Grow Annapolis Urges Support for Community Garden

The Annapolis City Council heard arguments against the project on Monday night.

A community garden proposed for Kingsport Park is facing some push-back.

On Wednesday, Joel Bunker, executive director of Grow Annapolis—a nonprofit promoting and sustaining urban agriculture—posted a statement on the organization's Facebook page encouraging friends of the group to express their support for the project to the Annapolis City Council.

"What you should know is that the city may be pulling back support from the Annapolis Community Garden Project off Bywater Rd.," Bunker wrote in the statement. "This is due to the pressure of few loud and influential voices from the Kingsport Development which is adjacent to proposed site."

The project—spearheaded by Grow Annapolis—is included in Mayor Josh Cohen's The site is owned by the city.

Bunker also said in the statement that many Kingsport residents have been supportive of the project but opponents cited a fear of increased crime and desire to keep outsiders away.

At a Monday night City Council meeting, two Kingsport residents called on the aldermen and Mayor to put the brakes on the project.

John Simcox, a seven-year community member, said many residents only found out about the proposal a few weeks ago. Bunker's statement reads that Grow Annapolis started planning the garden project in 2009.

"Our community was excluded from the process of making this decision," Simcox said.

Continuing in the same vein, Margaret Kai-Zeigler, a resident and Anne Arundel County Office of Planning employee, said the city needs to communicate more with Kingsport residents and delay the project to include their input.

"This item—there's a lot of misinformation out there," Kai-Zeigler said. "The misinformation has caused a real schism in my neighborhood. I have neighbors who won't talk to each other because of this."

Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson (D-4th Ward) said she and city staff members would be meeting with the Kingsport Community Association on Thursday to discuss the project.

"I will be providing you on Thursday with all the information that you need," Finlayson told Simcox.

Bunker's letter can be read in full on the Grow Annapolis Facebook page.

Annapolis City Resident May 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Kathryn, Thank you once again for the misdirecting information and your opinions. While I don’t think we disagree that Will Allen has affected the world with his work, I do know you’re once again misdirecting the point of the discussion. I challenge you to find me one bit of evidence that shows how replacing green space that is currently being used by members of the community with raised garden plots, chain link fencing (that GA likes to call “almost invisible”) and increased traffic into an upscale community would not increase crime. I challenge you to provide me a link to a website or a paper or a fact based statistical document with a timeline that can unequivocally demonstrate how replacing green space with raised garden plots that will need to be managed and leased to people that do not live in the neighborhood, would be good for the children playing soccer/football/tag in that space currently. I challenge you to propose to me how GA is planning on managing and maintaining these plots when they aren’t even organized enough to answer phone calls, return voice mail messages, provide documentation about their affiliation with their “partnership” with the city or even provide anyone with the not-for-profit charter and documentation that should be public record. Kathryn, prove me wrong and show the world GA is ready to stand up to opposition and work in conjunction with the neighborhood that donated the land to the city and will be most affected.
Annapolis City Resident May 19, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Susan, I'm sure that you wouldn't censor the opinions and thoughts of your readers because someone didn't like what was said. It should be noted that all information used was publically available. I don’t know about you, but I certainly would think that a topic as hot as this (relatively speaking) should play out, as that is the natural process of resolution. We are now at the part of that process where we are identifying misinformation and misdirection. As an editor I am sure you understand and have experience with this type of commentary. Let’s remember, these are only words. Words that are meant to provoke both sides to challenge themselves and provide facts, and well…. sometimes people don’t like to be challenged.
Susan Jenkins May 19, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Patch editors have not removed any comments from this thread. When a comment is deleted (in this case by the user), all of the replies to that comment go with it.
Sally Willits May 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM
You all need to have a face to face meeting to work out your differences and speak to each other. These comments are not working.
Lydia Lopez May 19, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Jane, Thank you for recapping my previous comments which were obviously deleted by someone else other than me! Maybe if they just delete it...then they can claim it did not happen... I have sent a letter directly to the Mayor as this forum seems to be bias in favor of GA. I wanted to thank "Annapolis Resident" for his/her posting on the subject. Thank goodness there is some common sense out there on our side. I find it interesting that people who do not live in Annapolis or around the impacted community feel they have a right to insist their personal views must be followed just because..... To those not in the Annapolis City limit or impacted communities -- worry about your own backyard and leave ours alone!


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