Community Engagement

“This is Germantown Heart & Soul” Winter Community Gatherings, beginning November 19th


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“This is Germantown Heart & Soul” Winter Community Gatherings

Ask Residents to Guide Neighborhood Development in Northwest Philadelphia
Through Creative Participatory Planning Process, beginning November 19th

_final_gtownheartsoul-04Germantown, Philadelphia, PA – This is Germantown Heart & Soul, a project of Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) and Just Act, will host a series of community gatherings throughout Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood this winter beginning on November 19, 2016. The Germantown community is invited to participate in a unique interactive group storytelling experience. Unlike traditional civic meetings and town halls, the events – called Story Circles – use theater as a planning tool and center on capturing the wishes, needs, and ideas of residents as they share personal stories of meaningful experiences in Germantown and what they view as essential for growth of the neighborhood’s vibrant but struggling shopping district. A calendar of events is included below, with additional dates to be announced.

Story Circles will be facilitated by a multigenerational “Storytelling Engagement Team” comprised of Germantown residents, with support from the Just Act Ensemble. The collected stories will guide Germantown United CDC’s future work and plans for successful, community-responsive business corridor revitalization and contribute to efforts underway to make the central business district a people-centered main street destination for the Germantown community and visitors from outside the immediate neighborhood.

“This is Germantown Heart & Soul aims to create a shared sense of belonging that ultimately improves local decision-making and strengthens social, cultural, and economic vibrancy,” said Emaleigh Doley, Commercial Corridor Manager at Germantown United CDC. “Germantown is one of the city’s largest neighborhoods, with a population of 44,000. It’s important to recognize that the immediate needs of residents living in the Chew and Belfield area of East Germantown might differ from those in West Germantown’s Penn-Knox section, for example. That doesn’t mean the Eastside and the Westside have nothing in common. We also all share the business district.”

A core goal of the project is to connect both the formal and informal networks contributing to community improvement efforts and operating at the micro level – from block captains to Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) and neighborhood civics with limited boundaries.

Scenes from the This is Heart & Soul pop-up story booth at the Friends of Vernon Park Spring Bazaar, October 8, 2016; Park(ing) Day Philadelphia installation, September 16, 2016; and Maple Village Story Gathering, October 18, 2016.

“These story sharing events build upon an interest and commitment in helping communities adapt and implement positive changes based upon the vision and experiences of all community members and create new opportunities for residents and community stakeholders to meet in-person,” said Lisa Jo Epstein, Executive Director of Just Act.

This is Germantown Heart & Soul made its public debut in the spring of 2016 through a series of successful pop-up story booths held along the business district at a variety of spaces, from the bustling intersection of Germantown and Chelten Avenues to the annual Juneteenth Celebration, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, organized by the Johnson House Historic Site. The Story Engagement Team was formed in the summer and fall of 2016 and has been meeting regularly to train for and plan the upcoming Story Circles events. The Germantown Life Enrichment Center, a community-oriented recreational and educational facility in the heart of Germantown at 5722 Greene Street, generously donated meeting space for the team and is one of several This is Germantown Heart & Soul sponsoring organizations.

Story Engagement Team training sessions. 

With the addition of the more intimate Story Circles series, This is Germantown Heart & Soul will:

  • Build, diversify, and strengthen resident engagement with and collective participation in civic process to increase impact and positively affect neighborhood-wide planning decisions;
  • Strengthen resident readiness for, and engagement in the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s “Philadelphia2035” District Planning process for the Upper Northwest, slated for 2017-2018;
  • Expand who participates in public processes related to real estate development and neighborhood revitalization by engaging isolated and diverse resident groups;
  • Cultivate and/or improve relationships, social community cohesion and stewardship of place.

The collected data will also become the highlight of “Community Cataloguing Data Jams” – events in January 2017 where participants will listen to transcripts of stories from their neighbors to collectively identify and catalogue shared visions for what the community values.


