Despite initial setbacks due to COVID-19, construction is near completion on a 48-plus bed community garden at Pleasant Playground, located at 6757 Chew Avenue in East Mt. Airy, and neighbors were able to start work on their beds last month.
The garden is part of a 4.7-acre Parks and Recreation facility that serves as a vibrant hub for the community. Features include a swimming pool, ball fields, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, and an active community center.
Neighbors are hoping the garden will help them grow community while growing food. The space will increase access to healthy food, provide educational opportunities to learn organic food production, promote physical activity and health, and create a shared green space to commune, connect with the environment and share gardening experiences.
Members of the community have donated their talents, time and funds, and partnering organizations including the Pleasant Playground Advisory Council, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, FarmPhilly, and Mt. Airy Community Services Corporation have provided crucial support.
A garden fund established to fund the project has thus far raised 30% of the group’s $20,000 goal. The group also received a $1,000 Fairmount Conservancy Events and Programming grant. They continue to seek donations for permanent fencing and to install a long-term water system. Items on their Wish List include a new or gently used wheelbarrow, rakes, spades, shovels, hand trowels, hand rakes, tine cultivators, pruners, watering cans, organic garden soil, and pollinator plants.
When complete, the garden will include over 48 planting beds, including Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible beds, as well as picnic tables, storage space for tools, shade trees, water hookups and space for mulch and compost.