Stone Soup Saturdays: A Community Building and Beautification Project Inspired by a Folk Tale

In 2014, Germantown United Community Development Corporation (GUCDC) launched Stone Soup Saturdays, a resident-driven series of beautification projects. This program was inspired by the cross cultural folk tale about collaboration, in which villagers learn that when everyone contributes just a little of what they have, a greater good is achieved for all.


GUCDC announced the program in the spring of 2014, and accepted applications for grants from Germantown artists, gardeners and creative citizens for the implementation of  projects designed to beautify and enliven a handful of key locations.

This program was made possible by a grant from the Samuel Fels Fund; grants of up to $1500 were awarded. Priority was given to projects that have the potential to foster community ownership and build a framework for future enhancements to take place at the project sites.

In addition to the actual designs, GUCDC looked for ideas with the potential to create a catalyst for future beautification and development in the neighborhood; foster community ownership of public spaces and increase community pride; attract new businesses to move into vacancies; attract more shoppers to the area as to increase business revenue on Germantown’s business corridors.

The  beautification project locations identified by GUCDC are included below. Project submissions were received and awarded as follows:

  • Unit block of West Rockland Street – Vacant lot. Interface Studios, for a community bulletin board installation.
  • The wall at the southwest corner of Chelten and Greene – Bus stop at Greene and Chelten, traveling southbound. Artist Susan Mangan, for murals on the wall, and student workshops.
  • 5722 Greene Street – Parking lot entryway/Efficiency House area of the Germantown Life Enrichment Center. Greg Derix, a Germantown resident, for landscaping, in partnership with Philadelphia University students.
  • Unit block of West Haines Street – Garden space on south side of Germantown Town Hall.

For more information on the Stone Soup Saturdays’ project, contact Germantown United CDC at