Mill Creek Urban Farm- 3 hours
City Wide Tree Planting- 4 1/2 hours
Temple Community Gardens Groundbreaking day- 3 hours
A lot of hard work and effort put in for a great semester!
WIth the last weekend of the semester, it came time to wrap up the last of my stewardship work. I decided to do this work with Temple Community Gardens because of its convenient location right on campus. This past Sunday they held a ground breaking day at their new garden location at Broad and Norris streets. It’s a great location that I think will draw many more volunteers because it is so easily accessible.
The first surprising part about the day was walking out of my dorm to see the Broad Street Run going on!
After watching the runners and cheering them on for a few moments, I headed down the few blocks to the new garden location. As I arrived there were only a few people starting to work, but as the day went on more and more joined. The goals of the day were to do some much needed weeding to the space, spread mulch, and start building the raised beds for the plants. It was amazing to see how quickly it was all getting done!
For my time there I did weeding for part of the space. A lot of weeding was done, but the space was so unkept that it needed even more. However, with a great group working together like Temple Community Gardens I’m sure it will be done in no time.
At last, my stewardship work has come to an end. I’ve had a great time getting out into the community and taking my class room work to the next level. It was hard work, but in the end it was well worth it!
Visit and Work Day at Mill Creek Urban Farm: 3 hours
Tree Planting Event: 4 1/2 hours
Groundbreaking Day with Temple Community Garden: 3 hours
Early this morning, I attended the groundbreaking day for the new garden site with the Temple Community Garden. Located behind the red walls on Broad Street and Norris, the new site for the garden is rather large.
This was exciting for me to see because when I attended a TCG meeting earlier in the semester, TCG was loosing their original garden site which would be transformed into a parking lot!
The soil of the lot was very rocky, muddy, and filled with weeds and various debris. When I arrived, the TCG members had already begun to weed a section of land and spread mulch. Because the soil quality is so poor, raised beds will be used for growing. I helped weed out some of the many weeds that filled the property while others spread mulch, build wooden beds, or removed debris.
It was a beautiful day and it was great to become part of something with in our very own Temple community and see an empty lot beginning to be transformed into practical green space. Working with the Temple Community Garden was a great experience and I hope to work with them more in the future.
3/19 Philly Food Forest- 3 hours
3/26 Bethany Beach beachgrass planting- 3 hours
4/15 Mill Creek Urban Farm- 3 hours
4/17 Philly Food Forest- 3 hours
With the recent trend of “greening” spaces, transforming something old and unwanted into something beautiful is one trend that will hopefully stick around. Seen in the railways of New Yorks Highline, a reclaimed railway turned park, the trend is growing in popularity. Among the Highline, many other cities such as Paris and Rotterdam in the Netherlands have taken the initiative to turn old grey spaces into flourishing, useful green spaces. This case study will explore two California based projects: Park 101 in Los Angeles and the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco.
Both cities known for innovation, Los Angles and San Francisco have joined the new wave of urban greening to accommodate the many needs of their citizens.
Often referred to a “A Central Park in LA”, the proposed Park 101 system would offer a green space amidst on of the United States top polluted cities. The proposed idea for the park would transform the concrete ridden space and offer the functionality of the retail world LA loves with the green infrastructure and space humans crave. The Park 101 system would be a cap off of the 101 Freeway system would run over the top of the freeway. The new design would change the street design allowing for more space and functionality.
The Park 101 system would integrate usable space into various parts of the downtown location. The design also included adding spaces for retail usability. Park 1o1 would use currently underused space and renew the urban space so it is usable for the public. The space would also have a large parking space so citizens could park and leave their cars and walk throughout the downtown. Also mentioned in the design is a cafe area and a play area for children.
Although development for the park has not gone underway, the City of Los Angeles has involved many citizens in the planning stages as well as developers to construct the best plan of action for Park 101. Whether Park 101 will ever come into effect, the design and outline of the space is a good model for what can be done in other spaces and cities.
Similar to the idea of Park 101 is the Transbay Transit Center. Once a bustling train station serving as many as 26 million in the 1940s every year, the Transbay Transit Center lost its supreme usability after WW2 with the rise in popularity of the automobile. Parts of the station and the tracks were removed in order to reconstitute the facility as a bus terminal. Like many other large structures in an urban area, the facility no longer serves a great purpose in the community. Thanks to hopeful individuals, planners, and designers, spaces such as this may get a major face lift.
The proposed idea for the Transbay Transit Center included retrofitting the old, outdated building and turning it into a 4.5 acre elevated park. Below the park, a new high-speed transit and rail system would be installed to not only re-purpose a currently underused space but, to encourage the use of public transportation. The green landscape is a great way to give life to an unused space while cutting down heating and cooling costs. The green roof system is been proven effective in its ability to properly insulate a building and absorb heat when needed.
Although the Transbay Transit Center project is not yet underway, developers projected the finish date for 2017.
Both of the project serve as excellent design models for re-purposing an unused space and turning it in to something beautiful, functional, and enjoyable for the pubic.
This weekend was packed for stewardship hours!
On Friday, I had a field trip with several other classmates to Mill Creek Urban Farm in West Philly. It was a little chilly but the weather wasn’t too bad. The farm itself was bigger than I had imagined, and was built on sustainability principles. The first thing I saw when I entered the farm was the writing “This is a living house, come check it out!” Later on we found out through the farm founder Jade that the house has a green roof. The green roof not only helps absorb rain water and maintain temperature of the house but also beautifies the overall structure.
The wall of the tool shed is made of cob, a natural material consist of clay, sand, straw and water. Like the green roof, walls made out of cob help the room stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The farm also have a compost toilet and they use the compost for the banana tree outside the tool shed. Behind the tool shed was the bee hive area. Unfortunately the bees are not very active at the moment, otherwise I’d really love to see first hand how honey is made!
Jade explained to us that the farm holds regular farmer’s market to sell their fresh produce during working season to the surrounding neighborhood. In addition, the farm also works with local schools for after school program,etc. The Mill Creek farm really bring together the community in this sense.
For our stewardship hours at the farm, we help weeded the land that will later be used for planting vegetables. The soil was a healthy dark brown color and extremely soft. Around the farm were various fruit trees. Their branches were tied down so that they grow horizontally.
Although we didn’t get to plant the actual plant, it was still fun to work in the farm.
On Sunday I, again, biked down to South Philly to work at Philly Food Forests. The farm has changed quite a bit since my last time working there. Several lots has cleaned up significantly and ready for weeding. It was a busy work day and lots of people showed up, including some of my classmates!!
This time I help weeded one of the lots that will become a pumpkin garden.
Since PFF is working on a brand new lot that has never been planted, the soil was covered by nasty weeds and bricks from buildings that has been torn down. The soil was also not as healthy as Mill Creek’s. It was extremely packed and stuck to the roots of the weeds. You are guaranteed to hit a brick digging just few inches deep, therefore it was a lot of physical labor picking the weed and the brick.
The weeding took up a lot of time, I almost spent my whole time there weeding. It was good exercise though (and quite fulfilling), on top of the biking, that is! This time I also helped painted signs for the farm. It was a lot of fun!
Lastly, my ten hours of stewardship has come to an end. I really had a great time getting involved outside of campus. But this doesn’t mean my involvement with these organization has come to an end! I am sure I will continue working with PFF and involve with more organization that helps the city greener and more sustainable.