Friday, September 14, 2012

St. Augustine Beach Community Garden slated to move |

Written by Jessica Clark. Posted at 9:33 PM, Sep 11, 2012

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- The St. Augustine Beach Community Garden will only last in its existing spot on A Street for as long as it takes the plants that are there to grow.

 Neighbors spoke out again about the community garden on a city-owned lot at a St. Augustine Beach City Commission meeting Monday night.

Nieghbors presented their case before commissioners regarding the lack of notification they received about the garden.

 Neighbors say the lot is a designated public plaza where children often played until the fenced garden was placed on site.

So the St. Augustine Beach City Commission voted Monday night to move the garden to Ron Parker Park, another park in the city. People who live near Ron Parker Park will need to be notified first.

Community garden co-founder Nana Royer has mixed feelings about uprooting the garden.

"It's potentially a better place because there's more sun there once the land is cleared and it's a larger area," Royer said. "It's certainly more peaceful and tranquil than here."

In the last couple of months, neighbors put up signs protesting the garden and one neighbor admitted to playing loud rap and rock and roll music because the gardeners disliked it.

"Nobody anticipated the level of animosity toward a garden," garden member Dennis Collins said.

Neighbor Cyndi Pennington is satisfied with moving the garden.

"We're not in disagreement with the garden. We just didn't like the location of the garden," Pennington said. 

The garden will remain on A Street until the end of the growing season, but gardeners say they're worried about continued harassment.

"Some of the neighbors were rabid about having us out immediately," Royer said.

However, Pennington said the neighbors were asked at the city commission meeting if they'd agree to not voice their displeasure with the garden.

"We've agreed. I want peace back in my life too. So yes, that's a good idea. It's wonderful."