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We build community one vacant lot at a time.

The Urban Tree Connection (UTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists low-income 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.

What's New at UTC

Urban Tree Connection Kids Programs Kick Off This Week (5/18-5/22)

We're pleased to announce that UTC's popular spring/summer programs for kids ages 5-13 are starting up this week at two of our community garden sites in Haddington. At the Pearl Street-Conestoga Gardens (Conestoga Way & Vine Street), we'll be running the Sprouts program (ages 5-9) every Wednesday and the Veggie Kids program (ages 10-13) every Tuesday and Thursday. At the Memorial Garden (54th Street and Wyalusing Avenue), we'll be running the Sprouts program every Wednesday and the Veggie Kids program every Monday and Tuesday. All of our programs operate from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM. If you'd like your child to be a part of our programs, just bring him/her to one of the sites this week on the appropriate day and time for his/her age group and we'll help you register on the spot. We're also very proud to say that three new garden educators from the Haddington community are joining the UTC programs team this year: Nykisha Madison, NyShae Wymberley, and Candace Shillingford. They are looking forward to a fun and educational season with your kids!

Urban Tree Connection Signs Lease With City For 3 Acres on Merion Avenue!

After years of planning for a proposed farm site at 4789 Merion Avenue, UTC has finally signed a 5-year lease on the 3-acre property with the City of Philadelphia. The lease allows UTC to move forward with infrastructure development on the site, and will dramatically increase our farm production capacity over time. Click here to read more about the exciting Merion Avenue project on our blog!

New Staff Members Join the Urban Tree Connection Team

UTC is excited to announce two new additions to our team! On April 15, Noelle Warford started her job as UTC's Programs Director, and Terrence Topping-Brown arrived a few weeks earlier to take on the role of Community Engagement Farmer for our Chester Farm Initiative. Trained as a social worker at the University of Pennsylvania, Noelle comes to UTC from Congreso, where she served in both programmatic and development roles. She will be leading all of UTC's community programs in West Philadelphia. Terrence studied biology at Shippensburg University, and since graduation has worked with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and at Spiral Path Farm, an organic farm in Central Pennsylvania. At UTC, Terrence will manage construction of a new farm at the Ruth Bennett Homes, a public housing project operated by the Chester Housing Authority, and will also be responsible for community outreach at the site. We are thrilled to welcome both Noelle and Terrence to UTC!