The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is an effort led by the City of Philadelphia that works to ensure that Indego bike share is accessible to all Philadelphians. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a nonprofit advocacy and education organization working as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership to support bike share and biking education.
The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by the JPB Foundation.
Two of our awesome BBSP Ambassadors, Blair Shaw from Brewerytown Gardens and Pili X from North Philadelphia Peace Park, recently teamed up for a community ride connecting people to local gardens in North Philadelphia.
The ride began at Mander Playground where the community members attended the annual “Strawberry Mansion Day” held by Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation Organization. The community festival is an annual celebration that offers educational, art and recreational services, resources tables, and entertainment and food for the community.
After connecting with community members at “Strawberry Mansion Day” the ride began. The first stop on the tour was the North Philadelphia Peace Park where ambassador Pili X took the lead and gave a tour of the farm. Pili X is the co-founder and director of community partnerships of North Philadelphia Peace Park, a non-profit organization that was founded in February 2012 by community youth and residents of the area.
“The garden came from the need for unrestricted access to healthy foods, and the lack of supermarkets in the area. People had to travel far to get access to healthy foods. This was also a project to beautify our neighborhoods,” Pili X says.
“The garden allows unrestricted access. When someone is in need of a resource they can just walk to Peace Park and pick what they want no waiting necessary. People need the opportunity to have free access and to create a culture where there is a connection and a build in trust within the community. We encourage people to come out and help, to donate resources, to donate time or just come out and check the park.”
North Philadelphia Peace Park has “work parties” where people can come and help out and work on special projects that need to be done for the park. It also offers a Schoolhouse weekend program that is open to all students, from kindergarten to college. The Philadelphia North Peace park has it’s very own farmer’s market, and one of their goals is to connect to more gardens–like Brewerytown Gardens– to sell together produce
Brewerytown gardens was the next stop for the community ride were the group was greeted by our awesome ambassador Blair Shaw. Blair introduced the group to the Brewerytown-Sharswood Civic Associations members and Brewerytown garden staff who were preparing for the farm’s annual Harvest Festival. The festival is a celebration and fundraiser for the garden’s harvest and the community. Several people came out and celebrated while being entertained by local musicians and bringing more exposure to the garden.
Blair Shaw the former president of the Brewerytown Gardens and current board member of the Brewerytown-Sharswood Civic Association, has always been an enthusiastic cyclist who used Indego to connect people within his community to gardening. “We needed to find ways to expand this reach. It’s more than just dirt, and vegetables is about touching lives and also creating an impact while beautifying the neighborhoods.”
Shaw adds: “we need to figure out a way to provide our neighbors with healthy options and expand our reach. We’re working to connect with groups like Pili’s and the Peace Park through the Better Bike Share Partnership. Our groups are only blocks away from each other, so we’re actively breaking down walls to borrow best practices and borrow relationships”
Connecting communities to healthy food options such as urban farms play a major role in both Pili X and Blair Shaw’s mission as Indego Better Bike Share Partnership Ambassadors. They are both looking forward to creating more diverse community relationships and increasing the expansion of access to community gardens.