Mayor & City Council of Englewood, New Jersey: Designate as historic & protect Century Old Community Garden Plot
  • Petitioning Wayne Hamer

This petition will be delivered to:

Councilman 4th Ward
Wayne Hamer
Frank Huttle III
Council at Large
Lynne Algrant
Councilman 1st Ward
Marc Forman
Councilman 3rd Ward
Eugene Skurnick
Councilman 2nd Ward
Michael D. Cohen
City Manager
Timothy J. Dacey
Senator 37 District
Loretta Weinberg
President, Englewood Historical Society
Norman Davis

Mayor & City Council of Englewood, New Jersey: Designate as historic & protect Century Old Community Garden Plot

    1. Lucy D. Walker
    2. Petition by

      Lucy D. Walker

      Englewood, NJ

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.


Wayne Hamer, Councilman 4th Ward
Frank Huttle III, Mayor
Lynne Algrant, Council at Large
Marc Forman, Councilman 1st Ward
Eugene Skurnick, Councilman 3rd Ward
Michael D. Cohen, Councilman 2nd Ward
Timothy J. Dacey, City Manager
Loretta Weinberg, Senator 37 District
Norman Davis, President, Englewood Historical Society
Lucy D. Walker

Designate as historic & protect Century Old Community Garden Plot

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. It is time to get down into it.

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer
      Deep Down & Dirty The Science of Soil

      For billions of years our planet was devoid of life, but something transformed it into a vibrant, living planet. That something was soil. It's a much-misunderstood substance, often dismissed as 'dirt', something to be avoided.

    2. Update: Volunteers Wanted...

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      Restore & Transform the Lewis Becote Historic Community Garden, together


      The Lewis Becote Historic Community Garden will provide Englewood Youth with STEM Education Opportunities!

      Do you want to learn how to plant, grow, and harvest vegetables in one of the oldest garden plots in the City of Englewood?
      • The garden site is located on the corner of Lafayette Place and Genesee Avenue. It has been dated back over 100 years. Lewis Becote is the most well known of the Historic Garden’s many caretakers. Recently, the garden has been tended by your neighbor, Norman Gainey.
      • We are transforming the garden above into a community garden cooperative that includes 28 4’x16’ raised beds. Sign up for a bed today. ( ..
      • Englewood families are invited.

    3. Update: October 10, 2013

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      The growing season was missed this year. We are still trying to ready the soil for spring. Some things happen for a reason. We are gathering more families to participate in the garden hopes of teaching children the value of growing and eating fresh healthy food. We are planning a mural contest depicting the history of the garden and the importance of this history to the community. Hopefully, we will get permission from the City and the neighbor have the children paint this mural on the side of the garden. It will be something pretty to look at during the winter months.

    4. Update: September 9, 2013

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      The city hired a local landscaper to till the garden. We are beginning from scratch to prepare the garden for spring now. The family and I did a bit of sprucing up the border of the area. It was a great activity for the little ones and the teenager. It is a slow process and a lot of work, but we will be ready for spring.

    5. Update July 15, 2013:

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      Help may be on the way to help break through the hard ground packed down by the many passes of far to many heavy machines. There is hope.
      The garden roto tiller was no match for the hard ground.

      Dirt! | The Movie

      Ah, Spring. The flowers are in bloom, love is in the air, and Earth Day is just around the corner. Celebrate this Earth Day by hosting a screening of Dirt! The Movie in your community - at your local library, arboretum, community center or church.

    6. Update: Not enough topsoil has been returned.

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      The City is claiming that they did not remove the soil. Meanwhile the topsoil is gone. Where did it go?

      Percobility: The absorption of Water into Soil

      Describes the problem of drainage created by the removal of topsoil and the packing down of the subsoil in a vegetable garden.

    7. Update: June 3, 2013: A Repaired Sidewalk, but.....

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      They did fix the sidewalk, but the topsoil has not been returned. They are cutting our planting season very short. Our poor little 100 year old garden space is being held hostage by politicians.

    8. Update: May 29, 2013: A Parking Lot?

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      At the City Council Meeting last night it was quite clear that there was little concern over the growing health hazard that used to be our historic garden. Any discussion was put off to the workshop meeting to be held on June 11, 2013. After the primary. Don't you just love politicians? No, really?

