Longtime Powelton resident and green space advocate Winnie Harris, 65, found shot to death

February 6, 2017

The last time we spoke with Winnie Harris was last summer, when she was rallying support for the Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden. The garden, built on a vacant lot, was just down the street from her Holly Street home in West Powelton, where she had lived for 40 years. Gardens, trees and keeping this part of West Philadelphia green was her passion and, as one of the driving forces behind UC Green, her occupation.

Harris, 65, was found dead in her home on the 300 block of North Holly Street late Friday with a single gunshot wound in the abdomen. No arrests have been made, and the police say the motive is unclear. Neighbors on her block noticed Friday that Harris’s second floor window was open. Police found her in a second floor bedroom. Harris lived alone in the house. 

Harris was well known beyond her block as the volunteer coordinator with UC Green for 18 years and its current acting executive director. She has overseen the planting of thousands of trees around the neighborhoods.

Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Julie Shaw talked with scores of friends and neighbors for an article on Sunday.

“Winnie was a well-loved person, a community organizer,” friend and neighbor Elizabeth Waring told Shaw. “She was very well-loved. She will be very missed.”

We will pass along information on Winnie’s funeral services as they become available.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Trevor Lee Says:

    I knew Winnie for many years, a dear friend. Very sad and I do hope they find the individual who did this. Tragic loss of life and a person who meant so much to the community.

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