The Belmont Mansion Returns to its Roots with the Obama Community Garden

Philadelphia, PA (October 25, 2012)—Did you know that the area surrounding the Historic Belmont Mansion was once farmland? William Peters, an English lawyer and land management agent for William Penn’s family, bought the property in 1742. Peters then designed and built Belmont Mansion, and he created formal gardens surrounding his new home (as the American Revolution approached, Belmont Mansion passed to William's son, Richard Peters, who served as Secretary of the Board of War for the Revolutionary Army and Pennsylvania Delegate to Congress under the Articles of Confederation). In the spirit of the land’s original use, the American Women’s Heritage Society (AWHS)/Historic Belmont Mansion and Underground Railroad Museum has dedicated a portion of the Belmont Mansion grounds to an exciting new project—the Obama Community Garden! The Obama Community Garden is a partnership between AWHS and the Global Leadership Academy Charter School (GLA), in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. GLA students will tend the garden, learning important lessons about healthy food and lifestyle choices, environmental sustainability, and both local and national history.

The Obama Community Garden was officially “unearthed” at a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring the GLA students and a special Philadelphia Flag presentation by Brenda Exon, the Philly Pride Lady (of Partners for Civic Pride, Inc.). The event was generously supported by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Whole Foods (Callowhill Street), Celebrevents NYC, and Live! The Plant Rich Life.

For more information, contact Audrey R. Johnson-Thornton (, or Karima Bouchenafa (, or call (215) 878-8844.

View of the skyscrapers of Center City Philadelphia from the porch of Belmont Mansion.
View of the skyscrapers of Center City Philadelphia from the porch of Belmont Mansion.