The current calendar of events is included below. Additional dates will be added. All Germantown residents and community stakeholders are invited. Events are open to the public. Food and refreshments will be provided, along with live music and good cheer. Attend one or attend them all. For an up-to-date program calendar visit Contact Germantown United CDC at 215-856-4303 or

Saturday, November 19 from 4 – 6 p.m.
Location: Providence Baptist Church, 87 E. Haines Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Sponsoring Community Organization: Providence Baptist Church

Monday, December 5 from 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: Awbury Arboreteum, 1 Awbury Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19138
Sponsoring Community Organization: Awbury Arboretum Neighbors, Chew and Belfield Neighbors Club, and Awbury Arboreteum

Tuesday, December 13 from 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: Germantown Mennonite Church, 21 W Washington Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Sponsoring Community Organization: Pastorius Community Garden, Men Who Care of Germantown, Germantown Mennonite Church, and Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust

About Germantown United Community Development Corporation

Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) is a community-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of the business district in the Germantown neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development. Vibrant commercial corridors or “Main Streets” contribute to strong neighborhoods. They provide a place to work, shop, and meet your neighbors. Through our Targeted Corridor Management Program contract with the city’s Commerce Department, Germantown United CDC provides assistance to businesses, brings planning and resources to the corridor, oversees activities to make the corridor clean and safe, and works to attract new businesses to the area. We are actively working to bolster and reinforce the vibrancy of the business district to meet the needs of the surrounding community and attract visitors from outside the immediate neighborhood. Germantown United CDC is also exploring opportunities to strengthen and diversify the mix of commercial uses in the business district, the potential to reuse vacant or underutilized properties, business and job attraction strategies, and available sources of funding to support recommended revitalization strategies.

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About Just Act

Just Act is a distinctive hybrid of artistic and community engagement committed to social justice. Our Ensemble of artist-educators facilitate unique theatre-based programs with non-actors that activate and nurture meaningful dialogue, reflection, healing and action around complex, often divisive social issues. Just Act is committed to building and fortifying inclusive, restorative civic engagement through partnerships across sectors and differences. Informed by Theatre of the Oppressed and other art and activist strategies, our work is a creative catalyst for community activism and personal change. In all we undertake, Just Act renews and deepens the capacity of social change seekers and makers to stand up for justice on personal, inter-group and systemic levels with compassion and renewed courage. In these times of anxiety, bustle and disconnection, Just Act offers refreshing, participatory “refuel zones” to creatively pause and attend to tension and fractured relations – particularly around race, culture, and socio-economic disparities – to reweave connections and grow empathy, understanding and action plans.

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Media Contact:
Emaleigh Doley
Commercial Corridor Manager, Germantown United CDC
Office: 215-856-4303
Mobile: 610-331-3758

Lisa Jo Epstein
Executive Director, Just Act
Mobile: 215-290-9784 

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Neighbors rally to save urban farm in Germantown – learn how you can help

garden_2011_may_29_043-2The Germantown community has an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a 0.65-acre parcel of land at 5407 Wissahickon Avenue, formerly the site of the Old Tennis Court Farm, and reactivate this once-thriving community garden.

With the goal of raising the full purchase price for the land and related costs by late October 2016, the gardeners of the Old Tennis Court Farm and the Friends of Cloverly Park are working with Natural Lands Trust to purchase the property, protect it in perpetuity through a conservation easement, and return it to productive community green space.

The Old Tennis Court Farm Protection Project is a partnership of the Old Tennis Court Farm gardeners and the Friends of Cloverly Park. Germantown United CDC is serving as fiscal sponsor.

Make a tax-deductible donation toward the purchase of the Old Tennis Court Farmsite online via GUCDC’s website or by mail with a downloadable donation form.

Visit for fundraising updates and additional information about the project.


Project Background

In 2009, members of the Germantown Monthly Meeting and other community members founded a community garden on the site of the former tennis courts of Germantown Friends School in the 5400 block of Wissahickon Avenue, adjacent to Cloverly Park. In 2015 the garden was closed so that GFS could sell the property.

