Jenny Greenberg, 41, is the new executive director of the recently revived Neighborhood Gardens Trust, formerly Neighborhood Gardens Association, the nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving community gardens in Philadelphia.
An affiliate of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the trust is supported by donations and grants, including city and state money for capital improvements to gardens in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and a property-acquisition study.
Greenberg is a graduate of Central High School, Vassar College, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a master's degree in urban planning. She lives in West Philadelphia with her husband, primary-care physician Jeffrey Brenner, and their two children, 7 and 10.
Why did this job speak to you? I grew up in Mount Airy. At a pretty young age, I was passionately interested in trying to improve the physical environment and quality of life of Philadelphia's neighborhoods.
How is NGT different from its previous incarnation? We're really focused on increasing the number of properties that are preserved. Right now, we own 34, with about 20 in the pipeline. The goal is to reach 100 by the end of 2016.
Why is this important? These gardens are vital, permanent uses of community land. . . . Some neighborhoods are seeing significant reinvestment and development, which is a positive thing, but it can sometimes jeopardize gardens operating on land they don't control. We want to work with gardens, especially the established ones, to make sure they can continue.
Are you a gardener? I'm an OK gardener. But I have children now, so it feels very important that that be a part of a healthy urban life.