This year, the staff chose Philadelphia’s Urban Tree Connection for its service project, offering their green thumbs in UTC’s neighborhood market gardens.
HSXer’s worked with UTC’s staff at the organization’s Neighborhood Food Farm at 53rd and Wyalusing Streets, in West Philadelphia. They tended rows, planted vegetable starts, set stakes, beautified with annuals, and prepped greens for sale at the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market. The staff learned about new types of vegetables and farm-to-market techniques.
At the conclusion of the work day, Marty Lupinetti, executive director of HealthShare Exchange (HSX), presented the urban farms organization with a contribution on behalf of HealthShare Exchange and its counsel Cooper Levenson Attorneys at Law. UTC staff expressed heartfelt appreciation and encouraged HSX to consider further volunteer hours as a group or individually.
The Urban Tree Connection (UTC) assists historically marginalized urban communities to revitalize their neighborhoods by transforming abandoned open spaces into safe and functional places that inspire and promote positive human interaction. Founded in 1989 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1997, UTC works with residents of West Philadelphia's Haddington neighborhood to develop community-driven greening and gardening projects on vacant land. Through land revitalization, UTC helps residents become strong leaders, foster deep community cohesion, and ultimately, create livable communities.