Just as supporters of the community greenspace at the corner of Norfolk and Stanton streets prepared to celebrate a victory this afternoon, the developer who owns part of the land escalated the ongoing conflict, sending workers to reinforce the chainlink fence he erected in May with giant plywood boards.
This afternoon’s planned party will go on as scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., organizers said, but in the meantime, a group of children and adults gathered just across the divide from the workers, chanting their support for the garden and singing songs about trees.
The workers dug holes, filled them with concrete and sunk large wooden posts, to which they nailed sheets of plywood. By 2:30 p.m., developer Serge Hoyda’s section of the garden was almost entirely walled off, meaning the gardeners will no longer be able to see or water the plants that had been thriving there despite the property dispute.
Hoyda and the city, which owns two of the three parcels that make up the garden, are reportedly still in negotiations to work out a deal that would settle the garden’s fate. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development agreed late last month to designate its two lots as a permanent community garden through the GreenThumb program.
The party this afternoon is open to the public.