The mission of the Urban Tree Connection is to assist urban, low-income communities to revitalize their neighborhoods by transforming abandoned open spaces into safe and functional places that inspire and promote positive human interaction.
Urban vacant land is typically concentrated in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods and is often linked to drug-related crime and violence. The City of Philadelphia is currently estimated to have over 30,000 vacant lots, many of which are overgrown, filled with trash and contribute to an appearance of decay and blight. We believe that community-based urban greening is a great way for residents of all ages to bring about positive change in their neighborhood. In addition to beautifying the neighborhood, urban greening projects also provide a variety of economic, environmental, health-related and social benefits. We involve neighborhood children in all our projects as we believe it is crucial to educate the next generation of urban residents about the immense value of urban green space.
Currently the Urban Tree Connection is focusing most of its time and resources in the Haddington area of West Philadelphia that is bounded by 52nd to 63rd Streets and Market Street to Girard Avenue. We are forming partnerships with individuals, resident groups and agencies/institutions in Haddington to build a neighborhood-based open-space reclamation system that will:
- Transform abandoned public open spaces into safe and usable spaces that are integrated into the fabric of the community.
- Create programs and activities that raise awareness and promote long term community action with a focus on health issues in relation to greening urban open space.
In order to maximize the opportunity for residents to participate in the process UTC offers 3 types of activities:
- Neighborhood-based Youth & Children’s gardening clubs.
- Community-based vacant lot reclamation project
- Block-driven streetscape improvement projects.
Visit UTC’s official website here.