Rockford Community Garden Could Move Again

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford community garden that's been forced to move two times, may be moving again after debate over its location.

James DeVoe spends at least an hour a day gardening at the West Gateway Coalition Garden. It sits at the corner of West State St. and Foster Ave., after construction along West State forced it to the new location.

"We're looking for another home, we may be able to move in at the Northwest Community Center," said DeVoe.

DeVoe says complaints from 13th Ward Alderman Linda McNeely triggered the new search. McNeely tells us she was never asked if she wanted the garden moved into her ward. She also believes it shouldn't be placed along a main road, rather embedded in the neighborhood.

DeVoe said, "(McNeely's) words to me was that she says we're taking up land that could be taxable and this is a vacant lot and when we moved the (garden) beds here it was littered with beer bottles and trash and nobody was taking care of it."

Now members of this neighborhood watch group say they are taking care of it.

DeVoe says the plants should be much taller by now but because of the potential move they got a late start planting. The organic vegetables are for everyone in the neighborhood.

"My favorite thing to take home was that pepper and that's what I got to make me tea at nighttime," said neighbor Cal Parham.

Neighbors say the garden is providing more than just produce.

DeVoe said, "It brings everybody together and you meet everybody."

If they do move the garden, they'd like to do it in the Fall, however DeVoe says he likes the current location. He also says they
May put another small garden on Blaisdell St.

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