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Re: fences and theft

  • Subject: Re: [cg] fences and theft
  • From: Tamsin Salehian tamsin@sparecreative.com
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 11:26:24 +1000

Title: Re: [cg] fences and theft
We too have a high fence, one of our gardens was designed and built by council and included a high fence. The other (where I am) is part of a community centre which already had an 8ft fence ‘protecting’ a baking patch of dirt. At our plot we leave the gate open when we are working in the garden so anybody can wander in and chat, and we have spoken to the community centre, all users can come out into the garden whenever they are in the hall (the bingo group enjoys the garden) and staff will open up the garden when they are feeling like it (three mornings a week). One of the most common questions visitors ask is ‘aren’t you worried people will steal stuff...’ which was a surprise as none of us had even thought about it and nothing has been taken. I am not sure this would still be the case if the fence wasn’t there but I like to think so. Another garden not far away also has a high fence (it used to be a bowls green) and they have a dawn til dusk policy where gates are unlocked but pulled to every day and anybody is welcome to enter. I like this policy and love spaces being open. I think I prefer an entire garden being fenced and then open than individual plots fenced off – fences do change the nature of relationships between those on the ‘inside’ and those on the ‘outside’. Our dream is to expand to surround the nature strip around the community centre and if we find that we have to fence this off (I think we’ll try not to in the beginning) I hope that we will issue keys to the community like Clinton Garden, or else have a dawn ‘til dusk approach. Our garden is currently too small to make this feasable so far.

Appologies for the ramble,
I know of another garden with no fence and they have things nicked every so often but nothing destroyed,they have been going for almost 10 years, their advantage is that they are tucked away by a railway line and surrounded by little houses which already have a strong sense of community. I think they really like not being fenced and their fruit trees are to supply anyone who comes by.

On 23/5/03 1:52 AM, "Neufeld" <apneufeld@telus.net> wrote:

Hi all,

Our garden is in a school ground, in a low-income neighbourhood and most of the gardeners have experienced the frustration of things being stolen out of their plots.  In the last week, one of the gardeners installed a nearly 6-foot tall chain-link fence with a locked gate around their plot.  Now I completely understand and sympathize with the feelings that caused this gardener to take such action, but the fact remains that the new fence feels out of place in a community garden.  The gardeners have discussed this problem of theft many times before, but never has this been seen as the right kind of solution.

2 questions: first, do any community gardens have rules about fences around plots?  second, can you share your creative and effective solutions for dealing with theft?

Paul Neufeld

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