The Old Tennis Court Farm made a significant contribution to its surrounding community:

  • It was a place for Germantown neighbors of all ages, races, genders, and financial status to work and learn together as they grew fresh organic fruits and vegetables for their own tables and those of family, friends, neighbors, and local food security programs.
  • Of its 47 plots, eight were maintained as community service plots specifically for donation to local food security programs, and several individual gardeners also contributed produce to the community. Over six years, thousands of pounds of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables were donated to programs such as those of Whosoever Gospel Mission, SHARE, and others.

With a goal of acquiring and preserving the property at 5407 Wissahickon Avenue and returning it to productive community greenspace, the Old Tennis Court Farm Protection Project is a collective effort of the Old Tennis Court Farm gardeners, the Friends of Cloverly Park, and Natural Lands Trust. Neighborhood Gardens Trust is providing technical assistance and Germantown United CDC is serving as fiscal sponsor.

Purchase of the 0.65-acre site by Natural Lands Trust would preserve the site in perpetuity and allow for eventual transfer to an entity such as the City of Philadelphia (as part of Cloverly Park) or Neighborhood Gardens Trust.

Once returned to operation, the Old Tennis Court Farm would:

  • Provide a sunny area to grow nutritious organic fruit and vegetables for neighbors without adequate garden space;
  • Offer mentoring for those with little or no gardening experience;
  • Provide healthy food to neighbors in need and local food security programs;
  • Invite local schools and organizations to schedule service days or cultivate group plots;
  • Serve as forum for neighbors who otherwise might not meet and share interests;
  • Showcase off-grid solar power to motivate energy sustainability by local residents, schools, and other neighborhood gardens; and
  • Absorb stormwater and prevent additional run-off into the Wissahickon watershed.

To date, the effort has received widespread encouragement and support, including that of members of Philadelphia’s City Council, the Senate and House of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Secretary of Agriculture of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, the City Commissioner and City Planning Commission, Germantown United CDC, multiple community organizations, and neighborhood associations.

Germantown Second Saturday Festival is Saturday, May 14, 2016, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.



Historic Germantown and Germantown United CDC present
Germantown Second Saturday Festival, Saturday, May 14
Eat. Shop. Play. Learn. Experience Germantown!

WHAT: Germantown Second Saturday Festival, presented by Historic Germantown and Germantown United Community Development Corporation. Featuring: A pop-up dance performance by BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet; Art & Craft Marketplace; Live Music; Food Trucks; Historic Re-enactors; Family Friendly Programs; Free Bus Tours to Historic Germantown Sites; and more.

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Market Square Park (5501 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19144); Germantown Avenue between School House Lane and Coulter Street

Germantown, Philadelphia, PA – The Germantown Second Saturday Festival will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. The festival will take place along a one-block stretch of Germantown Avenue, between School House Lane and Coulter Street, and surround Market Square Park (5501 Germantown Avenue). Rain or shine.

The community festival, presented by Historic Germantown and Germantown United Community Development Corporation, invites the public to experience Germantown. The festival will celebrate the kick-off the Second Saturday series–when all 16 Historic Germantown sites are open monthly–and showcase the many thriving cultural, civic and business attractions and activities that make Germantown an exciting place to live and visit.

BalletX LogoThroughout the day, musicians, poets, and creative performing artists will take to the main stage on Germantown Avenue. BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, will present a 45-minute pop-up dance performance from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., thanks to generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. BalletX unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.

Musical talent includes popular local artists: Amari Rebel, Bethleham and Sad Patrick, Clef Club Youth Jazz Ensemble, Jim Dragoni, and many others. Germantown resident Yolanda Wisher, the City of Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, will host the festivities.

Visitors will learn about Historic Germantown’s 16 extraordinary historic houses, destinations, and museums at the festival, including Awbury Arboretum, Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, Grumblethrope, and Wyck. The adventurous can board free bus tours to Historic Germantown sites, located throughout Germantown, departing from the Festival’s main area (register for bus tours in advance at Throughout the day, historic reenactors will share neighborhood history.

Pictured: Market Square Park

Over 30 vendors will participate in the Art & Craft Marketplace, coordinated by Germantown United CDC. Local Germantown eateries and visiting food trucks including The Lunchbox, a specialty peanut butter and jelly food cart, will be on-site. Attendees can also get to know many of Germantown’s civic and community organizations, including Episcopal Youth Mission, Friends of Vernon Park, Germantown Artists Roundtable, and Germantown Life Enrichment Center. Alongside Germantown United CDC, city planners from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission will share development plans for key Germantown sites.

The Germantown Second Saturday Festival is a new venture, and combines Germantown United CDC’s Re-imagining Maplewood Mall Festival and Historic Germantown’s Second Saturday Season Opener. In an effort to bring renewed attention and interest to a little-used neighborhood park and public space and more broadly promote the Second Saturday series, Germantown United CDC relocated their annual spring festival to Market Square Park and joined forces with Historic Germantown.

Schedule of Live Music & Performances

Performance start times are approximate.

12:00 p.m. Festival Start Time
12:00 p.m. Welcome and Kick-off from Yolanda Wisher, City of Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate
12:10 p.m. Settlement Music School Adult Jazz Band
12:30 p.m. Wissahickon Dance Academy (modern and jazz)
1:00 p.m. BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet
1:45 p.m. Irma Gartner as “Dinah” (historical reenactor)
2:00 p.m. Bethlehem and Sad Patrick (singer/guitarist)
2:12 p.m. Adam Monoco (singer/mandolin)
2:25 p.m. Clef Club Youth Jazz Ensemble
2:43 p.m. Lillian Hightower (vocalist)
2:55 p.m. Yolanda Wisher and the Culture Keepers (poetry)
3:05 p.m. Wissahickon Dance Academy (tap and hiphop)
3:15 p.m. Jim Dragoni (musician)
3:30 p.m. Karen Smith (drummer)
3:50 p.m. Dominique London (poetry/vocalist)
4:05 p.m. Amari Rebel (singer/drummer – band)
4:20 p.m. Ashley Phillips (vocalist)
4:40 p.m. prod (drummers/band)
4:55 p.m. Yolanda Wisher (poet)
5:00 p.m. Festival End Time


Public Transit & Parking

The festival is accessible by SEPTA. Bus Routes: 23 Bus, XH Bus; Chestnut Hill East Regional Rail: Germantown Station (150 E Chelten Ave). Visit for schedules.

Street parking is available beyond the festival grounds. The 5400 block of Germantown Ave and the unit block of E Church Ln will be closed to all traffic from 7 a.m.  – 7 p.m. for the Festival.

Free off-street parking is available thanks to our generous community partners. Parking lots are located at:

Citizens Bank Lot
5500 Germantown Ave (enter lot from W Schoolhouse Ln)

Wells Fargo Lot
5500 Germantown Ave (enter lot from W Schoolhouse Ln)

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church & Germantown Friends School Lot
SE Corner of 5300 block of Germantown Ave & E Coulter St (enter lot from Germantown Ave or E Coulter St)


Historic Germantown
Historic Germantown is a partnership organization serving historic sites in Philadelphia’s Old German Township that works collaboratively to preserve its extraordinary historic assets, increase access, interpret them to the public and raise their visibility. Learn more at

Germantown United CDC
The mission of Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of the business corridors in the Germantown neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development. Learn more at

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace. Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, and now under the direction of Cox as Artistic & Executive Director, BalletX challenges the boundaries of classical ballet by encouraging formal experimentation while preserving rigorous technique. The company is committed to producing new works of the highest quality and integrity that bring the combined visions of choreographers and dancers to life and cultivate in audiences a collective appetite for bold, new dance.

With generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in its 10th Anniversary 2015-16 Season BalletX presents a series of 10 free pop-up performances around the Philadelphia community. Visit to find out where the company will be next!

Press Contacts

Emaleigh Doley
Commercial Corridor Manager
Germantown United CDC
610-331-3758 (mobile)

Trapeta Mayson
Executive Director
Historic Germantown
215-844-1683, Ext. 101

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Shape Chelten Ave: Rapid Planning Project with The American Planning Association, May 16-20

apa-logoGermantown United CDC applied for and received the American Planning Association’s Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) to conduct a brief and focused planning effort on a small area of Germantown. Since GUCDC’s focus is on commercial corridors, the portion of West Chelten Avenue between Morris Street and Greene Street was selected as the study area.

