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Dear Members and Friends of Grow Annapolis,
The Annapolis Community Garden Project on Bywater Rd. has been in the making since 2009 when Grow Annapolis first walked the Kingsport Park as a prospective community garden site with then Director LeeAnn Plumber of the the Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department. Currently a community garden is included in the 2013 Capital Improvement Project Budget, and Grow Annapolis also has a letter of support from the Mayor’s Office, showing their support for the Project. With that said, the project could be in trouble and we need your help, please read on and do what you can to help the cause.
What you should know is that the city may be pulling back support from the Annapolis Community Garden Project off Bywater Rd. This is due to the pressure of few loud and influential voices from the Kingsport Development which is adjacent to proposed site. With that said, we have been contacted by residents of the Kingsport Development, Bywater Mutual Homes and would-be gardeners throughout Annapolis, eager to participate in the project and adopt plots. Grow Annapolis has held two public forums on site over the last Three months, with the majority of those in attendance being in favor of the garden.
The objection we have heard from opponents is that they believe the garden will increase crime. This is contrary to everything we know about community gardens, which are recognized by many police departments and civic governments as an effective community crime prevention strategy. On the contrary, community gardens build a sense of community ownership, community identity and connect people from a wide variety of backgrounds (age, race, culture and social class). Community Gardens also offer neighbors an opportunity to be engaged in healthy habits and lifestyles, by encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors, grow fresh food and develop positive relationships with one another.
The individuals mentioned above have further stated that they are opposed to the garden because they specifically want to keep neighbors out of this area, essentially halting the improvement of a public park and using it as a private buffer between their development and the surrounding neighborhoods of Ward 4. Grow Annapolis and many community members consider this is an illegitimate desire for a public space.
As already stated, the City of Annapolis’s Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Budget funds the construction of the this public space beginning in 2013 and includes a line for the community garden. The CIP will be adopted in June, so it is important that you speak up and let the City of Annapolis know you support the Annapolis Community Garden Project on Bywater Rd.
This next part is crucial, we need you to join Grow Annapolis by sending letters of support for the Annapolis Community Garden Project on Bywater Rd. and by calling the Mayor’s Office and your local City Alderman. The number of the for the Mayor’s Office is: 410-263-7997. You can find your Alderman’s contact info at: http://www.annapolis.gov/government/Council/ElectOfficials/ContactElectOfficials.aspx. Also, Please consider sharing this email with others.
Grow Annapolis is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to foster and sustain community gardens and urban agriculture programs.