Flowers damaged in front of SRB Community Spirit Garden at Central & Higgins
by BRIAN NADIG
Hundreds of flowers in front of the SRB Community Spirit Garden at Central and Higgins were damaged Tuesday evening, Aug. 14, when a vehicle apparently jumped the curb and drove through the parkway.
Some of the flowers had recently been planted as a result of a $300 grant from the Cook County Farm Bureau.
Garden volunteer Peggy Meyer said that based on the tire marks, it appeared that “a heavy truck” went through the flowers twice, possibly once in reverse, before driving away and that she was surprised by the severity of the damage.
“I’m just confused on how well they were sheared off,” Myer said, adding that some of the flowers were waist- or shoulder-high. “The most important thing is no one was hurt.”
The damaged flowers included native plants which do not require a lot of water and which are useful to a variety of insects, Myer said. Any efforts to replace the plants may have to wait until the spring, she said.
The garden opened 7 years ago, and more than 700 pounds of produce from the garden last year went to the Saint Cornelius Food Pantry, said garden volunteer Del Norwood. “You name it. We grow it. Herbs, turnips, radishes, potatoes, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes …,” Norwood said.
The garden is maintained by a group of volunteers who worked with NeighborSpace, a nonprofit land trust, to help establish the garden. The property was once a car lot, but the city purchased the parcel in the 2000s, and it stood vacant for several years.
Those seeking to volunteer are asked to show up at the garden, whose address is 4935 N. Central Ave., around 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Norwood said. Donations for the garden can be made at gofundme.com.
The triangular-shaped garden includes a decorative storage shed, a wood fence and artwork.