Yanonali Park Considerations

I have a 10- x 20-foot plot at Yanonali Park and added many bags of planting mix and compost with heavy spading. Now, still winter, it grows lettuces, arugula, and spinach, with onions and garlic coming along. Since the city requires organic gardening, crops, especially favored tomatoes, need to be rotated, just barely possible in a small space.

It is incomprehensible why Parks & Rec would intend to cut off a triangular slice of 20 plots, eliminating all the work those gardeners have done. I attended the October meeting where we were told by planner Denise Johns that instead of 200 square feet, we’d have 50 square feet, while gentrifying a neighborhood garden with picnic spots. Foolishly, I thought it would not happen. We were told we’d be kept informed.

But unbeknown to any of us, several days later the planner went to the Architectural Board of Review and was given final design approval. Last month, gardening neighbors were told to be out by April 1, April Fool’s Day, but this apparently is not a hoax!

The lack of willingness to listen; the intent to add a hard surface on the other side for parks vehicles; taking a well-loved community garden, reducing its plots to one quarter the size; taking away plots to help in the mowing and have space for adult exercise — the plan seems ridiculous if it weren’t so sad and serious for gardeners.

Renovate the playground — please don’t destroy the garden.

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