Ash Richards is Urban Agriculture Director at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, managing the Farm Philly Program and the City’s first Urban Agriculture Plan Growing from the Root. Richards’ work supports the self-reliance and determination of residents to grow and produce their own food; and sits at the nexus of policy, planning, public services/goods, and civic engagement. They have worked for the City of Philadelphia since 2011, and prior to their role at Parks and Recreation, Ash worked for the City Planning Commission doing comprehensive and place-based planning and the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds doing green stormwater infrastructure projects.
Ash earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in City and Regional Planning and has an educational background in geography and agroecology. They have served as a member of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) since 2013 and as the co-chair of the FPAC Urban Agriculture Sub-Committee since 2016.