Last month I attended a community meeting at the Ezekiel Baptist Church on Grays Avenue and listened to our neighbors discuss various plans and ideas about Southwest Philadelphia. At the meeting’s conclusion, the moderator asked me introduce myself and offer a few words about Bartram’s Garden. I stood in front of the group of about 60 people and told them about our activities.
Then a wonderful thing happened.
A woman stood up and said: “What about the farm? Tell them about that.” I asked her to share her own experience, and she told a wonderful story about the community garden beds next to our Community Farm and Food Resource Center and how she gardens with her family all summer long. It’s proven a great way to bring her family together and enjoy the outdoors, she added.
I thanked her, and then a man stood up and asked, “Why don’t you tell them about the movies?” So I asked him to share his experience, and he regaled the audience about our free movie nights, which are held on Friday nights throughout summer. They’re a great way to build the community, he noted, and they offer the neighborhood a fun night out.
I prepared to sit down when another woman said, “Tell them about your yoga classes!” Overwhelmed by this response, I asked her to elaborate, and she proceeded to tell the group about our free yoga classes and how they’ve made her feel healthier and more limber.
We often call Bartram’s Garden the “outdoor living room of Southwest Philadelphia.” Our neighborhood is an underserved community, and much of our work at the Garden is focused on giving residents access to the outdoors and riverfront with innovative programming and events that improve the quality of life. It was so affirming to know that the residents here in Southwest value Bartram’s Garden so highly and are making it part of their lives.
As you think about year-end giving, please consider making a gift to Bartram’s Garden. Your tax-deductible donation will help preserve this landscape for future generations and supports the many ways John Bartram’s legacy lives on today.
Kindest regards and very best wishes for the new year,
Executive Director, Bartram’s Garden