Shortly after opening our space at 11th and Berks, we were granted the opportunity to work with Penrose Playground, located at 12th and Susquehanna Streets. This chance to work with children from the surrounding neighborhood helped shape the vision and mission of our organization. We realized that sharing our gardening skills and knowledge with children would not only help them connect with the land around them, but also give them access to nutritious foods that otherwise would not be available in the area. Every week, Temple Community Garden members work with children at Penrose Recreational Center for two hours on homework help, followed by gardening and nutrition lessons.

In the Spring of 2011, we obtained two new garden spaces. First, our main garden moved from its original location at 11th and Berks to its current location at Broad and Norris Streets. Second, the responsibility of maintaining the Sonia Sanchez Garden, located at Diamond and Carlisle, was transferred from its former owner to Temple Community Garden. These two new locations have opened up many opportunities for the organization. We now compost at both sites.

In the fall of 2011, we began gardening with residents of Project Home’s supportive housing residence Kairos House.  Project Home is an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.  Residents visit our gardens on a weekly basis to spend time among the plants, tidy up the space, and tend to their bed in our vegetable garden. This program continues to be one of our strongest partnerships; in the summer of 2013, the Kairos House gardeners harvested a hearty bounty from their bed.  They brought about 2-3 lbs of cherry tomatoes and string beans back to their chef at Broad and Jefferson each week.


In Spring of 2012, we were approached by the Philadelphia Housing Authority and asked to help the Raymond Rosen Community Center at 23rd and Diamond Streets start their own vegetable garden. They had raised beds near their playgrounds that were built over ten years ago and were never used. We cleaned up the beds, tested the soil, and offered weekly gardening lessons to a group of about 12 people. They produced an incredible yield that first summer. We couldn’t have helped them achieve a successful season without the interest and hard work of the community members, the support of Philadelphia Housing Authority, Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, and Nice Roots Farm at SHARE Food Program.

During the 2012 growing season, we received some wonderful donations for our gardens. We acquired two sheds for the Main Garden from Temple University Facilities, and Nice Roots Farm donated a collection of perennials which transplanted into the Sonia Sanchez Garden.Every semester since TCG was established, we host a Feast to raise funds for the organization. This event has gained popularity over the years and attracts over 100 new and returning supporters of TCG each semester. In the 2012-2013 academic school year, we directed funds from the Feast toward a stipend for a student’s independent study to improve our after school community program and a fund for a re-design project in the Sonia Sanchez Garden.


In the fall of 2013, we partnered with members of City Year at Blaine Elementary School. The goal was to raise money and provide students with fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies on select mornings of the school week. After adding the funds we raised at our Feast that fall with a $1,000 donation from Daiichi Sankyo Inc., we were able to donate $1,800 for the cause. The smoothie program was a big hit and our partnership with City Year team at Blaine Elementary will continue in the coming academic year.
Spring 2013 focused on increasing our vegetable production in the Main Garden, developing our landscape in Sonia Sanchez Garden, and continuing our after school program despite the construction at Penrose Rec Center.  Since the Penrose program was put on hiatus, we developed partnerships with Youth for Change at Amos Rec Center and classes at Duckery Elementary. Preparation began to move the garden site to increase the visibility and capacity of our organization.
Don’t miss out on all of the great opportunities and events happening with Temple Community Garden!