Immigrants saddened by destruction of community garden
Published Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:57PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:46PM ADT
Police in the Halifax area are investigating after a community garden, used primarily by new immigrants, was almost completely uprooted overnight Sunday.
Police say staff arrived at work Monday morning and discovered the Glen Garden, located on Glenforest Drive in Halifax, had been destroyed.
“I plant some vegetables, it was going very well, I feel so happy, but somebody did like that and then I feel so sad,” says gardener Madhu Adhikari.
Much to the dismay of community gardeners like Adhikari, most of the garden in the Clayton Park neighborhood has been destroyed by vandals.
“Why these guys do like that?” asks Adhikari.
Investigators say it’s not clear when the vandalism occurred, but someone did report hearing noise between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday.
Police say roughly 70 per cent of the mostly vegetable crop was destroyed by vandals.
“They've loved and tendered these gardens you know,” says Gerry Mills of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services.
Mills says the community garden was set up to give refugees, immigrants and community members the opportunity to socialize.
When the idea for the community garden first came about, there were so many people interested that a lottery was needed to determine who would get the plots. Of the 18 gardens, 17 are cared for by refugees.
Mills says the refugees have already been through the worst time in their life, but the recent act of vandalism is still disappointing.
“You come to Canada and you feel safe and you let your guard down a little and then this happens and it makes you question,” says Mills.
In the meantime, local businesses are pitching in with seeds and transplants to replace the crop. Replanting started Tuesday and several neighbours stopped by the garden asking how they can help.
“We’ve sort of seen them grow from nothing to where they are now and it just makes the community look really nice and I just think it’s just a wonderful thing that they’re all doing,” says area resident Kara Erdahl.
Police say they would like to speak with anyone who may have noticed suspicious activity in the area Sunday.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster