The Fate of the Delinelle Community Garden and Park

Unfortunately, the days of a would-be community garden in St. Henri may be numbered. As you may recall Torsten Hermann and Fraser Wilkinson started a community garden last spring on a mangy, rubble strewn lot on Delinelle Street. Two houses had burnt to the ground on this site ten years ago, and the lot had never been completely cleared. Hermann and Wilkinson waded through waist-high grass to remove half a ton of concrete, asphalt and broken glass from the area.

The gardening project was such an improvement to the neighbourhood that Hermann received a Sud-Ouest en fleurs gardening award for his efforts.

This year, the number of gardeners expanded from two to eight, and the City provided the area green thumbs with a large pile of topsoil. Hermann saw the borough gardening award and topsoil as tacit approval for their long-term project--a community garden.

You may also recall that neither of our intrepid Johnny Appleseeds knew who the owner of this lot was. They thought that it might be the City. After all, wouldn't it be strange to receive topsoil from the City to garden on private property?

Well, the owner has turned up, and she informed Wilkinson that she is not happy with the sign that says "her property" is the de facto Delinelle Community Park and Garden. She has also suggested installing a fence and building on the site.

Needless to say, the owner's statement has dampened morale, and our gardeners are wondering if they will be there long enough to see the fruits of their labour.

What do you think reader? Should property owners be compelled to keep their property in some kind of order so that it does not create an eyesore for other residents? Was the City right to give topsoil and a gardening award to guerrilla gardeners? Should Hermann and Wilkinson take down the sign?

For more on this story:
More on Guerrilla-ing in NYC and St. Henri
Trespassers in St. Henri Win City Gardening Contest

Related posts:
Liz Christy Seed Bombs and Some Not So Covert Bombing
More on Guerrilla-ing in NYC and St. Henri
Attention Guerrilla Gardeners: the Liz Christy Seed Bomb (a how-to)
What Exactly is Guerrilla Gardening?
Guerrilla Gardening: Tips for the NoviceAttention Guerrilla Gardeners: the Liz Christy Seed Bomb (a how-to)

2 comments:

C.McKane | July 15, 2009 at 5:47 PM

That has got to be so frustrating for them. After all their hard work to have someone show up and possibly ripping the grass out from under them is horrible.

If it's her property, then of course it's her right, but where has she been all this time? Even if she does decide to build there how could she not see it as an improvement?

That the government offered up soil is perhaps a sign that they see the good the garden is doing for the community and if worse comes to worse maybe they'd be open to letting them start over again, but this time on a government owned lot. Grants anyone?

Thanks for keeping us posted.

AKAmamma | July 15, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Thanks so much for your comment.

Yes, they are all very frustrated about possibly losing their neighbourhood's focal point. I just hope she has a heart and builds at the end of the summer.

I have a feeling that she will be less upset if they took down the sign.

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