The CPAT consists of volunteer urban planners and professionals from all over the country who come into an area to work for one week’s time, as part of a rapid planning process. Our project will take place during the week of May 16-20, 2016 and include two public events on May 16 and May 19. You’re invited to participate! Residents, business owners, and other stakeholders will be asked to contribute their local knowledge and ideas towards building a collective vision of this commercial corridor.

GUCDC_Corridor_0057_Monique_Brand copy


1. Monday, May 16th at 6:30PM
Interactive planning/design workshop to gather community input | Share on Facebook

2. Thursday, May 19th at 6:30PM
Presentation of the results and discussion | Share on Facebook

Both public meetings will be held at the Pegasus Room at The Flying Horse Center, located at 5534 Pulaski Ave (Chelten and Pulaski). During the week, the Community Planning Assistance Team will be using the Imperfect Gallery at 5601 Greene St as their central workspace and headquarters (stop in and say hello). To RSVP to either event, email or call 215-856-4303.


Project Background

Since 2014, Germantown United CDC (GUCDC) has been working with several other groups in Germantown to seek planning resources for Germantown. (Organizational partners include: Historic Germantown, Germantown Community Connection, G’town Restoration CDC, the City Planning Commission.) In that spirit, GUCDC applied for and received the American Planning Association’s Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) to conduct a brief and focused planning effort on a small portion of Germantown.

West Chelten Avenue between Morris Street and Greene Street was selected as the study area. This stretch includes one of Germantown’s busiest SEPTA train stations and bus stops, one of the most dangerous intersections in Philadelphia for pedestrians/vehicular accidents (Wayne Ave/Chelten Ave), along with a large swath of vacant properties with lots of potential (former CareerLink building; former House of Jin property; continued vacancies at Chelten Plaza; etc.) along with many other key spaces (Mastery Picket Charter School, the Burgess Center, the former-Pathmark building, and more).

We hope that the results of this project, which will be shared and available to the public, will give all of us who are dedicated to bringing jobs and economic improvement to Germantown some new tools to achieve that end. There is value in keeping the momentum going, and the focus on a critical part of Chelten Avenue.

About the American Planning Association

The American Planning Association provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing our members with the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

Through the Community Planning Assistance Team program, the APA organizes volunteer planning teams tailored specifically to a community’s needs. Members offer their time and expertise to people and places where additional resources are needed. This program is supported through donations.


  • By pairing a multidisciplinary team of expert planning professionals from around the country with community members, key stakeholders, and relevant decision makers, the place-based initiative seeks to foster community education, engagement, and empowerment.
  • Each team is selected for the specific expertise needed on the project to offer pro bono assistance in developing a framework or vision plan that promotes a sustainable, livable, economically vibrant, and healthy community.
  • Communities facing a range of challenges including, but not limited to, social equity and affordability, economic development, sustainability, consensus building, and urban design are well-suited for assistance through the program.
  • Projects focus on localities with a demonstrated need for assistance, where planning resources and expertise may not otherwise be available.
  • CPAT projects are collaborative efforts with shared responsibilities. CPATs and communities work together throughout the process.
  • APA contributes the time of its staff and volunteer experts while the recipient communities cover travel costs.

Meet Germantown’s Community Planning Assistance Team and read more about this project on the American Planning Association website.

Office of Sustainability Greenworks Germantown Discussion, Wednesday, May 4

GWlogo2015Please join the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability and Germantown United CDC on May 4th 6:30 p.m. at the Flying Horse Center at 5534 Pulaski Ave for a discussion about Greenworks and how Philadelphia’s sustainability plans can help improve your community quality of life.
Over the past eight years, Philadelphia’s Greenworks plan has set a path for Philadelphia to become a more sustainable, vibrant and healthy city to live work and play. As the plan was designed to expire in 2015, the Office of Sustainability is now beginning the process of updating the plan to set goals for the next eight years and beyond.
Join us to share your thoughts on how Greenworks can better meet the needs of your community, what issues are most pressing to you, and what programs or initiatives you’d like to see in the coming years.
Please RSVP and share this invitation with your members and other interested neighbors. If you are unable to attend you can also share your thoughts through this online survey, or join us for a Twitter chat on April 22nd from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Vending Opportunities at the Germantown Second Saturday Festival, Saturday, May 14

