Native Garden In Harrisburg Supports Urban Agriculture

The Harrisburg Area YMCA’s Camp Curtin Branch has partnered with the Harrisburg Garden Partners Group to show that planting native plants can help your vegetables grow. This group of partners has come together to build support for community agriculture and food access at the YMCA Camp Curtin Branch Urban Garden, located on Jefferson Street, behind the 6th street building in Harrisburg, PA. Phase one of gardening begins o May 21, 2022 with site preparation and a completed garden should be done by June 2022.

Rafiyqa Muhammad, Camp Curtin YMCA Branch Urban Garden Coordinator, established the Camp Curtain Urban Garden with sponsorship from GIANT FOOD in 2017 and the project has been growing ever since. Not only is she teaching our youth and their families that they can come to the garden learn about how to plant and grow your own food but also these children and their families are learning about sustainability, upcycling, recycling, and working in neighborhoods that they are growing up in.

The Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape and Audubon Mid-Atlantic, with funding made available by the Donald B. Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation and DCNR, is installing bird-friendly native plants to pollinate the crops, enhance bird habitat in the neighborhood and beautify the space and encourage residents to install native plants in their yards at home. “Planting native plants with or near your vegetables is a great way to show how bugs, birds, and plants can all work together and create a sustainable system. They are very different, but they need each other.” Kristen Hand, DCNR Lead for the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape.

Harrisburg Garden Partners group with members from PA DCNR, Audubon Mid-Atlantic, Harrisburg Area YMCA’s Camp Curtin Branch, GIANT FOOD, Harrisburg Housing Authority, Manada Conservancy, Sprocket Mural Works, Landscape Architectural Design, Capital Region Water, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Ten Million Trees, Tri-County Action, Green Gardner Designs, Master Watershed Stewards, Camp Curtin School, City of Harrisburg, Bill Culwell Enterprises, NGOZI, Inc., and Rocky Gleason have several garden projects in the works for the next 5 years.

Overhead view of garden

Raised beds

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or would like to volunteer for the project please contact, Rafiyqa Muhammad, Harrisburg Area YMCA’s Camp Curtin Branch Urban Gardenm Coordinator at 717-255-9739 or email: