Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI)


North Philly Peace Park

This community-driven garden in North Philadelphia sits across from the Blumberg housing project. For three years it has provided the neighborhood with free organic produce, allowed children a place to learn, and given the elders who live in the center across the street a place of belonging and a connection with the children in their community. These inter-generational relationships have been a key part of the parks development.

In December 2014 at a Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) community meeting, the PHA said there would be a place for the Peace Park in its new development plan but did not give any concrete solutions. In the beginning of 2015, the Peace Park received an email about soil drilling and testing to be done at the site of the garden. We rallied together, sent out messages in the community and on social media and about 12 people were out on a Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. in the snow to stop this testing. It was agreed upon, when PHA finally got to the scene, that no testing would be done at the Peace Park, as this test may disrupt the organic soil building they have been doing over the years.

Many calls were also made to Councilman Darrell Clarke’s office. Clarke’s office said that moving forward they would support the Peace Park in their negotiations with PHA!