Sayre Garden


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      By Reginaldo Winston and the Sayre Garden Crew
      Sayre Garden- Children and Youth Participation in Philadelphia
      Sayre Garden is a space within Sayre High School (which is located on 58th and Walnut Street) regularly maintained by a group of 12 student interns.

      Over the summer we participated in several workshops and events that prepared us to go out in our local and neighboring communities. We started off by learning and understanding the significance of gardening and how it can positively affect our lives in multiple regards. We were also taught public speaking skills which allowed us to properly interview community gardeners and members.

      We engaged in outreach such as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project. The members of our CSA come from the Sayre Health Center, which is attached to Sayre High School.
      Community Garden

      Pearl Conestoga Community Garden
      We also went to local community gardens in West Philadelphia: Pearl and Conestoga, 59th and Market Garden, Salvation Army, Pop-Up Garden, and Mill Creek. Many told about how these gardens were started and how they fight the government to keep their property. Lisa Barkley of Pearl & Conestoga mentioned that her garden is therapeutic especially for adults with conditions like diabetes. Besides Mill Creek, all of the gardens do not have a full time staff that can maintain their sites every day.

      UNI’s Sayre Garden Crew
      During our interview sessions, we got to connect with the owners and understand their background to gardening in general. These gardeners play a big role in engaging with their community by empowering them to make healthy food choices. With gardens such as these ones, youth can make healthier decisions that could further their life span. Adults can decrease the risks of diabetes or high blood pressure if they haven’t done so already. For those who do have such medical issues, visiting gardens gives them affordable, healthy, delicious fruits and vegetables to ensure their conditions do not escalate to a more serious stage. By educating the West and Southwest Philadelphia urban communities, our sharing of our knowledge to the youth especially will inspire their friends and family to emulate their food choices.

      The Sayre Garden Crew is one of several groups that have conducted surveys and done “ground truthing” for the Garden Justice Legal Initiative. The information these individuals and groups gather helps to tell the stories of community gardens in Philadelphia and highlight the needs of gardeners and neighborhoods.

      If you are interested in conducting outreach to gardens in your neighborhood, please contact Will at

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