    9. Update: May 25, 2013: Mother Nature is Still Upset

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      Met with the 4th Ward Council man today. He seemed friendly enough to the idea. He wants a more structured and planned garden. He did sign the petition. I guess that is something. We discussed how to proceed from here. Meanwhile, the garden looks a mess because of the topsoil removal and the lack of drainage. It is going to take a lot of work and cooperation betweent he city and the residents.

    10. Update: The Water Slide

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      This mornings visit to our garden was not a good one. The existing conditions do not bode well for planting anytime soon.

    11. Reached 3,000 signatures
    12. Part 5: The Pond

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      The hard rain came. The packed soil held the water like a southern pond.

      The 4th Ward Gazette: Part 5: Hell and High Water Hath Arrived...

      Saturday, May 11, 2013, I got a call telling me that we had topsoil coming to the garden in 1 hour. I called my friends and fellow activists, made my coffee and got myself together. I picked up Crystal Brown and headed to the Garden.

    13. Part 4: Tilling or Packing?

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      We all thought this was going to be the end of it, then we saw the result of the day's work.

      The 4th Ward Gazette: Part 4: Is the City at War With a 4th Ward Patch of Ground?

      Friday, May 3, 2013, I was called to the Genesee/Lafayette Garden by a friend who works closely on Englewood's Garden Project with Lynne Algrant, Englewood's Council at Large. She had been told that someone was coming to repair the garden that day.

    14. Part 3: Conversations in the Hood

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer
      The 4th Ward Gazette: Part 3: Members of the Community Come together to Talk & Plan

      On Sunday, April 28, 2013, Council Wayne Hamer and members of the 4th and 3rd Ward Communities met at the Genesee/Lafayette Place Garden. We tried to make some sense out of the destruction of what we consider a Landmark. We comforted each other and spoke of proceeding forward through the healing process.

    15. The Nasty

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      One is supposed to be able to point out problems in the community without fear of retaliation.

      The 4th Ward Gazette: Part 2: Is This The Result of the Threat of Being Nasty?

      Tuesday April 23 at the City Council Meeting I asked some questions that seemed to anger Tim Dacey, the Englewood City Manager. I have been to City Council meetings and watched other people complain and ask questions and they are not treated the way Mr. Dacey treated me.

    16. Part 1: One Man's Complaint

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      He hit a deer, totally his car and blamed it on the garden.

      The 4th Ward Gazette: Part I: The Century Old 4th Ward Community Garden @ Lafayette Place and Genesee Avenue

      This Century or more old garden got caught up in a political campaign. Does anyone remember Mr. Bacote and his horse drawn wagon? He is the earliest caretaker of this spot that anyone can remember. The photo to the right was taken at Councilman Wayne Hamer's First 4th Ward Town Hall at Community Baptist Church.

    17. Reached 2,500 signatures
    18. The Long Road Back

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      This morning started the leveling of the returned topsoil. We still need more. They returned less than they took away. The Workers are pleasant and genuinely want to help. We hope the Politicians are going to do what is right. We will need volunteers to help the old gentleman who has been running the plot since 1975 get caught up with the season. We will have to be more diligent and make sure the garden is never an eyesore. It is hoped that the people who do not appreciate the value of growing things will come to understand that there is a dormant season.

    19. Reached 1,500 signatures
    20. Support Is Magnificent

      Lucy D. Walker
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your support and your comments. It makes the process so much easier. I wish the folks in the community without computer access could have this experience. Thank you.


    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 4 months ago

      “The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.”

      — Natalie Angier

      “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

      — Aristotle

      “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

      — Annie Dillard

      “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

      — Albert Einstein

      “Earth laughs in flowers.”

      — Ralph Waldo Emerson

      “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”

      — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Larry Rosenblum SUNNYVALE, CA
      • about 1 year ago

      I grew up in Englewood and would like to see the garden preserved.

    • Sue Baron Holmberg PARAMUS, NJ
      • about 1 year ago

      My Dad was born in Englewood and owned a business on Englewood Avenue for many years. I'm sure that he knew of the garden, and being an avid gardener himself, would have wanted keep it's place in Englewood's history. It is a positive force in town and should remain cultivated.

    • Glenn Williams CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO
      • about 1 year ago

      the garden should be kept and let its beauty bee seen

    • Patricia Bullock SKILLMAN, NJ
      • about 1 year ago

      If present trends continue the "Garden State" will be a misnomer- community gardens should be actively encouraged.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.