Vision2027 Journal

Gathering Feedback at Home and On the Road

The PHSVision2027 team was able to reach more than 1,000 individuals in and outside Philadelphia this summer to gather insights for PHS that will inform our strategic planning going forward. Here are some highlights:

October 8: Summer of Engagement
The PHSVision2027 team wrapped up its Summer of Engagement by partnering with WURD Radio for an evening of fun and information in the “Reality Lounge,” a live broadcast event held in the PHS Pop Up Garden at uCity Square. Despite the inclement weather, more than 50 listeners attended to hear WURD hosts Charles Ellison and Keaton Nichols interview PHS stakeholders about PHS’s programs and solicit community feedback for PHS’s strategic initiative, PHSVision2027. Special guests included Congressman Dwight Evans and eco-activist Professor Li Sumpter.

So far, the Vision 2027 team has gathered the thoughts and aspirations of more than 7,000 people this year around PHS’s future impact goals.

August 4: Brewerytown Garden.
Respondents were largely enthusiastic about PHS’s intent to work hand in hand with neighborhoods to make the change they want to see. In Brewerytown in particular, respondents were interested in transforming vacant land into community green space.

September 9: Greenfest Philly, Bainbridge Green (Bainbridge St., between 3rd and 5th Street). 
There was keen interest among Greenfest attendees in expanding PHS’s environmental education to elementary and high-schools – one former teacher we talked to even expressed an interest in founding high school student clubs that would cultivate gardening and greening habits amongst teenagers, in partnership with scientific faculty.  Greenfest Philly is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area and is the place to learn about living sustainably. Even though it rained cats and dogs all day, we were still able to involve the attendees who ventured out in a fun and informative activity that taught lessons about tree planting and climate resilience.

August and September: Vision2027 Travel Fellowships.
August and September saw our Vision2027 Travel Fellows off to Portland, Chicago, St. Louis, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Justin Trezza and Jenny Greenberg were able to bring home some valuable lessons from St Louis’s Gateway Greening on their community gardens intake, application, and stewardship process, and from Chicago’s Neighbor Space on community land trust acquisition and onboarding strategies. Meanwhile, in Berlin, Adam Hill and Sam Keitch were inspired by that city’s cutting-edge public horticultural management practices – a “new urban ecology” is emerging in Berlin that brings more naturalized (and low maintenance) greening into city parks and public spaces. In Oregon, Amy Rodriguez and Rosemary Howard studied an initiative focused on equipping low-income families with materials and supplies needed to grow food and garden in their backyards. And last but not least, Leigh Ann Campbell and Cristina Tessaro returned from a trip to Amsterdam where they were able to meet with leading designers and explore that city’s numerous innovative public spaces, including rooftop gardens, parks, playgrounds, and other city greening projects.   

Vision2027 is PHS’s planning effort in anticipation of its 200th anniversary in 2027. The plan, which will reimagine PHS’s programs to better meet the needs of constituents, is funded with major support from the William Penn Foundation. 

Summer of Engagement - From left to right: PHS President Matt Rader and WURD hosts Keaton Nichols and Charles Ellison.

Brewerytown Garden

Chicago’s Neighbor Space