GUCDC-HG-Second-Saturday-Festival-Flyer(sm)Germantown United CDC (GUCDC) is seeking art and craft vendors to participate in the Art & Craft Marketplace at the Germantown Second Saturday Festival, presented by GUCDC and Historic Germantown.

The Festival will be held at Market Square Park, located at 5501 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144 on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine.

We have two available vendor spaces:
  • $30 for (1) 6 foot x 6 foot space
    includes (1) 6ft table provided as part of vendor price
  • $55 for (1) 12 foot x 12 foot space
    includes (2) 6ft tables provided as part of vendor price

Tents (bring your own) are available for use in the 12ft x 12ft space only.

Please consider signing up to vend, sharing this information with your creative and entrepreneurial friends, and attending! 

For additional questions about vending at the Germantown Second Saturday Festival, or to submit a completed application contact

Vendor Application & Agreement 

Follow the instructions below to complete your application.
  1. Download the Vendor Application & Agreement as a PDF file or Word document 
  2. Fill out/print page 6 of the Application, or submit Part 1 online today right here (it’s quick):
  3. Submit payment (see below for online payment options; see the application for Money Order or Cash payments)
  4. Sign the Memorandum of Agreement (page 7)
  5. Return pages 6 & 7 of the Application to GUCDC by May 1, 2016
Your completed application, signed Memorandum of Agreement, and vending fee must be received by May 1st, 2016 in order to vend at this event. Advance registration and payment is required.

More detailed information about vending at the Festival is provided in the full Vendor Application & Agreement. Additional instructions on vendor load-in, setup, and breakdown will be provided after you have submitted your Application.

Make Your Payment Online:

Space Options

Anticipated Attendance:

Germantown United CDC’s Reimagining Maplewood Mall Festival in 2015 attracted 1,000 guests; because we have ramped up programming and partnered with Historic Germantown this year, we anticipate the same or more participation this year. View the Facebook event listing here. As of 4/10,  1.7K have expressed interest in the event on Facebook alone with nearly 500 already confirming attendance.

Where is Market Square Park?

Volunteer in Germantown at the Philly Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 9

Update! The 9th annual Philly Spring Cleanup has been postponed until next Saturday, April 16th citywide due to weather. If you were planning on volunteering at one of the many Germantown-based cleanup projects check with the organizer to see if it’s being rescheduled. Germantown United CDC’s project, in collaboration with the Penn Knox Neighborhood Association has been moved to April 16. Read the full notice from the Streets Department >>

psc-share-400x600The 9th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup is set for Saturday, April 16th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (rescheduled from April 9th)! This is a great way for you, your family, your friends and your neighbors to get involved and do your part to keep our City looking its best. Dedication like yours, along with the can-do attitude of thousands of volunteers all over the city, is exactly what we need to meet our goals.

In Germantown there will be a huge presence felt all over the neighborhood with over a dozen official projects registered! Can you feel it? It’s momentum. Keep up the sweep up!

Germantown United CDC has one big project planned for the big day – we’ll be partnering with the Penn Knox Neighborhood Association on a cleanup of the Lower Germantown Business District along Germantown Avenue.

See the full list of Philly Spring Cleanup projects in Germantown below and sign up to volunteer!

Lower Germantown Business District Cleanup with Germantown United CDC & Penn Knox Neighborhood Association

Cleanup Location: 5300 Germantown Avenue

Join Germantown United CDC and Penn Knox Neighborhood Association‘s cleanup of the lower Germantown business district. Volunteers will clean the grounds of the historic Trinity Lutheran Church at 5300 Germantown Avenue and the stretch of Germantown Avenue between Penn Street and Seymour Street (5300, 5200, 5100, 5000 blocks of Germantown Ave). Supplies will be available for cleanup participants! This is a family-friendly volunteer group.

