John Boyce protects and defends Roxborough’s ‘Central Park’

John Boyce has made it his mission to revitalize Gorgas Park.

If it weren’t for people like Roxborough native and Gorgas Park champion John Boyce, things wouldn’t get done. So says David Bower, the volunteer coordinator of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, who has known Boyce for more than 20 years. “They say the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Well, John is that squeaky wheel, and I mean that in the best sense possible,” he says, laughing.

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Feature: Farming Differently

Mill Creek Farm sets a standard for sustainable farming
by Will Dean

Bat Cave #2. That’s the first thing you can easily make out about the main farm building at West Philly’s nonprofit Mill Creek Farm. It’s painted in yellow on a piece of metal that juts out of a low, glimmering building in the middle of a green plot at 49th and Brown. Though no bats yet live in the cave—actually a small structure meant to mimic the attics the nocturnal animals prefer—the attempt to attract them is just one example of the creativity and ingenuity on display at Mill Creek.
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Feature: The Most Important Meal

A local teen finds success by growing healthy food
by Dana Henry

The school bell rings and teenagers fill the entrance halls of University City High School. Many are running and some are calling out to their friends, relieved from a long day of classes. A young man apologizes to the woman at the front desk who just reprimanded him for cursing. A tall girl with broad shoulders playfully shakes a boy in glasses who looks about half her size. An unplugged metal detector rests beside the padlocked front doors, and several feet away are a few pregnant girls.
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Free Flow

An abandoned building becomes a hub for social activism in West Philadelphia
by Natalie Hope McDonald

Just off the Number 10 Green Line, west of the sprawling Penn and Drexel campuses and trendy restaurants, past the tiny street corner bodegas and dimly lit bars, a group of aspiring social activists saw something special in an abandoned building at 41st and Lancaster Ave. Up for sheriff’s sale a decade ago, the dilapidated storefront dating back to the 1920s had been taken over by squatters and musicians who mostly borrowed the neglected space for band rehearsals and impromptu powwows.
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