POP Community Orchard Partner Application
How to Partner with POP in Planting an Orchard

Every POP orchard is planted in collaboration with a community partner group. POP provides orchard design assistance, plant materials, help with event organizing, and training in orchard care. The community partner is responsible for all ongoing care of the orchard as well as distribution of the harvest.

Community groups interested in collaborating on an orchard should first submit a POP Community Partner Application. This is followed by an evaluation conducted by POP staff and members of our Orchard Committee. The primary criteria for selection as a community partner are: long-term legal site access, capacity of the group to care for an orchard, safety and suitability of the site itself, and plans for distribution of the harvest. Upon selection, POP will help guide the community partner through preparations for a planting. Costs of planting the orchard are shared between POP and its partners on a sliding scale.

NOTE: Because of high demand for POP’s services, our orchard partner selection process is increasingly competitive. The process of evaluation, selection, and planting preparation generally takes at least 9 months and is outlined in the POP Partner Checklist. Applications for fall plantings are due by January 15th and spring plantings by July 1st.

Interested groups should complete the application via this POP Community Partner Application form. This form can also be downloaded and submitted via email to info@phillyorchards.org. Any questions about the application or partnership process can be submitted to Executive Director Phil Forsyth at phil@phillyorchards.org or 215-724-1247.
Part 1: Partner Information
1a. What is the name of your organization? *
1b. Who will be the primary contact person at your organization for the orchard? Full name: *
Primary Contact Address: *
Primary Contact Phone Number: *
Primary Contact Email: *
If different from the primary contact above, who will be the lead orchard steward/caretaker? Provide name, address, phone number, email *
1c. How would you define your organization? *
1d. What is the organization’s mission statement and primary program areas? *
1e. How many regular staff or volunteers help with program delivery? *
1f. Please briefly describe how an orchard would help your organization achieve its goals. *
Part 2: Site Information
2a. What is the address or location of the site being considered for an orchard installation? *
2b. What if anything do you know about the history of the orchard site? Was it formerly residential, industrial, long-standing parkland or open space? *
2c. Who owns the property?
2d. If the property is not owned by the organization, what is your relationship with the property owner? *
2e. Does the organization hold a lease for the property? (If so, please email a copy to phil@phillyorchards.org and info@phillyorchards.org) *
2f. Would the owner be willing to donate the property to the organization or other group (Neighborhood Gardens Trust, for instance) to protect it from development? *
2g. Would the partner and owner both be willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with POP (a formal agreement defining partner roles and future land use)? *
2h. How large is the property? How large is the site to be considered for an orchard installation? *
2i. Is the property cleared of trash and tall weeds? If not, describe how you will accomplish this. *
2j. Is there a water spigot on the property that can be used for watering? *
If no, please detail below how you will ensure regular access to water including all necessary permissions. *
2k. Does the property have a fence or other protection from vandalism or trespassing? *
2l. What if any organizational challenges or limits do you currently experience in the space? Examples might include: frequent change-over of staff, limits to access to the site, lack of resources for maintenance, neglect, etc? *
Part 3: Organizational Capacity
3a. In addition to the lead caretaker listed in Section 1b above, is there an additional community member who can be designated as a lead volunteer or orchard liaison to help support the orchard? Who? *
3b. How many people do you expect to have available for preparing and planting the orchard once we decide on a date? *
3c. How many people do you have committed to helping maintain and water the orchard after planting? *
3d. Is someone from your organization at the site every day? If not, how often? *
3e. Is the organization capable of year round care, especially summer? Watering and weeding is needed at least weekly during the first year. Ongoing monthly work days are recommended March through November. *
3f. Please describe any key community partners or committed volunteers that you expect to be involved in ongoing care of the orchard. *
3g. Has anyone from your organization participated in the POPCORE orchard workshop series? *
3h. Does anyone have any other experience or training with gardening or tree care? If so, please explain. *
3i. What existing tools and equipment do you already have for garden and orchard care? *
3j. What else can you tell us about your ability to care for an orchard? *
3k. How do you imagine the orchard being cared for 5 years from now? 10 years from now? 15 years from now? How does your organization plan to recruit replacement orchard caretakers in the event of a staff or lead orchard caretaker change-over or planned leave? *
Part 4: Orchard Type
POP plants fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, fruiting vines, and perennial flowers and herbs. POP does not generally assist with raised beds or annual vegetables.
4a. Please describe briefly what type of plants you would like your orchard to have. *
4b. What do you intend to do with the fruit? How will the harvest be distributed? *
4c. How will the orchard make fresh produce more available to those with limited access? What percentage of the community you serve can be qualified as low-income and how did you come up with that figure? *
4d. Are there any fruits or plants that have particular significance for your neighborhood or the people in it? *
4e. Are there any other functions the orchard design should consider? Seating area? Gathering space? Composting? Beekeeping? Rainwater harvesting? *
Part 5: Orchard Funding
POP works on a sliding scale cost share with all partner groups for both planting costs and ongoing support. No partner is turned away for lack of funds.
5a. What is your organization’s yearly budget, if any? *
5b. Do you have existing funding available to contribute towards the costs of an orchard installation? If not, do you anticipate being able to raise funds through grant-writing, holding a fundraiser, or other means? *
5c. Do you have funds available or expect to be able to raise funds for needed tools, equipment, and supplies for ongoing maintenance of the orchard? *
5d. Do you anticipate being able to contribute anything towards the ongoing cost of orchard support from POP? This includes as needed staff visits and consulting, assistance with pruning and other tasks, replacement or expansion plantings, installation of orchard signage, etc. *
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