Urban Orchards with Community Impact
Since 2007, POP has worked with community-based groups and volunteers to plan and plant orchards filled with useful and edible plants in neighborhoods across the city. POP provides orchard design assistance, plant materials, and training in orchard care. Community organizations own, maintain, and harvest the orchards, expanding community-based food production. Orchards are planted in formerly vacant lots, community gardens, schoolyards, and other urban spaces, almost exclusively in low-wealth neighborhoods where people experience limited access to fresh fruit. POP orchard partners and sites with public access can be found on the Orchard Planting Page.
In 2019, POP held 145 orchard plantings and orchard care days with the help of nearly 1,000 volunteers. POP staff and partners provide an introduction to POP, permaculture, and the various pollinator plants, berry bushes, and fruit trees that grow in urban orchards. Volunteers assist with planting, weeding, mulching, pruning, and even harvesting. Join POP at an upcoming orchard care day and leave a lasting impact on a Philadelphia neighborhood!
POP Community Agreement
POP staff and board have created this community agreement to uplift a commitment to mutual care, respect, justice, humility, growth, and community building in the spaces in which we work collectively. POP encourages all POP partners and volunteers to uphold these values through the following:
- Respecting everyone’s identity, ability, background, voice, experience, and boundaries.
- Committing to making spaces and experiences as accessible as possible: physically, socially, and personally.
- Committing to listen for understanding and create opportunities for all voices to be heard.
- Creating inclusive learning environments where people have the opportunity to both teach and learn.
- Accepting a shared responsibility to hold ourselves and one another accountable for these agreements’ intent.
Stay in the Know!
POP relies on the enthusiastic support of community volunteers to help with tree plantings and orchard care days. We encourage you to join POP’s volunteer email list to receive announcements of events and opportunities to get involved.
- Sign up for our POPHarvest Gleaning listserv (for local and regional harvesting events)
- Sign up for our Philadelphia Orchard Group (PHOG) listserv to receive tips about fruit-growing, pest and disease management, recipes, and more!
While the stay-at-home order remains in place, public volunteer events have been suspended. We look forward to resuming orchard care days with our partners and volunteers when it is safe to do so.
Volunteer on a POP Committee
POP is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help select and support orchard planting partners; plan events and do outreach; or assist with fundraising.
Do you love community orchards? Want to learn more about ecological orchard care and assist POP partner groups in caring for beautiful, bountiful community spaces? Join POP’s Orchard Committee and become a POP Lead Orchard Volunteer!
We are looking to match up dedicated volunteers with specific community orchards to provide ongoing support as well as learning opportunities. If interested, please read more about the role and complete our POP Lead Orchard Volunteer Interest Survey or reach out to Co-Executive Director Phil Forsyth (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.
POP’s Events Committee organizes non-planting-related events, including happy hours & house parties; helps with tabling at events; and solicits in-kind donations from local businesses to support these events. Send an email to Co-Executive Director Kim Jordan (email@example.com) to learn more.
Do you know how to write grants or raise funds, or want to learn? POP welcomes new and experienced fundraisers to help sustain and expand organizational impact. Help with grant-writing or editing, identify new funding sources, or share your graphic design skills. Contact Co-Executive Director Kim Jordan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more.
Members of this committee work to help POP develop and implement educational materials about orchard care, nutrition, composting, weed identification, pest control… just to get started! If you would like to help create content for our urban orchard blog, assist in orchard curriculum development, or in graphic design, please contact Education Director Alyssa Schimmel (email@example.com) to learn more.