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Neighbors Create Do-it-yourself Community Park in Solidarity with Occupation Movement
Volunteer gardeners want more public gardens and less commercial spaces
Independent of and in solidarity with the growing worldwide Occupation Movement, neighbors have occupied a lot, vacant for decades, and built a DIY public park and a resource for the community. The neglected lot at the corner of Spruce and Pacific has lain vacant and unused for decades. Where formerly it held only trash and occasionally broken furniture, now there are raised flower beds and fruit trees.
On Saturday, volunteer gardeners gathered at dawn to build raised concrete flower beds, plant shrubs and fruit trees, and build benches. By early afternoon they hung a sign to welcome people to the new community park. "This is an ongoing process of creation," said one of the gardeners, "We'll be planting through the winter. As these new sprouts take root it will be beautiful!"
This is an effort to reclaim the commons, to reverse the trend toward privatization of space and give it back to communities. The new community park is a place to hang out, spend time and meet friends, a place to find one another. For two decades in Santa Cruz , public space has increasingly been fenced off, restricted, and sold to commercial interests. Capitalism strives to restrict the commons, to keep us separate, isolated, and vulnerable.
The public is invited to check out the community park at Spruce and Pacific one block from Laurel. Here in Santa Cruz's newest public space, the message is that DIY is all about taking responsibility for the community around you.
The community garden created this weekend by neighbors of S. Pacific Ave is due to be destroyed today at 2pm.
Call them and tell them what you think:
DATUM CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, INC
208-377-3099 (corporate office)
8475 W. Elisa St.
Boise, Idaho, 93709
Apparently, the few dozen people who showed up, the phone calls, direct communication with the owners of the lot, and some media attention has resulted in a stay of execution for Spruce Street Park.
The owners of the property and the construction company are generally supportive, but perhaps struggling to find a way to be helpful AND do their job within the narrow confines of capitalism. We recognize that the workers who take their orders from their corporate managers have families to feed as well.
People are gathering at 7am tomorrow to ensure that the park is occupied when workers get to work. Come join us for the sunrise.
9am: DIY Community park in Santa Cruz being destroyed 9am Tue. People standing in front of bulldozers. Immediately call Datum Construction 208-377-3099 and Walgreens 847-914-2500. Help them understand the hornets nest they've stepped in. Express your support for the garden and insist they stop the bulldozers.
10am: They bulldozed the garden completely. Neither the local cops, nor the workers, nor the construction company officials, nor the owner of the lot showed the slightest twinge of conscience in destroying a community garden to make a vacant lot. Our hearts are broken.
10:30am: Park is now a fenced off lot containing a large pile of broken concrete, topsoil, and dying plants.
New community park at spruce and pacific being demolished!