Here is an excellent resource for Philly’s guerrilla gardeners.
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia’s new Garden Justice Legal Initiative, a program headed up by Amy Laura Cahn, provides pro bono legal services as well as research and support to protect community gardens in Philadelphia.
Hayden Mitman of The Northeast Times Star has recently interviewed Amy, who is a longtime community organizer and lawyer.
“She said advocacy is needed to protect these urban [community] resources because gardens allow neighbors to care for their community, especially in places where speculators or absentee landlords leave lots vacant for years. Such spaces can quickly become frequently used for prostitution or drug use. In Kensington, Cahn said, she’s working with a resident who has tended a community garden for 32 years. The community has never gained permission to use the land from the private owner… She’s working to help provide security for gardeners in these situations. But security for the community gardener can be tricky, she said, because every garden has various zoning, ownership, employment and liability issues. But, in a city with more than 40,000 vacant lots, Cahn said, community gardens create such value for local residents that they need to be saved. Just how that gets done is complicated, too.”