All of you are members of the extended Urban Tree Connection family. As donors, volunteers, partners, and friends, you have helped to propel UTC’s growth from its inception as an audacious vacant lot reclamation project in 1989 to what it has become today – a highly-regarded and emulated national urban farming and community revitalization model.
I can’t begin to tell you what your partnership has meant to me personally, and what it continues to mean to all of the families and children we serve in West Philadelphia and beyond. Without you, we could never have touched their lives in such meaningful and fundamental ways.
Now, I am asking for your support once again at a critical moment for UTC.
As some of you may have heard, I am retiring from my role as Executive Director of this extraordinary organization in June 2016. This is a deeply personal decision – after a quarter century of the guerilla gardening that helped establish an urban farming movement, I am mentally and physically ready to step back and enjoy a quieter phase of life. It’s time for a new leader who will bring fresh energy and growth to UTC while staying true to our core mission: the rejuvenation of communities through greening, gardening, and farming.
Your support has been pivotal in enabling UTC to enter this time of transition from a position of strength. For several years, we’ve been laying the foundation for a bright and sustainable future by: hiring new farm and program staff; increasing the role of local residents in our neighborhood revitalization efforts; and establishing exciting new partnerships with other community organizations, each of which will have a transformative impact on UTC and solidify our reputation as innovators in the field.
But to complete these projects and ensure a smooth transition to new leadership, there is still much to be done. I hope that you’ll partner with us once again and consider an end-of-year donation to UTC.
Although I am stepping back from the day-to-day and turning the reins over to a new generation, I will continue to be deeply involved with UTC, and I hope you will too. Thank you for your past commitment to UTC and for supporting us again this year.