We’re pleased to be publishing POP’s new Community Organizing Toolkit, part of POP’s ongoing efforts to create more educational resources that help to empower our partners. POP began planting community orchards in 2007 and is now up to 50 orchards planted, and works with 65 city orchard partner sites in total. POP’s staff remains small, with four program staff each responsible for coordinating seasonal visits to a subset of these sites. In planting and caring for these community orchards year after year, POP has found that the most successful sites have a broad group of people helping to maintain, promote, and celebrate their spaces. This Toolkit is not intended to substitute as for hands-on orchard training, but rather was developed as a reference guide containing recommendations and best practices for growing community involvement in the care and enjoyment of your space.

Preview of the Content Guide of POP’s new Community Organizing Toolkit.

The development of this Toolkit was a joint effort of POP’s entire staff over the past year, led by Orchard Director Michael Muehlbauer and with contributions by Education Director Alyssa Schimmel, Orchard Director Alkebu-Lan Marcus, and Co-Executive Directors Kim Jordan and Phil Forsyth. Its online publication is thanks to the help of a Catchafire volunteer, Laura, who assisted with editing and design. Review and use as appropriate to your site, and consider this a living document that evolves through its use. If you have recommendations on best practices that have worked well at your site, consider emailing your tips and suggestions to info@phillyorchards.org.

Due to the large size of the document, the Toolkit was split into two files. The first section contains the first two parts, Building Your Network and Communication Tools. The second section contains Orchard Maintenance and Care, Celebrate the Space, Plan for the Harvest, and Summary of Orchard Partnership Roles. We hope this toolkit will be helpful not only to POP’s orchard partners here in Philadelphia, but to community gardeners, volunteers, and farmers of all kinds.

POP Community Organizing Toolkit pp 1-11

POP Community Organizing Toolkit pp 12-28

This POP Blog Post was written by POP Co-Executive Director Kim Jordan.

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