Occupy Vacant Lots

What is Occupy Vacant Lots?

Originally conceived as Philly Food Forests, manifested as Mercy Emily Edible Park, the Occupy movement of October-November 2011 generated enough passion amongst residents of Philadelphia (and surrounding counties) to create Occupy Vacant Lots.   We envision a future Philadelphia where every vacant lot is a free food-producing space, community orchard/ food forest, community park space, beautiful flower garden, or some variation thereof.  Access to fresh, free food will take us to the next step of self-sufficiency & break us from the cycle of dependency we have on the government & fossil fuel-guzzling corporate food system.

We want to act hand-in-hand with pre-existing community organizations, resident activists, children, religious & educational institutions, & every individual in this city tirelessly working towards these same goals. If we combine minds, hearts, & resources we won’t have to wait around anymore for someone else to make the change.

Want to take Occupy Vacant Lots to your own neighborhood? Download [this flyer] as you reach out to people in your own neighborhood. Also [available in Spanish]. Write us at occupyvacantlots @ gmail.com or on Facebook: Occupy Vacant Lots. And be sure to watch this video, taken at our first work party – Occupy 2.0: Occupy Vacant Lots

Since Dec 5, 2011, we’ve had several work parties. A map with these sites and other sites we’re setting our sight on can be found on this public Google map Occupy Vacant Lots.  If you’re in Philadelphia, and have a vacant lot within walking distance that you’d like to garden on, please, write us or add to this map.

– Public Property Listings | phila.gov/publicproperty/listings
– City-owned Properties, as a list | phila.gov/pdfs/propertyinventory.pdf
– City-owned properties, as a map | Google map City-owned Vacant Lots


  • Compost – Fairmount Park Recycling Center offers finished leaf compost to residents.  Go with a car full of buckets and load up!
  • Seeds – Landreth Seeds is local & has heirloom seeds, Seeds of Change comes recommended, as is Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in Virginia with much the same climate as us.
  • Skids & crates – Free assorted size and condition wood skids and wood crates available on regular basis at Fitness Exchange, 1004 Ridge Pike, Conshohocken, PA 19428. Next to Ridge Lumber.  If interested please check in at store when you arrive and if you pick through what’s there leave the piles neat and stacked.
  • Soil testing – UMass Soil Testing Lab comes recommended by area farmers
  • Tools – City of Philadelphia’s Community Partnership Program loans tools & supplies for neighborhood cleanup.
  • Trees – for spring 2012 planting, see inventory from Center for Regenerative Ecology
  • Woodchips – good for garden paths from any local landscaper such as Bartletts Tree Service | John | 610.331.1552





2 Responses to Occupy Vacant Lots

  1. Pingback: Green Jobs Philly NEWS #35 and CRIME! | Green Jobs Philly News

  2. Hi! My name is Patty and I have designed and built gardens in Philadelphia for fourteen years. My deepest wish is to be a part of transforming the vacant lots in Philadelphia, starting with the poorest, most neglected and most crime ridden and moving out from there! You can imagine the delight I saw in finding you and your vision and your connections! Fantastic.

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