Trolley Portal Gardens is the culmination of years of fundraising, planning, and construction to transform the 40th Street Trolley Portal into a welcoming, inclusive neighborhood amenity. Enjoy our native plants, pull up a seat, or head to Renata's Kitchen for a meal or beverage! 

Trolley Portal Gardens


Through a unique public-private partnership with SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia, and neighborhood stakeholders, UCD raised $2.1 million to transform the 40th Street Trolley Portal, the busiest at-grade rail station in the city. By combining great urban design, infrastructure renewal and community engagement, UCD transformed the space from an unsightly expanse of concrete into a vibrant and social space featuring beautiful landscaping, movable seating, and a new restaurant that serves as a community asset for thousands of neighbors, commuters and local employees.
Trolley Portal Gardens serves as a beautiful gateway for West Philadelphia trolley passengers and a welcoming public space for neighbors. The site design emphasizes safety and comfort for the estimated 5,000 riders who board or exit trolleys at the Portal each day. The project improves pedestrian circulation while using cutting-edge stormwater management techniques that replace impervious surfaces with lush wildflower meadow-like mounds planted with native species. The overall aesthetic improvements enhances the commutes of nearly 60,000 riders who pass through the Portal each day. Green City Works, UCD’s full-service landscaping social venture, maintains the space, ensuring that the neighborhood’s beautification is tied to growth and opportunity for local residents.   




Thursday, May 9th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm

M.O.M. (Music Over Matter) at Trolley Portal Gardens

Prepare to take flight as M.O.M. (Music Over Matter), lead you in a participatory drum jam. M.O.M., led by Founder and percussionist Jan Jeffries, is made up of a group of dedicated people who feel and express the profound rhythm which beats within us all. M.O.M. takes special pleasure in embracing the participation of all children, adults, and special needs of the universe. check out the music of Gretchen Elise. Enjoy Philly fusion music & an open mic! Jazz-based fusion music bursting with improvisation and crowd interaction. Fun, funky and fabulous, Gretchen Elise will get you involved. Performance followed by open mic with the band. 

Get excited to drum along by checking out a preview here. Visit Jan's Instagram and Facebook for more beats! 



Thursday, May 16th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm 

Trumpet Chics 

Trumpet Chics consists of a group of talented students, both male and female, from Camden. The energetic group show off their instrumental skills while setting their tunes to upbeat choreography that encourages everyone to dance along. With trumpet, trombone, and saxophone taking center stage, the Trumpet Chics provide their own brassy renditions of popular songs, with plenty of instrumental interludes in between to keep the music going.

Learn more about Trumpet Chics via their Instagram and Facebook



Thursday, May 23rd from 5:00pm  - 7:00pm

MIC'd Up Allstars

MIC’d Up (Music Industry Classrooms) is an artistic, community-based initiative that connects all-star Philly DJs, producers and musicians with the next generation of talent – Philadelphia’s District students! Be prepared for an All-Star cast of MIC’d Up students to present an engaging mix of timeless music styles. The second set will feature an open mic vibe.

Learn more from the Instagram pages of Luke O'Reilly and Frank Machos


Thursday, May 30th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm 

AfrVbz & Engoma Enteera 

West African dance party meets East African traditional music. Rasaq of AfrVbz will lead the crowd in an Afrobeats dance class for any age and experience level. In parallel, Orchestra 2001 will perform live music from its ENGOMA ENTEERA series, featuring small ensemble pieces by Justinian Tamusuza, a composer based in Uganda. Justinian writes music for western classical instruments using techniques and polyrhythms that marry classical with traditional Kigandan folk music of East Africa. 

Get excited by visiting the AfrVbz Instagram and Facebook pages. 



Thursday, June 6th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm  (During the Dollar Stroll!)

Gretchen Elise 

Gretchen Elise's original music is engaging and interactive. Join her for a melodic journey between jazz and hip hop, where you may help sing the hook, play percussion from the crowd, or just relax to the fusion of styles and the steady groove. Rooted in Philly with international flavor, Gretchen’s positive energy is unmatched. The second set will feature an open mic vibe.

Check out Gretchen's music on her website, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Thank You!

This project would not be possible without the support and collaboration of the neighborhood. UCD is excited to realize the dream of upgrading this area into a magnificent public space for thousands of neighbors, commuters, and local employees


Watch a video of the transformation of the site:


To learn about sponsorship opportunities or to host an event, contact Margaret Starke at 215-243-555 x227 or [email protected].