Burton-Phelan Community Garden

“It is amazing what a garden can do for a community.”
– Hazel Brown

 

Location

East Side Neighborhood – Corner of 10th and Pine Streets, Wilmington, DE 19801


Fast Facts
Type: Flower Garden
Coordinator: Hazel Brown
Created: 1997

 

History

It is hard to believe this beautiful garden was once an illegal dumping spot and notorious for drug activity. But neighbor and community leader, Hazel Brown, dreamed of creating a haven where children and community members could gather in safety. Through her persevering efforts and guidance and with the assistance of police and neighborhood volunteers, her dream materialized into the dazzling array of colors it is today. In the spirit of a true community garden, everyone is welcome, and the gate is never locked.

 

Not only does the garden provide a spot for relaxation and reconnection, it also pays homage to the transformative people of the area. The mural, “Eastside’s Greatest: People Who Made the Difference,” by local artist Roldán West, depicts 26 heroes of the East Side. The name of the garden also reminds visitors of those who have given and fought for the good of the neighborhood. Dutch Burton, a Wilmington Council member, won legal victories for public accommodations of African-Americans. Hattie Phelan, the original lot owner and the first African-American woman to serve on Wilmington City Council, generously consented to the use of the space as a garden.

 

Impact

Abating criminal activity is only one of the things this garden has done for the area. Community pride and interest in gardening, greening, and civic activity have all been fostered.
 

Everyone is complimenting about the trees on Northeast Blvd. It makes a big difference in our community. Thanks for your consistency and caring.

— Waheedah Shabaz