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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

EPX Civic Association to launch huge community garden

The East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association has announced that it is starting a community garden this month on the grounds of Neuman-Gorretti High, next to the civic’s office at 1729 S. 11th St.

Matt Simone, beautification chair for the civic, said they’ve been working behind the scenes on the garden for a few months and hope to have it completely built by June 15.

“We’ve made some big steps,” Simone told us last week. “The fence is up, we have a few plots in and have a couple builds planned over the next couple weeks.”

Tucked between the houses on Watkins Street and a Neumann-Goretti building

It’s tucked between the houses on Watkins Street and a Neumann-Goretti building. That gray building straight ahead is Isaiah Zagar’s Watkins Street version of the Magic Gardens

The fence was built by volunteers from the civic with an assist from the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. The garden was only possible with the help of PHS and Neumann-Goretti, which allowed the use of the land, Simone said.

Building the fence just over a week ago. Pic provided by Matt Simone

Building the fence just over a week ago. Pic provided by Matt Simone

“Starting out, we’ll have somewhere in the area of 32 to 36 plots for individual growers,” Simone said. Those will cost $50 a year.

There will also be six to eight more community plots and two to four more for students. Much of the produce generated will be donated to charities. Simone noted that the configuration is subject to change and that the arrangements with the charities haven’t yet been finalized.

“There will be several designated for schoolchildren,” Simone said. “We’re working with Southwark elementary and Neumann-Gorretti to have interactive programs to teach them about growing and sustainable plants and living. That’s a big part of the program.”

From the other side

From the other side

The garden will be open from 8 a.m. to sunset, and Simone said the plan is to add a couple benches so that members can go back there to relax, or for anyone when there are community events.

If you’ve never been to an EPX Civic meeting (its office is the maroon awning to the right in the first photo), this garden can be rather tough to find. So, follow the pictures:

Entrance on 11th Street just north of Moore

Entrance on 11th Street just north of Moore

Take a left at the sign

Take a left at the sign

And there it is. Or you can enter...

And there it is. Or you can enter…

Through the Watkins Street parking lot next to the Zagar building

…through the Watkins Street parking lot next to the Zagar building, and it’s back there on the right.

More information, a member application and garden rules will be available if you click here.

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