Multiple Gardens for Multiple Uses
The development of the Corinthian Avenue side of the park began in Spring 2012 with the planting of 17 fruit and nut trees.
The park expansion, called Corinthian Gardens, was developed in phases, with the initial parts open in spring 2014.
Corinthian Gardens features multiple gardens for multiple uses:
- Edible Forest Gardens, including bushes and trees with berries, fruits and nuts for the taking.
- Natural Garden Play Area for kids up to age five.
- Small garden recreation areas for the simple pleasure of quiet relaxation.
- Demonstration Garden.
- Garden Walk, suitable for all, including on-leash dogs.
- Personal garden plots for neighbors.
You can see the design for Corinthian Gardens here (PDF).
Corinthian Gardens is another step in the development of Eastern State Penitentiary Park, conceived by neighbors and Bache Martin School parents who united in 1995 to clean up and improve the derelict exterior grounds of the historic prison. Along the Brown Street side, we created an expansive lawn and a playground from what had been an unsightly parcel of weeds, broken asphalt, debris, and an abandoned, deteriorated outbuilding of the prison.
The plan for Corinthian Gardens was developed after listening to FESPP supporters at community meetings over the past three years. Our neighbors along Corinthian Avenue had the opportunity to review our plans, and they heartily approve. (Their consent was essential to overcome the requirements for reopening this side of the park.) Our plans also have been endorsed by Council President Darrell L. Clarke. We’re working with various city departments and agencies, including the Department of Public Property, to obtain necessary approvals. We’re also working closely with Eastern State Penitentiary to assure our gardens complement the historic site, and with the Fairmount Community Development Corporation, which authorized a $10,000 grant (matched by FESPP) to help kick-start the project.
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