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Local: Livermore, CA, PLEASE help us save the community gardens!!

  • Subject: [cg] Local: Livermore, CA, PLEASE help us save the community gardens!!
  • From: "Livermore Gardens" friendsofthegardens@hotmail.com
  • Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 14:45:53 -0700

Dear Gardeners,

My name is Begonia Cirera, and I am a gardener at the Community Gardens in Livermore, CA. The gardens have been at their current location for around 23 years. This public land is owned by Livermore Recreation and Parks District (LARPD) who get their money primerely from tax-payers money. However, in the year 2000 they (the board of directors of LARPD) made plans to move the gardens and to put a sand volleyball court and half-basketball court on its place against public support to keep the gardens where they are. They believe (4 people out of 5 in the board of directors) that the gardens are ugly, and that they cannot be next to their new 20-million Community Center, which will be finished early next year. They (the board of directors) have NEVER seen the beauty of the gardens and the potential to be an educational tool more than it is today, and open to more public. The bad management of the gardens by LARPD makes them very closed and it is the gardeners that advertise it by word of mouth. There is enough room at the new Community Center (and new Senior Center) sites to keep the gardens and put the volleyball courts without removing the gardens. There is also going to be two basketball courts inside the Community Center. The truth is that everybody in the community (including volleyball players, and basketball players) are against taking the gardens out also! People see their beauty, and enjoy it. But, they have not listened to one letter, one phone call, and the overall public support. Because this is an ongoing battle, most of the gardeners have basically given up. Most of them are older folks, and the gardens are their way to get out of the house and socialize and share, and be part of the community. At this point only 2 people are helping me get more petitions signed, letters written, and try to bring back the enthusiasm to those who have lost hope. However, it is hard to do. We are very pressed for time (one, two weeks), and need all of the help we can get. We are asking for support via letters. Letters could be sent to the board of directors explaining what a community garden is all about, how it has to be in public land, how it is an educational tool...They think it's a few private families (the gardeners) benefiting from public land, and that we are an interest group and nobody else benefits from the gardens, but they do not see the intrinsic value of the gardens and how everybody that passesby LOVES to see the changing of the seasons through the eyes of the gardens.
To write to LARPD you can go to their web site: www.larpd.dst.ca.us - click on "Administration", click on "Board", and all of their names are there, as well as their email addresses. If you do send a letter via email to them, please make sure that you send me a copy at friendsofthegardens@hotmail.com so that I, or another gardener, can read your letter at the Public Forum session at the Board meeting which will be held next June 12, 2003.

If you have any questions, or need more information, please contact me at friendsofthegardens@hotmail.com Your letters could be a deciding factor. Public support and pressure has to work sometimes! Thank you so much for reading.

Sincerely,

Begonia Cirera, A Fellow Gardener

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Think Globally, Garden Locally"
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