Schuylkill River Park Community Garden

About Us

The Schuylkill River Park Community Garden (SRPCG), located at about 25th and Spruce, contains around 70 plots (satellite image) that range in size from 10’ x 10’ to 10’ x 20’. The land is owned by the City of Philadelphia / Fairmount Park Commission and leased to the Center City Residents' Association (CCRA), which manages the Garden through a steering committee comprised of current Gardeners. In addition to tending their plots, Gardeners are responsible for attending three work days per season and assisting with the Garden's public maintenance.

SRPCG, started in 1982, stands on land that was initially very unpromising for a park and garden: the Kelly brickyard and old B&O Railroad Sidings. Originally, the B&O railroad station, underneath the Walnut Street Bridge, provided passenger service from Philadelphia to NYC. In 1982, pioneer gardeners staked out their plots, dug out rocks and construction debris, added large amounts of compost and top soil, and filled 55 gallon drums with water from the fire hydrant across 25th Street.

In 1988, thanks to the vision and hard work of many CCRA members, the support of Park Commissioner Ernesta Ballard, the advocacy of landscape architect John Collins, and funds from the City of Philadelphia / Fairmount Park Commission, a larger area was developed into the beautiful SRPCG as part of the recently completed Schuylkill River Park.

As part of its 1988 agreement with the city and in an effort to beautify the park, the SRPCG maintains an approximately 350 foot perennial border directly adjacent to the Park and outside of the garden fence.

In January 2007, the Garden officially became part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens (see certificate). We were nominated by the Weeders' Chapter of the Garden Club of America for inclusion and at that time more than 300 other gardens were being considered out of which only approximately 30 were chosen.

In Spring 2009, the Garden joined PHS City Harvest Program, which ultimately produces food that is donated to local food cupboards. The process starts in Philadelphia Prisons, where inmates grow seeds into seedling plants. These plants are distributed to area community gardens who grow them into produce. The produce is donated by gardeners to local food cupboards, who in turn distribute the food to those in need. In the 2010 season, we distributed over 500 pounds of produce to our food cupboard. We are grateful to our partner in this project, The Philadelphia School.

In 2011 PBS filmed segments for their SPROUT Network inside the SRPCG and we once again donated over 500 pounds of produce to our food cupboard through the City Harvest Program.

We invite you to explore the website, visit the SRPCG, and avail yourself of the online resources for gardeners we have compiled.

Schuylkill River Park Community Garden

Events 2024 - Philadelphia Parks and Recreation no longer has covid related occupancy restrictions for outside service days or garden attendance. We recommend that unvaccinated individuals continue to mask and follow social distancing protocols.

February 5, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

March 1: Lottery Application Deadline

March 4, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

March 11 Week, Water Turned On/Cistern Filled

Thursday, March 21, 7pm Trinity at 22nd and Spruce Streets

April 1, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

April 6, 9am: New Gardener Orientation

April 13, 8:30am: New Gardener Orientation

April 14, 1:00pm: New Gardener Orientation

April 13, 9:00am - 12noon Spring Work Day and Barbeque

May 6, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

May 22 5:00pm Ladybug Release Party

June 3, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

July 1, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

July 13, 9:00am - 12noon Summer Work Day-BBQ (rain date, was originally July 9)

August 7, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

August 25, 5:00pm Annual Harvest Supper

September 9 (Tuesday) , 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

October 7, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

November 2, 9:00am - 12noon Fall Work Day and Barbeque

November 4, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

December 2, 7:00pm: Steering Committee Meeting

In Appreciation

The Gardeners of the Schuylkill River Park Community Garden wish to express our deepest appreciation to those who have supported our recent capital projects, cumulatively raising over $41,000 not including numerous in-kind contributions of substantial size. Major improvements to the Garden Infrastructure beginning in 2008 were supported by:

  • Center City Residents Association

  • Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation

  • PA Department of Community and Economic Development via State Senator Larry Farnese

  • Gardener's Supply Company

  • Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (supported by DCED Funds) via State Representative Babette Josephs

  • Schuylkill River Park Gardeners

  • McLean Contributionship

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The SRPCG is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat