Throughout the semester, we’ve been taught to seek out those who play a major role in the community. These people are usually church leaders, community activists, or just “unofficial mayors”, and they always have a pulse on what’s happening in the neighborhood.

Former Julia de Burgos Teacher Christina Saxton Shows Urban Kids the Importance of Gardening

This week, we happened to come across a person who defines what it means to be “involved in the community.” Christina Saxton, a former teacher at the Julia de Burgos Middle School, only moved to Fairhill two years ago (from Lancaster) after her marriage. Yet she is involved with the local school, takes care of the school’s garden, is involved with a local church, and volunteers at The St. Francis Inn – a soup kitchen on Kensington Ave.–and on top of it all, she has a newborn baby of her own.

Despite the fact that she is not currently working at the middle school because of the birth of her son, Saxton took the time to visit the school to talk to us about the garden project that she started. The project itself started because due to Saxton’s love for gardening, inspiring her to rally fellow teacher, Erin Kelly, to get involved with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. According to Saxton, the idea came about due to the fact that her students are mostly Puerto Rican and Dominican, and many are used to rural areas. She thought the students would enjoy a garden, so she worked tirelessly to make it happen.

In a struggling neighborhood like Fairhill, it’s great to see someone like Christina Saxton working to better the community.

Audio Slideshow of the Gardening Project in Motion

By, Becca Lane & Danielle Harvey

(Extracted from, posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009)

For more on Christina Saxton – check out blog entry: Kindness and Helpfulness are Both Next to Godliness


For yet another assignment for my Publishing to the Web class, I turned an article that I wrote – which was never published – for MURL into an actual web story. Delving into the issue of the disparity between Philadelphia’s “Haves” and “Have-nots,” I initially sought to highlight the budgeting decisions that allowed for the implementation of the new solar paneled trash receptacles littered throughout Philadelphia’s elite neighborhoods while still neglecting what seemed to be rising numbers of homeless citizens. After a rather in-depth interview with President & CEO of The Center City District (CCD), Paul Levy, however, I discovered that not only did these seemingly expensive, environmentally friendly trash receptacles first get introduced by the privately funded organization, but that CCD also employs numerous different teams and organizations that work in partnership with the city and the Philadelphia Police Department to help keep the city safe and clean while also attempting to assist those previously mentioned displaced Philadelphians. For more information, check out my story, “Mo’ Money? Mo’ Problems?”

CCD Boundary Map

Philadelphia's Center City District Boundary Map. Photo Courtesy of the CCD.