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The Philadelphia Orchard Project’s (POP’s) mission is to plant and support community orchards in Philadelphia. Community organizations own, maintain, and harvest the orchards, expanding community- based food production and cared-for outdoor spaces. POP provides partners with orchard design assistance, plant materials and supervision, training in orchard care, and volunteer recruitment. POP is working to expand community self-reliance in food production and provide green gathering spaces that build community by transforming formerly vacant lots into places of beauty and abundance. Together, community partners, POP’s staff, and volunteers have created a total of 66 POP-supported orchards. Consequently, fruit trees are found in most of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods – at a train station in Germantown, a school for the blind in Overbrook, a church garden in Graduate Hospital, an historic burial ground in North Philadelphia, and on a community farm in Southwest Philly. POP’s primary activities lead to positive change by creating community-owned beautiful green spaces; connecting neighbors; providing hands-on learning experiences; and producing fresh fruit, medicinal herbs and useful or edible plants. Enabling the community to own and maintain urban orchards and empowering individuals through connection and the sharing of knowledge contributes to a more just and equitable food system for all. Because of the unique perennial nature of POP’s crops, core values of education and information sharing, and opportunities for the City’s children to engage in experiential learning, POP’s work truly makes a generational impact. xxx

Year Awarded: 2022

Grant Type: Core Mission

Focus Area: Environment

Grant Amount: $100,000