A green space is opening amid the myriad shops and restaurants on Baltimore Avenue.
Currently being built by volunteers from Greensgrow Farms , an urban farming not-for-profit, the space will be a place for West Philadelphians to buy plants, attend urban farming workshops and hold community meetings.
Located at 4912 Baltimore Ave., Greensgrow West will be the first in-ground expansion of Greensgrow Farms, which is based in Kensington, Pa . Other than selling plants and seeds, Greensgrow West is planning on hosting events such as gardening classes, tool workshops, composting workshops and children’s summer programs.
Through their programming, Greensgrow West hopes to address the problems of fresh food accessibility in West Philadelphia.
“There’s not a lot of accessibility to local foods, or fresh foods in general in West Philadelphia,” said Jennifer Foster , retail manager of Greensgrow West. “We want to make sure that everyone gets what they need — food, plants and knowledge.”
Both Foster and Ryan Kuck , project director of Greensgrow Farms, believe that West Philadelphia will be receptive to their new space because the community cares about gardening and planting.
Greensgrow West hopes to work with and expand into the West Philadelphia community.
“We know that West Philadelphia has a strong history of community gardening and right now there’s nowhere for people to advance those resources,” Kuck said. “We are hoping to provide those tools and also help advance Greensgrow’s educational and outreach mission.”
Foster said that Greensgrow West is currently looking for community volunteers, including Penn students, to work at the new location.
Greensgrow Farms was founded in 1997 on a litter-filled lot in Kensington. The founders started out exclusively growing and selling lettuce, and eventually developed into an agricultural center that not only grows various plants, but also hosts events to educate the local community on the importance of sustainability and farming.
Kuck described Greensgrow’s mission as about “revitalizing vacant land and underutilized spaces to create livable communities that are healthy for the people and the planet.”
Although Greensgrow Farms was looking for a larger space in West Philadelphia, they have signed a two-year lease on the 49th and Baltimore space as an entryway into the community.
The new West Philadelphia location will celebrate its opening on April 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.