PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS3 SummerFest is all about the flowers this Friday! For the second time in the Philadelphia Flower Show’s history, the event is outdoors in FDR Park.
The Philadelphia Flower Show is the biggest annual event hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.READ MORE: Montgomery County Officer Grazed By Bullet During Philly’s 4th Of July Fireworks Feels ‘Lucky’ To Walk Away From Incident
But did you know they use the power of plants year-round to make the city a better place to live?
Eyewitness News reporter Ross DiMattei stopped by one of their many community gardens to see how they’re improving the communities that care for them.
Located right off Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood is a green space rarely found in North Philly.
“It beautifies the community. When people ride by, they want to know what’s going on over there,” Terrence Landham said.
Landham manages this community garden. He says he got more involved in gardening after his son was killed six years ago.
“It’s spiritual. I’m a spiritual person. It brings me closer to God. I can thank the soil and everything. It just brings you peace,” Landham said.READ MORE: All Adoption Fees $5 At Philadelphia PSPCA This Saturday
For Landham, the garden is a place to find peace but he knows it provides much more to the surrounding community.
“It just means a lot to the people to see that we have a greenhouse, a hoop house, you know, organic vegetables. Our farm stand isn’t open right now, but we had a farm stand and we sold the food from the gardens here to the people in the community,” he said.
This community garden in Strawberry Mansion is one of more than 170 overseen by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society all throughout Philadelphia. Not only is it bringing residents out to grow and eat their own crops, they say it’s bringing communities closer together.
“I grew up in Philadelphia and I wanted to give back and figure out how I could help people grow food for donation,” PHS Associate Director of Community Gardens Adam Hill said.
Hill helps provide residents with everything they need to get their garden going, from free workshops and supplies to more than 260,000 seedlings grown in local greenhouses each year.
“They grow a ton of food, which is really exciting. But beyond that, like you really see the social connections developed between gardeners and it creates a more cohesive neighborhood and a better, more vibrant place to be,” Hill said.
After all, it is the Horticultural Society’s belief that a greener city makes for a safer, stronger and more successful city.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Zoo Giving Visitors Chance To Feed Giraffes
“We know that having clean and green vacant lots can reduce violent crime by more than 30%. We know a community garden can help people access healthy food on an affordable basis. And we know that gardening, in all forms, makes people more active, and therefore more healthy,” PHS President Matt Rader said.