A community organization is fighting gentrification by teaching youth agriculture, business

Shara Dae Howard
November 05, 2018 - 8:39 pm
Tinamarie Russel, Zaire Baxter and Jamar Johnson and Zakeem Davis.

Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — One North Philadelphia community center is teaching youth the importance of land, business and agriculture.

North Central CDC, a registered community organization in the heart of North Philadelphia, started the Stretch and Fly Business Garden, a mentoring program using land to educate kids on combating gentrification through agriculture, business and economic growth.  

"So our mission is to wake people up and stop the tide of gentrification by giving people the opportunity to understand what land is and the importance of land," said Founder Tinamarie Russel. 

The Stretch and Fly Garden is a community garden where kids from the community learn how to plant, grow and then sell produce, making available healthy food to neighbors while generating income as a business.

"We started the Stretch and Fly Youth Business to show them not only do you matter, but you can make a difference," Russel said. 

Zaire Baxter and Jamar Johnson are in the program and say they both get something different out of program.

"Mentors and adults teach me more stuff than i already know," said Baxter. 

As for Johnson, he says that "You can plant things to earn money and if someone is homeless you can give them something." 

The business garden is having their second Annual Sovereignty Awards on Nov. 17, where poet Sonia Sanchez and SEPTA, among others, will be recognized for their part in helping families regain ownership in their communities.