Studies show that even just the sight of green space and trees reduces violence, and increases feelings of well being in city dwellers. The historic park is a 4.5 acre peaceful greenspace, kept clean and well maintained for rest and reflection of neighbors and visitors. In the hot summer, the grounds are breezy and 10 degrees cooler than the streets outside.
On the grounds are two small orchards by the POP Philly Orchard Project laden with peaches, plums, juneberries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, cherries. The history garden has crops that were grown by Fairhill farmers: Lenni Lenape, English Quakers, German Mennonites, African Americans, Latinx people from the Islands.
Five satellite gardens surround the historic garden like spokes on a wheel. Auburn St. with 26 raised beds is a production garden. Evelyn Sanders sits in the middle of the townhouse complex where parents can let their children out the door. The Potter Thomas School vegetable garden and 160’ perennial border are a showcase in the neighborhood.
One fine teacher said that she took a job at the school because the garden looked like someone loved that school. The Semilla Children’s garden opposite Julia deburgos School was built by muralist Bets Casanas and her parents, who still keep watch.
Partner School Gardens
Historic Fair Hill cares for seven gardens in the Fairhill neighborhood with community partners.
The abundant gardens, full of flowers and vegetables, offer beauty, peace, fresh healthy food, and opportunity for young people to learn job related skills. The teenage garden interns learn to plant, water, weed, harvest and prepare the food for the summer farm stand. Two school gardens welcome classes to see how food grows , what plant parts are edible. Children quickly learn to eat fresh carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
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HFH gardeners harvest fresh organic fruits and vegetables from the gardens and offer them to the neighborhood weekly. In 2020, the farm stand was at Julia deBurgos School, and was available to families when they came to pick up school lunches. In 2021, the farm stand is on Cambria St., where the St. John Memorial Church food pantry is set up on Monday mornings. Neighbors stop by and take home the fresh produce. Aaron and Crystal talk to neighbors about ways they can prepare the food and how to make soothing teas from the herbs.
Fairhill Tree Tenders of the PHF/PA Horticultural Society
Historic Fair Hill works with other neighborhood organizations and volunteers to plant street trees in April and November. Since 2012, over 130 trees have been planted and are cooling neighboring blocks. To help with planting, email email us.