Register: Online at | On Facebook at

Questions for GUCDC or Penn Knox Neighborhood Association? Contact Germantown United CDC at or 215-856-4303. Contact Penn Knox Neighborhood Assoc. at or 215-833-3483.


Volunteer for one of many other Philly Spring Cleanup project sites in Germantown! 

cleanup map

Sign up in advance or just show up to lend a hand!

1. 5200 Knox Street Block Clean Up
Location: 5200 Knox Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19144

2. Baynton Hill Clean Up
Location: Wister Train Station, Wister Station, Rufe St., E Penn St., Baynton St., Philadelphia, PA, 19144

3. 4800 Germantown Avenue Block Clean Up
4800 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19144 – Activities: clean up and bag trash and recyclables

4. Chew & Belfield Neighbors,Inc.
Location: 6211 W. Chew Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19138 – Activities: Clean empty lots, Prune And cut down trees, Paint curbs, Remove debris, Teach how to keep community clean & safe, Clean yards and alleys

5. Clean lot on Manheim and Tocoma St.
Southside Church, 5058 Wayne Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19120

6. Duval Improvement Association Neighborhoold Cleanup
Sherman & Pomona Streets (6328 Sherman), Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Activities: Cleanup various areas including under the railroad bridge at Pomona and Sherman Streets.

7. Educators and field Study Instructors Partner with Philly Spring Clean Up Volunteers at Awbury Arboretum
Location: Agricultural Village at Awbury Arboretum, Across from Septa’s Washington Lane Train Station, 901 E. washington Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 19138
Activities: Digging, cutting and pulling invasive plants

8. Germantown Ave. and Wayne Junction Clean Up
Location: Germantown Ave. and Stenton Ave., 4518 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Activities: Cleaning up from Manheim and Germantown south to Stenton Ave. and Germantown Ave. and the Wayne Junction area.

9. Hood Cemetery Clean Up
Location: The Hood Cemetery, 4901 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144, Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Activities: Street clean up down historic E Logan St, from Wakefield St to Germantown Ave, and along Germantown Ave from the corner of E Logan to New Germantown Pizza (4923 Germantown Ave).

10. Keep Lingelbach Community Clean
Location: Lingelbach Elementary School, 6340 Wayne Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Activities: Clean area surrounding Lingelbach Elementary School that is most widely traveled by our students as they walk to and from school.

11. Let’s Get These lots clean!
Location: 126 E Herman St , Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Activities: Help clean up abandon lots in Germantown! We need help removing trash and cutting down over grown grass and bushes.

12. Lower Germantown Business District Cleanup with Germantown United CDC and Penn Knox Neighborhood Association
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 5300 Germantown Avenue, Between Penn St and Queen Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 19144
Activities: sweeping and bagging up litter/trash along the sidewalk and street of the Germantown Avenue business corridor (5300, 5200, 5100, 5000 blocks); raking leaves, picking up sticks, general cleanup and maintenance of Trinity Lutheran Church grounds (5300 Germantown Avenue)

New 2016 Community Grant Program Application Deadlines, Germantown United CDC Announces 2015 “Fund for Germantown” Micro-grants


Germantown, Philadelphia, PA (March 31, 2016): In an effort to align grant funding for community improvement efforts with the warmer weather months for outdoor projects, Germantown United CDC (GUCDC) is changing the grant application dates for the Fund for Germantown, the organization’s micro-grant program supporting community-driven beautification projects in Northwest Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood. In 2016, the deadlines will be Friday, April 15, and Friday, September 30. Funding guidelines may be found on Germantown United’s website at To request an application, email or call 215-856-4303.

_FUND_Logo-01Germantown United CDC distributes small grants ranging from $100 to $1000 to local organizations, civic associations, businesses, and individuals seeking to beautify the Germantown neighborhood. The grant program is part of GUCDC’s ongoing efforts to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown’s business corridors through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development.

