On April 23, 2013, I asked the City Council’s permission for a very old Community vegetable garden to be preserved. They granted permission. On April 25, 2013, The City of Englewood removed the topsoil from this historic garden plot in the 4th Ward for a 2nd time. They returned with a machine that packed down the remaining soil. A hard rain followed and replaced this beautiful Century old vegetable garden with a pool of standing water and mud. This destruction has created a dangerous little pond of standing water that will draw mosquitoes to the neighborhood. Volunteers and the City are slowly bringing back topsoil, but we are worried that the plot is still not safe from City workers following orders. Please sign this petition asking the Englewood City Council to designate the Genesee/Lafayette Garden as an historic and protected Community run garden site. We must convince the City Council to designate this as an historic protected space for Community vegetable gardening in order to facilitate Community healing and nurture trust in our elected and salaried officials.
The Garden located at Genesee Avenue and Lafayette Place, in Englewood New Jersey has been in existence for over 100 years. There is no one alive who remembers when the garden was not there. When I moved here in 1967, my grandma and I visited the Garden on the way home from visiting her 1st cousin who lived on Franklin Road. She told me the story of a man named Mr. Bacote who used to drive a horse drawn wagon and cared for the garden. I spoke with Arnold Brown, who is 81 years old and has the longest Englewood family history of anyone I know. He does not remember a time when the garden was not there.
Over the years the garden has been nurtured by various people. One of the gentlemen nurturing the garden in recent years has history there since 1975. The garden has a special place in the hearts of 4th Ward residents and new comers. Businesses in the area have made lunches from the produce and are willing to help restore it. The plot has always been too small for a house so it has escaped sale. It is not a lot to ask. I have never seen car tires, mattresses or any of the normal eyesore garbage collect here. It is in a well traveled area and serves as a pleasant and beautiful gateway attraction to our neighborhood.