the HAVEN Women Project.

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If you haven't checked out HAVENWomen...

They provide transitional housing for Female Veterans.

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We first met with them during a very snowy March day.

Pretty difficult to see the beds, but we could see that a lot of the shrubs were tired.

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The back beds and porches

Back up to an alley and shared space. There is a lot of Bamboo that needs to be taken out. We also met Jason Romero from PGW. He's awesome. Thank you for your service, Jason.

Donate today.

$5 buys a bag of soil. Packages of seeds. A flower pot.  

And a healthy outlet for our Veterans.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

April 6: Demo Day & Spring Clean Up

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Ready to Go!

19  volunteers including our friends from University of the Sciences, Enliven Planters and two of our US Veterans were ready to go!

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Cleaning out the beds

There are 4 12x 9 beds. Sounds easy? Not so much when there are established trees, ivy and did we mention Bamboo?

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This team is persistent.

They worked until they got the bamboo at least to a flattened state. Now we just need someone to loan us something to dig it out.  (Yes, we're serious)

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This bamboo is crazy.

It almost ate our volunteer, Caroline.

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Meanwhile...

US Navy Veteran, Sonia ties the bamboo into bundles. Easier to carry. She makes it look easy.

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Day 1 Progress!

A mighty team can accomplish many things. 

May 4: Dig Party!

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If you're wondering how much effort it takes to remove bamboo, we'll shed some light on that.

First, you grab a backhoe. Then, you call a Marine. Thanks, Jason for digging LIKE A BOSS.

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This is only a 12 x 9 bed. Yet it took about 5 hours to turnover.

Our volunteers, Beth, Emily, Dawn and Michelle were there to pick up  the debris and begin turning over the soil.

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The Mighty Day 2 Team.

  It doesn't matter how many people you have, when you have one team with one goal: To honor our Female Veterans. 

May 11: The Digging Continues...

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This is looking pretty good!

When the team arrived, we still had a lot of work to do (ahem, bamboo), but this group of volunteers were up for the challenge.

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Just in time for Mother's Day!

Our mother/daughter volunteers, Sarah and Audrey carved out an area for a nice bench.

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Jason broke a few tools digging out bamboo.

Hey, when you send a Marine in to do the job, they are going to do the job.

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Digging and Sifting.

Volunteers Joe and Chris were determined not to let any of the bamboo back.

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Here come the shade plants.

Board member Dawn starts planning out a border with pavers, as  Audrey plants a boxwood. 

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You guys are amazing.

Joe, Sarah, Audrey, Caroline and Jason. Another amazing weekend. We don't want to forget our other fantastic volunteers, Donna, Nicole and Chris! THANK YOU!

June 7th: Our Friends from PGW Lend a Hand.

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Volunteer team PGW at Work!

They removed trees, continued to battle the bamboo and weeded in preparing for the planting.

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Breaking down bamboo is serious business.

Separating these roots require patience and muscle.

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Jason, of course took out a tree.

With the help of  Paul. 

June 8th: Final Day!

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Birds and Bees...

Are already starting to come back! Board member, Mark installs a bird house facing the HAVEN house.

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Members of Global Shapers, Philadelphia Chapter, get the job done!

Koba, Ali and Greg,  members of the Philadelphia chapter gave it their all to clean up the remaining debris.

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Gorgeous window planters.

Thank you James from #houseplanthospital, and Steph from Global Shapers for planting these beautiful flowers!

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Shade and Sun

The  view from the back deck of HAVEN  will be both shade and sun plants, and a vegetable garden.

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The solar lights go in.

Thank you Ali, for the border you created!

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Thank you, Team.

We met wonderful  Veterans, wonderful community members, and each other on this journey that we hope will provide a peaceful site for healing.  Congratulations and God Bless!

The evolution continues...

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In time for the July 4th Celebration.

It was great to finally place the bench in the shade garden for the ladies to enjoy.

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This is a view facing the house. Boxwoods and Barberry wrap themselves around the sitting area.

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Tagging the Plants.

We've had so much interest from the residents all wanting to know "Can I cook with that? Is it a weed? When will it bloom?" 

So, we tagged over 100 plants!

Fall Clean up.

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One Disciplined Group.

Members of Villanova's ROTC Program joined together with Volunteers to prepare the HAVEN Women beds for winter.

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Beautiful Greenery.

Thanks to Enliven Planters, our Volunteers created gorgeous window boxes and planters that will live on the front and back porches of HAVEN.

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Transplanting!

One of our Volunteers, Gretchen, carries barberry plants to their new homes.

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Go Navy!

Villanova students weed out the flower beds.

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Planting Yellow Iris.

Our friends from Overbrook School for the Blind donated Yellow Iris, which our Midshipmen planted in the front flowerbed.

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The B word.

It's going to be a long time before we can truly get rid of the bamboo, but with these Villanova Navy students working on it, we're confident we'll win this one.

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Beautiful Planters

A combination of students and  professionals, our Volunteers made creative (and beautiful) use of the Enliven Planter's donations.

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Hard work deserves PIZZA.

Can't thank Brendan Hartranft and all of the folks at Clarkville West Philly enough for providing an amazing wrap up lunch.

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Horticultural Therapy activity.

To round out the day, Advisory Board Member, Peg Schofield, HTR, was kind enough to donate her time to lead several activities at HAVEN, including terrarium building.

December 22, 2019

Thank you, Veterans

We made beautiful and fragrant sachets made with lavender, rose buds, marigolds and hydrangeas.

We spent a few hours making fragrant sachets using dried  lavender, rose buds, marigold and hydrangeas.

Join us in 2020.

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Can't volunteer? Consider donating:


  • Flower pots
  • Leaf Bags
  • Plants of all varieties
  • Soil
  • Debris pick up (Yes, if you have a truck...)
  • Bird houses

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We're counting on you.

This is our opportunity to thank our Veterans and Active Duty members and provide them with a beautiful surrounding.  

Join us in 2020!

Want to get your hands dirty, enjoy the outdoors and help our Veterans? Register here to be informed of upcoming events, important dates and how you can get involved.

Heroic Gardens is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations to Heroic Gardens are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.