Our Hood is not for $ale!

Councilmen and Councilwomen, State Reps, Community Members, anyone invested in the C.H.G.

The Society's Roses Community Healing Garde (THE CHG), is a central and one of the most important "jawns"  of South Philly, making it a nucleus in the community,  forming the basis for different types of community activity and growth. Like a nucleus, the CHG is positively charged and is one of the best spaces in South Philadelphia to help fight: food insecurity, crime, gentrification, gun awareness, drug addiction/abuse, and so much more.

Petition by

To: Councilmen and Councilwomen, State Reps, Community Members, anyone invested in the C.H.G.
From: [Your Name]

The Society's Roses Community Healing Garden on the corner of 31st and Wharton Streets was formed after tragedy struck the block on July 15, 2020. On that day, neighbors found, what police describe as, a woman’s body in a plastic bin in the vacant lot at that corner. Not only did the neighborhood take that as disrespect to another human being, but we took it as disrespect to our community. So the neighbors decided to fight back.

The vacant lot had been maintained by local resident Mr. Shan for more than two decades. Boogie Rose, a neighbor and community leader, saw potential in it. She acted immediately, securing donations to turn the lot into a community garden. Just three days later, neighbors came together to reclaim the vacant lot. They started by cleaning up trash, cutting grass and weeds, and planting flowers and trees.
The community has maintained the garden as a space for healing and support. Organizations like Philly Thrive regularly work to maintain and expand the garden. Mr. Shan planted the first trees in this and other neighboring lots, many years ago, and recently offered his time by building fences for the garden. Every Saturday, Society’s Roses, which is made up of Boogie and her mom, Momma Rose,and other family members, the Philly Liberation Center, New Voices of Reproductive Justice, and other organizations set up tables for free food distribution at the garden. The slogan “Boxes, not Bullets!” rings through the street: Boogie’s reminder to everyone to spread love and support for each other and to fight to end community violence. The Community Healing Garden is open for anyone to spend time with their neighbors and enjoy the greenery. What started as a way to persevere through trauma has become a beacon of love and support for the Grays Ferry community. Death has turned into life at the CHG.

Now, the Community Healing Garden faces a crisis. On July 3rd, the owner of the lot that the CHG occupies notified Boogie and PLC volunteers that he plans to build an apartment on the lot. The threat of displacement of community tended land is unacceptable. The owner has tentatively agreed to go through a land swap, where an alternative plot of land is transferred to him for development while the CHG is transferred to its rightful owners, the Grays Ferry community.

A tentative agreement is not enough. We need assurance that the owner will wait to properly transfer the land and that CHG has legal protection. After decades of tending to the lot and using the garden to provide food and healing to the neighborhood, everything is at risk. We need our city officials to act now!

The power of the people in our Grays Ferry community is stronger than any developer who wants to take away our garden. The CHG is not just a garden but a center for the community. The garden’s impact has helped to decrease violence and food insecurity in the neighborhood. So to City Council and to any developer trying to gentrify Grays Ferry we say: OUR HOOD IS NOT FOR $ALE!

Sign this petition to tell council members Kenyatta Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Kendra Brooks, and Jamie
Gauthier and our State Rep Jordan Harris to:

1. Stand with the neighborhood to protect the CHG through a land swap with the owner.

2. Create legislation to protect all gardens which transform empty lots into places of healing from development

3. Side with people over profits!