Urban Tree Connection home page


We build community one vacant lot at a time.

The Urban Tree Connection (UTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists historically marginalized urban communities to revitalize their neighborhoods by transforming abandoned open spaces into safe and functional places that inspire and promote positive human interaction.

We work with residents of West Philadelphia's Haddington neighborhood, and increasingly with other low-income communities, to develop community-driven greening and gardening projects on vacant land. Through land revitalization, we help residents become strong leaders, foster deep community cohesion, and ultimately create livable communities.

In Haddington alone, we have converted 29 vacant lots, which had been crime-ridden and trash-strewn eyesores for decades, into a network of community gardens, including a fully functional 3/4-acre urban farm. These sites, and the wide array of educational and community programs we organize on them, are helping to connect neighbors who once were isolated from each other. In addition, the farm and gardens form the backbone of a community-based food system that will make affordable, healthy food available to every neighbor.

UTC is Hiring

Full Time Farm Manager-UTC’s vision for Neighborhood Foods urban farm sites is to utilize the farms as a tool to convene (Haddington) community together to build power and self-determination to address and meet its needs. The Farm Manager is responsible for leading UTC’s scattered urban farm sites through an exciting time of cultivating community stewardship and growing, while producing sustainable and locally grown food.

Click here to read the Farm Manager Full Position Description.

Full Time Community Education Coordinator-UTC’s Community Education Programs aim to promote health and wellness, and leadership development among multigenerational groups, primarily in the Haddington neighborhood of West Philadelphia. The Community Education Coordinator is responsible for leading UTC’s community education programming which includes managing and coordinating the Teen Apprenticeship Program and multi-generational health and wellness workshops; and cultivation of community leadership development and stewardship of UTC’s scattered community garden sites.

Click here to read the Community Education Coordinator Full Position Description.

Transitions & Forward Momentum at UTC

child gardens

Dear Friend and Supporter of Urban Tree Connection,

As 2016 comes to a close and we put our community farm and gardens to rest for the winter, all of us at Urban Tree Connection (UTC) are reflecting on this year of transition. In April, we bid farewell to our beloved founding Director, Skip Wiener, who retired after nearly 30 years of leadership. It was Skip’s fierce passion and community-minded vision that led me to UTC in 2015, and I am humbled to carry the baton as the new Executive Director during this historical time when we are all being called to leadership.

Our accomplishments are a reflection of our talented staff, community leadership, partners, volunteers, and funders like you...UTC staff have also been building local and national relationships with growers and food justice advocates through farm and garden tours, dialogue and learning circles, and in gathering to urge City Council to invest in and protect community-based agriculture.

This forward momentum is launching us into 2017 with much more work to do! We are fighting to keep our core work intact as funding shifts. We are thankful for you, our faithful donors, and are depending on your continued support to sustain our work in Haddington.

We ask that you help us reach our goal of raising $55,000 by matching or increasing your gift from last year.

Together, you, UTC, and the residents of Haddington have created an extraordinary body of work. During this time of great uncertainty, we must continue to build and reinforce the power of communities. For UTC, this means community-led reclamation of land for the holistic health of the Haddington neighborhood.

Please support our efforts by making a donation to Urban Tree Connection this holiday season.

With deepest gratitude,
Noelle Signature
Noelle Warford
Executive Director

Click here to read UTC's full annual appeal.

UTC Announces New Executive Director


The Urban Tree Connection Board of Directors is proud and excited to announce Noelle Warford as the new Executive Director! Noelle takes this position after the retirement of Skip Wiener, our beloved founding Director, who served an almost 30-year tenure. Noelle has been working with UTC since April 2015 as the Programs Director. In this position, she led substantial advancements, particularly in her leadership of the program staff, which increased cohesion and created a clear, shared vision for their work. Click here to read the full letter from UTC's Board Chair

UTC Nominated for Local Hero Award

Vote UTC Local Hero Award

Each spring, Edible Communities publications across the U.S. and Canada present Local Hero Awards to honor members of their communities who have made significant contributions to the local food movement. UTC has been nominated for a 2017 Local Hero Award by the Edible Philly Community.  Voting ends December 31, 2016 so be sure to cast your vote!  Awards will be presented at the annual Philly Farm and Food Fest in Spring and announced in the Spring 2017 issue of Edible Philly. VOTE FOR UTC TODAY!

Neighborhood Foods Farm awarded Blue Ribbon in the annual PHS Greening and Gardening Contest

Neighborhood Foods Farm

Neighborhood Foods Farm is a proud Blue Ribbon winner in the 'Urban Farm' category of PHS's Annual Greening and Gardening Contest! Special shout out to our amazing farmers, and to our Neighborhood Foods Coop members Atuwfa & Cassandra for winning a Blue Ribbon for their Children's garden at Blaine school. Click here to view a list of all 2016 contest winners.