Willistown Community Garden
A Community Effort
Located in Sugartown Preserve, the Willistown Community Garden is a volunteer community garden where Willistown and area residents share fellowship over gardening, and gather to grow organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The gardeners donate a portion of their harvest to local Chester County Food Bank food cupboards.
As a part of the Chester County Food Bank Raised Bed Program that provides fresh food to over 70,000 hungry Chester County residents, the Garden houses two raised beds that are managed by local Daisy or Girl Scout Troops who grow, harvest, and deliver to local food cupboards.
How the Garden Grew
The Garden was established as a community educational opportunity through a partnership between Greener Partners and Willistown Township Parks & Recreation. The shared start up costs included the drilling of a well and the construction of a deer fence based on one at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. The fence is installed on an angle facing out, which confuses the deer as they have weak depth perception. The theory is that because a deer can't "read" the fence, it won't jump in. It has worked here!
The Sugartown Exploration Garden hosted the very popular Growing Greener Summer Camps through a collaboration of Greener Partners, Willistown Parks & Recreation, and an area resident volunteer committee.
As Greener Parnters grew in new directions, Willistown Parks & Recreation and the stellar volunteer committee created the Wonderful World Summer Camps, curriculum and all.
The Garden thrived with engaged and enthusiastic campers. The Greener Partner's farmhouse headquarters, located across the street from the Garden, was no longer available to the camps, and St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church generously shared their indoor recreation space with the camp. Although the campers had a ball, the hike from there to the garden and the logistics of getting program equipment and campers back and forth between the site and the church proved overly challenging for the talented programmers.
Ending on a high note, the camps were retired and the Willistown Community Garden began to grow.