Project Background and Status
Background. In 2009, members of the Germantown Monthly Meeting and other community members founded a community garden on the site of the former tennis courts of Germantown Friends School in the 5400 block of Wissahickon Avenue, adjacent to Cloverly Park. In 2015 the garden was closed so that GFS could sell the property.
With a goal of acquiring, preserving, and rehabilitating a 0.65-acre parcel of the property at 5407 Wissahickon Avenue, the Old Tennis Court Farm Protection Project was formed and partnered with Natural Lands Trust and Neighborhood Gardens Trust to effect the purchase of the parcel and return it to use as a community garden. Germantown United CDC is serving as fiscal sponsor for community-based fundraising.
The effort received widespread encouragement and support not only from the garden’s immediate neighbors, but also from members of Philadelphia’s City Council, the Senate and House of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Secretary of Agriculture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, the City Commissioner and City Planning Commission, Germantown United CDC, and multiple community organizations and neighborhood associations.
What’s been done? Through grants and donations, the project raised the purchase price by the deadline of October 31, 2016. So that the garden could reactivate operations during the lengthy sale/purchase process, Neighborhood Gardens Trust entered a license agreement with GFS.
Read press release from PA Rep. Rosita Youngblood
Read Montgomery News article
Read our 2017 update
The garden reopened in May 2017, with more than 40 active plots, as a formal affiliate of Neighborhood Gardens Trust. With completion of the purchase anticipated for spring 2018, the garden is offering plots to new and returning gardeners. (Learn more here.)
What’s next? The garden is thriving, but there is much deferred maintenance to address once the purchase is completed, such as stabilizing the stone wall facing Wissahickon Avenue, as well as site repairs and improvements.
How can I help? Make a tax-deductible donation toward the purchase and rehabilitation of the Old Tennis Court Farm site through Germantown United CDC, the project’s fiscal sponsor. Contributions can be made online or by mail with the downloadable donation form.
For questions or for more information, please use our contact page.
See more about our partners Natural Lands Trust and Neighborhood Gardens Trust
Photo credit Mark Kearney