As you know, my city has forced me to pay a “garden tax” [a.k.a. a garden fine] on this garden and singled me out in my community to do so. While I understand their concerns, I continue to believe that selective enforcement is unjust and people trying to beautify their communities should not have to pay a fee to do so.
This experience has made me think a lot about what is happening across urban America in a down economy. I think one person – alone or with neighbors – should be able to make a difference for their community. Sometimes there are lots of challenges we have to face in order to do so. We need to come together and work together!
I NEED YOUR HELP – please leave a comment below with ideas on how we can make a positive difference across the United States for our small town and urban communities with gardens.
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BEHIND THE FENCE PROGRESS —
A lot has happened in this month. WGN TV covered the story of my behind the fence garden and the concept of guerrilla gardening on public property. Here is a link to that TV feature – LINK.
I have also paid the fee and worked hard to meet the end-of-May deadline for making changes in the garden my city required. The City of Warrenville rejected my original submission, which included a multiple page design submission along with my check. Since I resubmitted the forms and check I have not heard anything from them, however, according to the paperwork they had me sign I needed to make some changes, so I spent this month trying to meet these demands because the deadline was the end of May.
- ROCK – With the help of a few friends I was able to remove and load all the rock that lined the garden. We are estimating it to be about a ton and a half of rock total. (See top photo.)
- PARK BENCHES – The City of Warrenville requested that the park benches I have set out be moved back more than 20” from the edge of the sidewalk and that they be repainted annually. One park bench sat in front of a drain and could not be pushed back, so I had to dig out a 12 foot section of garden and build a spot for the park bench to be relocated. I repainted both of them. (See photos below.)
I want there to be no “garden tax” in my community or in YOUR community as well so that more people can afford to feed their family, attract native wildlife, conserve and solve water issues, and improve economic viability by gardening on shared easement and right-of-way properties. What are your ideas to help beautify our neighborhoods by gardening?