Sacred Places Spring 2013 - Page 9

At Ward AME in the Mill Creek neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, young volunteers help plant the beds at the site of a new community garden being created through a partnership with Urban Tree Connection. Photo courtesy of Urban Tree Connection. West Philadelphia for over a decade. UTC and Ward have partnered to create a community garden on the church’s vacant land. Emerging out of this joint venture is the Ward AME Community Nutrition Initiative, which, in consultation with UTC, will oversee both the garden and congregation-led programming. This summer, the first Ward garden crop will be planted, and its harvest will be sold at discounted rates on Sunday mornings and also used for cooking classes that will be open to everyone in Mill Creek. The Ward Garden Committee, created by members of the church to steer the project, has been meeting throughout winter and spring to organize clearing the lot and building raised beds where plants will be grown. In the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia, Partners has facilitated a partnership between United Methodist Church SOLID ROCK umc, one of our Strategic Investment in Sacred Places churches, and the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP), a Philadelphiabased food justice organization whose mission is to “plant orchards in the city of Philadelphia that grow healthy food, green spaces, and community Sacred Places • Spring 2013 • 8