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City of Philadelphia

Native Garden Program

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Plants Make Positive Places (P3) Native Garden Program provides volunteers and PPR staff with native plant material, resources, and training to grow a low-maintenance garden at their park or recreation center.

The P3 program:

  • connects residents to healthy green landscapes
  • expands the ecological function of the Philadelphia park and recreation system
  • increases Philadelphia’s native seed reservoir 
  • strengthens stewardship initiatives in PPR landscapes

The plants selected provide food sources for insects and habitat for wildlife, while also benefiting our worldwide food system by way of pollination.

In short, P3 gardens use plants to make positive places for the Philadelphia community and the urban ecosystem.

Grown in Philly

The native plants used for this program are grown by PPR’s Greenland Nursery in West Fairmount Park. After these plants are nurtured at Greenland Nursery for one or two seasons, participants plant them in their new park or rec center home. Through seasonal training and assistance from PPR horticultural staff, staff and volunteers care for these native plants every season. Maintenance includes watering, weeding, and mulching.

Get Involved

Interested in the P3 Native Garden program? P3 Native Garden Program applications are accepted every July through August.

Application details and criteria:

  • Participants are required to submit a robust application that showcases their interest and passion to integrate native plants in their parks or recreation centers.
  • All P3 native gardens must be on PPR property (parks, recreation centers, or playgrounds).
  • PPR staff are welcome to apply for their site; Friends groups are also encouraged to apply, with the approval of PPR staff on-site.
  • Applicants are accepted based off of sites’ current conditions, maintenance capacity, and water access.

We are currently going strong with 19 active sites. View a list of active P3 sites to visit or become involved with a native garden near you. To get growing with PPR or for more information about the program, please email