Eastwick Community Garden: PHL's Land and Neighbors' Work Bring a Taste of the Farm to the City

One might not envision a garden when thinking about the airport, but more than seven-and-a-half acres (7.64 to be exact) of Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) land at Bartram and Island Avenues in Southwest Philadelphia has served as the Eastwick Community Garden since the 1970s. The site is governed by the Eastwick Community Garden Association, which is comprised of local gardeners and board members.

Chris McLaughlin

The Eastwick property provides an urban garden space for dozens of PHL's neighbors. Christopher McLaughlin (left), a PHL third shift Airport Electrical Services Supervisor, also maintains a plot in the garden and plants an assortment of fruits and vegetables. "Everybody puts their own personal touch to each garden," he said. "People bring a lot of their heritage here in what they plant."

Philadelphia is home to hundreds of community gardens and some, like Eastwick, have been in existence for decades. According to PHL Chief Revenue Officer Jim Tyrrell, the gardens are modeled after the War (later Victory) Gardens created across the United States during World War I to encourage citizens to grow produce to prevent food shortages. Philadelphia's gardens were established at the request of former City Council President Anna Verna. 

Eastwick is the largest of Philadelphia's community gardens. "A lot of people don't realize how big this garden is," said McLaughlin. "You can come here and you're in the city, but you feel like you're in the suburbs."


In the video below, Chris gives a guided tour of the garden. 


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