The focus of the Fund for Germantown is to support projects that will have an immediate physical impact on the neighborhood. The fund provides grants for physical improvements across Germantown including, but not limited to, landscaping, signage, painting, reclaiming empty lots, and waste removal.

Germantown United CDC is proud to announce all 2015 grantees

Since the Fund for Germantown launched, 19 micro-grants have been awarded, with funds supporting a wide range of projects from greening to murals, neighborhood bulletin boards, cleanups and other community-building activities.

In 2015, seven projects were funded in the July 2015 round, and two were funded for the December 31 round.

Winning project ideas from 2015 include:

  • Business owner Lynn Washington will install a ‘Little Free Library’ to the front of Books & Stuff, her bookstore located at 23 W Maplewood Mall.
  • Residents Clint Steib and Villia Lateef will lead their neighbors in a planting and beautification project on the 4500 and 4600 blocks of Greene Street aimed at traffic calming.
  • Artist and photographer Tieshka Smith will launch the Peaceful Places public signage project in Germantown’s storied Penn-Knox neighborhood, next to the Central Germantown business corridor
  • Fitler Academics Plus, a public elementary school in Germantown serving students in grades one through eight located at 140 W Seymour St (at Knox St) will paint ground murals and organized games in the school’s playground
  • West Central Germantown Neighbors civic association will enhance their community orchard and garden project at the Tulpehocken Train Station, a SEPTA Regional Rail station at 333 W Tulpehocken St (off Walnut Ln and Wayne Ave)
  • Support to sustain the ongoing streetscape beautification efforts of Men Who Care of Germantown around their headquarters at 180 East Tulpehocken St (at Morton St)
  • The Imperfect Gallery will install an interactive sidewalk mural outside of the gallery and community space at 5601 Greene St, adjacent to the Maplewood Mall pedestrian plaza and shopping corridor
  • Freedom Gardens, a project by Germantown resident Susan Guggenheim, will connect local gardeners who would like to share their crop free of charge with Germantown residents looking to improve their diets with home-grown produce; Freedom Gardens will be identified by lawn signs and online via Google Maps
  • Support to sustain Chew-Belfield Neighbors Club’s ongoing cleaning and beautification projects in East Germantown

The Fund for Germantown us supported through generous seed funding by local real estate developers Howard Treatman and Ken Weinstein. “We are excited to support these small projects that have a big impact”, says funder Ken Weinstein. “These kinds of initiatives are exactly what we had in mind when we envisioned the Fund for Germantown”, said Howard Treatman. “It’s been great to see how Germantown United has been able to empower the community and leverage grassroots efforts.”

About Germantown United CDC

Germantown United Community Development Corporation is a 501(c)3 organization that was created to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown’s business corridors through a sustainable, creative, and community-driven approach to economic development. Founded in 2011, Germantown United CDC’s focus is to work with residents, businesses and community organizations to create an inspirational vision of Germantown’s business corridors and surrounding neighborhoods, create innovative case studies and sustainable business models to attract green-oriented developers, and recruit forward-thinking investors committed to fostering sustainable economic growth and development for all Germantown residents. Learn more at

Germantown United CDC
Andy Trackman,
Emaleigh Doley,
Office: 215.856.4303 


Germantown United CDC is a finalist in the Knight Cities Challenge!

knight-cities-challenge-logoGermantown United CDC is 1 of 158 finalists in The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Cities Challenge!

Civic innovators from across the country submitted more than 4,500 ideas to this year’s challenge. Submissions came from many nonprofit and government organizations, as well as design experts, urban planning organizations and individuals focused on making their cities more successful.

Here’s our one sentence pitch:

Beyond the Census: Building a Positive Data Story of a Community’s Human Resources
Increasing economic opportunity by discovering new data about underserved neighborhoods that attract new businesses and investment.

Germantown neighborhood is well-represented, with three projects proposed by Germantown residents making the final round – congratulations also to Amanda Staples and Vashti DuBois! Winners will be announced in Spring 2016. Stay tuned.

Read more:

158 finalists move forward in the Knight Cities Challenge

Philly Has More Knight Cities Challenge Finalists Than Anyone Else

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