20th and Catharine Community Garden and the 1900 Webster Woodland,
Garden is Gone: Construction Has Begun
photos, June 2005] [moving
the plants, March/April 2005]
1989, after a collapsing building trapped and almost killed a small
child, the six lots at 801-811 South 20th Street were an ugly urban
wilderness of rubble, trash, and weeds.
including Florence Embry, Warner Bell, Stephan the Barber, Melissa
Howell and Sean O'Rourke, cleared the lots over a two year period
and, with the assistance of Philadelphia Green, laid out a 7,000
square-foot garden combining 20 individual 8 ft x 8 ft plots with
generous lawn and flower areas, flowering trees, and shrubs. At
the same time, Mr. Bell reclaimed the large lot on the north side
of the 1900 block of Webster Street, planting trees donated by the
Fairmount Park Commission and creating a network of paths and raised
garden and woodland were located in the heart of the South
of South Community, where our Town Square would be if we
had a Town Square. They wereacross the street from a public elementary
school, a parochial school, and a senior center. They werethe oldest
surviving community-maintained spaces in the neighborhood.
has now vanished into history. In March 2005, one of the developers
broke down portions of the fence and drove a truck into the garden
to do soil testing in preparation for building. Friends of the garden
relocated plants to a City-owned lot so that the tradition of community
greening can continue in our neighborhood. Construction began June
20, 2005 when the site was cleared of vegetation.
I hope you
enjoy the photos of the garden and woodland on these pages.