North Philly Peace Park Earthship Schoolhouse & Education Series

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish (100 words):
North Philly Peace Park is a fence-free urban community farm and ecology campus serving the seniors, youth, and families of North Philadelphia. We’re requesting funds for our Community Earthship Schoolhouse and Education Series. Our schoolhouse is in the process of being built using Earthship Biotecture, which makes use of materials and building techniques accessible to the common person and resulting in a sustainable structure. As soon as it’s done, we’ll teach workshops on locally relevant topics like gardening, food canning and preservation, personal health, and youth development to help enhance the wellness and vitality of the North Philly residents.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget (50 words):
Funds will be used to secure remaining supplies for the construction of the Earthship (wood, concrete, wet saw, tiles, etc.) and to cover expenses of our six-week community education program. We’ll provide folks with a healthy snack and the wisdom and tools they need to take our teachings home.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal) (100 words):
The creation of the Peace Park is a collaborative effort of North Philly community members, local activists, and the Young Legends, a group of local youth under 14 years old. We bring together the legacies of our ancestors and the wisdom of our community to achieve self-determination. We are educators, arborists, gardeners, activists, artists, and community residents who are dedicated to taking back power and making change for ourselves.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community? (100 words):
North Philly Peace Park is a guerrilla project, a farm and schoolhouse built on two abandoned lots across from a low-income high-rise apartment complex. Amid the closing of schools, razing of houses, and continued gentrification of North Philly, the Peace Park represents the community's dedication to its own health and uplift. Local residents, including many youth, come to the Peace Park to learn about the origins of food, nutrition, teamwork, and community investment. Families and elderly folks in the neighborhood are experiencing the basic human right of having access to healthy, fresh produce in their own backyards.