Elite Outdoor Structures Helps to Bring Community Garden to South Philadelphia
Elite Outdoor Structures was very happy to be a part of the non-profit project turning an empty lot in South Philadelphia into a thriving community garden. The lot, located at 9th and E. Passyunk Ave, was donated by Maria Olivieri in memory of her father, Harry “The Boss” Michael Olivieri, co-founder of Pat’s King of Steaks.
Harry O’s Passyunk Gardens was created in 2011 with the help of the Rachel Ray show. Professionals involved with the show worked with volunteers from around the area to build structures, paint murals, and plant vegetables. The show culminated in a celebration of the surrounding community hosted by Rachel Ray and Ty Pennington.
Elite Outdoor Structures worked with many different organizations on this project. Volunteers from Camden Children’s Garden came to clean up the lot and remove weeds and unwanted plant growth. They also provided the garden with fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as soil and various gardening supplies.
Mr. Contractor Inc. helped to build many of the planters and structures in the garden with lumber donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement. Vertical planters and raised plant beds were built to maximize space and create a robust nursery.
A mural, which dominates the back walls of the lot, was designed by artist Delancey Birzin who works on the Rachel Ray show. The mural includes giant fruit and vegetable labels painted in vintage designs, similar to those seen in grocery stores in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Elite Outdoor Structures is proud to have donated a shed for storage of gardening supplies and tools. The shed now sports a “green roof” where fresh herbs and spices flourish atop the building.
Harry O’s Passyunk Gardens continues to operate as a volunteer-run community garden overseen by the Passyunk Square Civic Association. The garden provides fresh fruit and vegetables for residents of the community as well as a green space for city dwellers to enjoy.