Community development, environmental restoration, and educational reform must go hand in hand.
We seek partnerships among advocates for each in order to combine forces and resources. We believe that youth have a crucial role to play in this process. This conviction comes from three decades of work in low-income communities on projects that simultaneously address issues of poverty, race, deteriorated neighborhoods, polluted water, and troubled schools.
West Philadelphia Landscape Project
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Aspen Farms Vegetable Garden
As part of the 1997 SMS-Penn Summer Program, middle school students from Sulzberger designed a new vegetable garden for Aspen Farms Community Garden, which they constructed with the help of volunteers from Aspen Farms. Provided below is a report by SMS student Tyshara Owen, documenting the project's design and construction.

Vegetable Garden and Compost Bin

A report by Sulzberger Middle School student, Tyshara Owen, SMS '97



1. We chose a spot to plant the vegetables.
2. We gathered our supllies (shovels, hoes, and rakes).
3. Holes were dug 60 cm. deep and 30 cm. apart.
4. Water was poured into each hole.
5. Plants were carefully placed in each hole.
6. Dirt was placed around each plant.



1. We chose beautiful colors and painted the fence.
2. We measured the perimeter of the compost mound (2 square meters).
3. Holes for the fence posts were dug 60 cm. deep and 2 meters apart.
4. Each pole was measured and cut to a length of 2 meters.
5. We mixed the cement.
6. We placed rocks in the bottom of each hole.
7. Next, the cement was poured into each of the holes to stabilize the poles.
8. The four poles were placed in their respective holes.
9. We placed soil over the cement in each hole.
10. Our fence was placed around the compost bin and attached to the fence posts.
11. Soil, vegetation, and scraps are placed in a mound in the center of the compost bin.
12. Nature takes it's course.