In the Garden with Tree House Books

Teaching Good Nutrition Through a Hands-on Urban Garden for Kids

The Junior League of Philadelphia

Name of Initiative: In the Garden with Tree House Books

Issue Area(s): Health & Nutrition, Environment, Education, Literacy


A major children’s outreach program by The Junior League of Philadelphia combined three key focus areas for many Leagues: children’s health and wellness, literacy, and the environment. JLP’s In the Garden with Tree House Books, an after-school program for local kids that offers at-risk schoolchildren urban gardening and healthy nutrition education, is now well established in North Philadelphia.

Community partners

  • Tree House Books

How it works

In partnership with community partner Tree House Books, a Philadelphia-based reading advocacy group, the In the Garden with Tree House Books program provides JLP members with a chance to educate children about sustainable urban agriculture and healthy lifestyle choices while working to improve the school environment and physical surroundings of underserved children in Philadelphia. Projects included the creation of two campus community gardens and the development and implementation of a curriculum focused on organic urban agriculture. Another similar JLP project was HIP (Healthy Imaginative Playful) Kids, a free playground within Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park designed to encourage outdoor play and exercise and to promote a connection with nature, creativity, and imagination.

What’s the impact?

In a city where schools in disrepair lack green space and where school children lack access to fresh produce, JLP and its members are creating opportunities for at-risk students that meld health and nutrition with hands-on urban gardening.