We are a group of 30+ neighborhood families and gardeners who have been gardening for almost 10 years on a plot of land that was vacant and trash-filled for at least 30 years beforehand. We would like to continue gardening and using this wonderful community resource which has been painstakingly beautified over the past 10 years, but we need a kickstart so we can save our land from imminent development into a single-family home. Securing land in Philadelphia is a long and convoluted process; in the event that for some reason we are blocked from immediately using the money we raise here to secure a land-swap with the developer, we will give the money to the Neighborhood Gardens Association, http://www.ngalandtrust.org/, so that other gardens in Philadelphia can get the support they need to secure their land.
What we'd like to focus on here is the future. Here are the ways our garden improves our community:
1. The garden grows fresh, local, naturally grown produce, over 100 lbs. of which was donated this year to the Caring about Sharing food pantry in our neighborhood through PHS's CityHarvest program. One of Philadelphia's goals is to put local food within the reach of more of its citizens, and our garden does this all year long, providing not only the gardeners and their families but also the neediest of our neighbors, as well as the elderly folks and kids who walk by and are given tomatoes when they smile at us!
2. The garden provides a space for neighbors to come together, and for kids and dogs to play. The garden has doubled or tripled home ownership and occupancy of the block from a low of 36% to its current rate. It also provides a piece of bright, peaceful scenery to all who walk by, including the residents of the People's Emergency Center and Red Cross shelter, as well as the parishioners of the Highway Christ Church, which are located within a few blocks. It makes the neighborhood feel safe and green. The garden has twice won prizes in the category of Community Flower and Vegetable Garden in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s City Garden Contest.
3. As green space, the garden has positive ecological effects on the city in terms of water management, wildlife habitat, air quality, etc.
Details About the Rewards:
All Levels: The Sloan Street Garden will be 10 years old next year and we plan to have a celebration at the garden next summer. All donors will receive invitations. All donors will be thanked by name on our blog, www.sloanstcommunitygarden.wordpress.com once our goal is met.
Herbs reward for $5 level: Come pick your own fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, or other herbs from the garden, or we will dry and send you a bunch of our choice.
Chicobags for $20 level: The Sloan Street Community Garden has partnered with ChicoBags to raise funds and reduce plastic bag use at the same time. See www.chicobag.com. Models offered include Original, Vita, and Original RePETE. We will try to accommodate color requests but cannot guarantee a match.
Baked Goods for $20 level: The garden is not just a place where we grow flowers and food, but also a gathering place where neighbors meet to share food and build community. Now our best bakers are getting together with their garden friends to bake gluten-free or regular treats for those donors who can give at the $20 level or higher and live close enough for delivery or pick-up. You can choose from gluten-free cupcakes, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, regular scones, or apple or pecan pies.
Garden Greeting Cards: Thanks to a few garden-photographers, we have some fantastic photographs of our produce, flowers, and garden activities, which we will print on greeting cards (blank inside). Set of 10 cards includes 5 different designs and plain white envelopes. See our website for some of these photos: http://sloanstcommunitygarden.wordpress.com/pictures/
Tutoring Option: Anne Zumbo and Julia Deak are professional educators and experienced tutors of elementary school subjects including remedial reading and math instruction as well as SAT / GRE prep, English as a Second Language, violin, music theory, and beginner Spanish. Tutoring location must be in Philadelphia.
Pet-sitting will be provided by new Sloan Street gardener Emma Kosowsky. Dogs or cats needing pet-care in the West Philadelphia area will be cared for for a negotiated amount of time, and dogs can be taken on a trip to the garden, which pets always enjoy!
Walking Tours for groups of up to 4 adults are provided by gardener and professional tour guide Trevor McElroy.
Art options: See pictures of Anne Zumbo's paintings and Jeffrey Dentz's prints as well as Kevin's wooden ornaments at http://sloanstcommunitygarden.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/art/. Brad Guigar's work can be seen at: http://www.evil-comic.com/.
Vegan or Vegetarian Dinner for 4 will be prepared by Hannah Shulman and served at the location of your choice within the City of Philadelphia. Our garden has two picnic tables and a grill which all garden members use for personal and garden events.
Violin Concert option: Julia Deak is a classically trained violinist with a BA in Music. She can play a concert of solo Bach works or arrange for piano accompaniment or chamber music, depending on your preferences. Concert location must be within 30 miles of Philadelphia, Boston, or Seattle.
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