What does the Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT) do?
NGT acquires and preserves community gardens and shared open space in order to enhance the quality of life in Philadelphia neighborhoods. With more than 30 gardens, NGT is a leader is sustaining local green space and advancing community gardening.
I thought it was the Neighborhood Gardens Association. What happened?
The Neighborhood Gardens Association was founded in 1986. In 2012, the organization became affiliated with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), and in the process adopted a new mission, new board and new strategic plan. The resulting organization became more focused as a land trust, hence the name change.
What is PHS’s role in NGT?
PHS runs the management and operations of NGT, and provides additional operating support. However, NGT is its own independent 501(c)3.
What happened to the gardens preserved under the Neighborhood Gardens Association?
They’re still preserved under NGT.
What is a land trust? Why does land need to be preserved?
Frequently, city dwellers will work land in their neighborhoods for decades without actual control over the land. As the city grows up and open space becomes more valuable, those parcels will frequently be targeted for development or other uses. Land trusts like NGT exist to preserve gardens and open space in neighborhoods where both may be at a premium.
What kinds of land does NGT preserve?
Most of NGT’s holdings are community gardens throughout Philadelphia, but we also preserve a number of open spaces and small sitting parks. Here is a list of NGT’s holdings.
Does NGT own all of the land that it preserves?
Not all of it—some parcels are leased instead of owned.
What does it mean to be a part of NGT?
Land preserved by NGT is protected from development. Through funding from the Office of Housing and Community Development, NGT provides resources to gardens in low-to-moderate-income areas. NGT provides liability insurance for gardens, as well as a network of gardener-to-gardener support. Many NGT gardens also participate in PHS’s City Harvest program.
Who runs NGT?
Jenny Greenberg is executive director of NGT, which also has a committed Board of Directors. PHS staff help run NGT’s day-to-day operations.
Who runs NGT’s gardens?
NGT gardens are run by the gardeners themselves. Joining NGT has no effect on garden operations.
I know of a park/garden/open space/communal area/land parcel that should be preserved in perpetuity. What should I do?
First, fill out an application. You’ll need a good amount of information to complete the application, so feel free to contact us if you need help.
I’ve sent in my application. What’s next?
Within a week, you’ll hear back from an NGT representative. If the land you’re applying for looks like a candidate for inclusion in NGT, we will send you a letter for both of us to sign. By signing this letter, you’re authorizing NGT to start talking with the various city and private agencies to work toward acquiring the parcel. NGT’s Open Space and Property Committee will soon contact you to set up a meeting between the gardeners and NGT representatives, and NGT will visit your garden and begin to research the site’s history.
What are the criteria for acquisition?
NGT doesn’t have a singular list of criteria that guarantee inclusion, but relevant factors include:
• Garden age
• Current garden uses
• Current garden ownership
• Number of garden members
• Engagement of garden members
• Experience level of garden members
• Engagement of neighbors
• Support from neighbors
• Support from local community organizations
• Support from local elected officials
• Sources of garden funding
• Water sources
• Physical conditions of garden
• Historical uses of the garden site
• Succession planning for the garden
How does being a part of NGT change my garden?
It doesn’t. Your garden will still run exactly the same way as it always has. If your garden is located in a low-to-moderate-income neighborhood, it may be eligible for capital improvements assistance from NGT through funding provided by the Office of Housing and Community Development.
I’d like to start a new garden through NGT. Can you help?
Generally speaking, NGT works to preserve and protect established gardens that are threatened by development or other pressures. If you’re looking for assistance starting a new community garden, we recommend enrolling in PHS’s Garden Tenders program. Click here for more information.
I’m an NGT gardener. How can I contact other NGT gardeners?
Try the message board.
How can I learn more about gardens and gardening?
How is NGT funded?
NGT is funded through a combination of government and foundation grants and contracts, support from PHS, and contributions from individual supporters.
This sounds amazing. How can I support?
Click here to support NGT. Thank you!
Are contributions to NGT tax-deductible?
How can I contact NGT?
Call 215.988.8800 or email us at email@example.com.