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The Urban Tree Connection (UTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-based organization that works with residents in Philadelphia’s historically marginalized urban communities to transform 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 to develop community-driven greening and gardening projects on vacant land. Through land reclamation we foster community leadership of all ages that builds healthy sustainable community.

Over the past 15 years, UTC has partnered with Haddington residents to redevelop 29 vacant lots, totaling more than 86,000 square feet of land, including a fully functional ¾ urban farm. Together, we repurpose these spaces for communal growing, gathering and education that foster deep community relations and empowerment.

Urban Tree Connection Wins 2018-2019 Barra Award for Exemplary Nonprofits in the Greater Philadelphia Region

2018-2019 Barra Awards

Urban Tree Connection is honored to be one of 43 recipients of the 2018-2019 Barra Awards. We are deeply appreciative of the peer nomination and review process and The Barra Foundation's commitment to investing in the social sector by providing unrestricted funding and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Funds from The Barra Foundation will allow UTC to continue cultivating community leadership and land while evolving our approach to best accomplish our mission and vision.

Click here for a full list of 2018-2019 Barra Awards Grantees

Annual Appeal: Cultivating Community Leadership and Land

Teen Apprentices
Teen Apprentices at the annual Youth Market in Rittenhouse Square

Dear Friend and Supporter of Urban Tree Connection,

We have learned a lot this growing season at Urban Tree Connection (UTC) about weathering changes – welcoming new organizational leadership and staff with guidance from our enduring supporters and partners. We are putting our community gardens and farm sites to rest this winter with a re-invigorated commitment to building a local sustainable and equitable food system in the Haddington neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

Our accomplishments are a reflection of our talented staff, community leadership, partners, volunteers, and funders like you. Together this year, we:

  • Hired 11 youth through our Teen Apprenticeship program, providing them 1:1 mentorship in urban farming, farm stand operations and facilitating education workshops.
  • Distributed 9,100 lbs. of fresh, local affordable produce through community-led farm stands and CSA shares; and donated 200 lbs. of produce to families with low-income.
  • Enriched our local ecology and sustainable growing practices through seed-keeping, vermicomposting, and building a pollinator wall at Neighborhood Foods Farm.

UTC has also been developing local and state-wide relationships with growers and food justice advocates through our coalition work, youth exchanges and participation in Food Policy Advisory Committee’s Urban Agriculture city-wide strategic planning process.

This forward momentum is launching us into 2018 with our intentions set on deepening community partnerships and stewardship. We are depending on your support to sustain and grow our work.

We ask that you help us reach our goal of raising $45,000.

Together, we are restoring a food system with the most marginalized communities through cultivating community leadership and land. We invite you to join our efforts by making a donation to Urban Tree Connection this holiday season, and to visit us in spring 2018, when we are back in the gardens and Neighborhood Foods Farm (more info to come).

With Deepest Gratitude,

Noelle Signature

Noelle Warford
Executive Director

Click here for a printable copy of the annual appeal!

2017 Year in Review

Round table discussion at Neighborhood Foods Farm

2017 Teen Apprenticeship Report