Chickens. Interested in making chickens legal in Philadelphia? You can request to join the Facebook page.