Neighbors fight to save beloved community garden

ST. LOUIS - A fight is underway in south St. Louis City to save a beloved community garden. A group of neighbors are trying to stop a developer from building a house on that property.

Neighbors living near the site of the English Cave Garden say that the garden is a staple of Benton Park where community gardens are a common sight.

“The LRA (Land Reutilization Authority) has given an option to a builder to build a single construction house here and tests are being done to see if there are any voids underneath the ground,” said Alderman, Dan Guenther.

Those who treat the garden as sacred ground said that they don’t understand why anyone would want to disturb so much planted history.

“The builder lives in the neighborhood and I feel upset that he should value the community garden,” said Deven Schanche. “How could he want to be known as the person who destroyed Benton Park’s community garden?”

Neighbors grow fruits and vegetables benefitting people who otherwise may not have means of getting food from elsewhere.

“A lot of neighbors that do grow produce, they donate to charities and through Gateway Greening we weigh and keep a record of the amount of food that is produced and it gets spread around all throughout the neighborhoods,” Guenther said.

For many, the common meeting space is a pass time hobby while for others it holds a personal if not an emotional meaning.

“It’s something that we have created by hand,” said Jessica Deem, “and it’s been work of a community coming together of multiple generations and really just a lot of hard work.”

Fox 2 reached out to the developer, Kevin Logan but have yet to hear back.

According to Deem and Guenther, there is currently a community-wide petition calling for a stop to the development. Neighbors are also awaiting test ground testing results that will determine whether construction can move forward.