(HorizonPost.com) – Seattle officials removed a garden dedicated to Black Lives Matter after it became a magnet for homelessness, drug use, and crime, the Washington Examiner reported.
Since July 2020, Cal Anderson Park in Seattle featured a Black Lives Matter memorial garden that included strawberries, currants, corn, and other plants. Since the garden’s removal, the group Black Star Farmers, which headed the memorial garden project, returned to remove some of the plants.
According to a statement from the city’s Parks and Recreations Department, in the last few months, the garden “created unsafe conditions for all park users,” with public bathrooms vandalized, open drug use, “unauthorized camping,” and an increase in rodents.
The department plans to reseed the garden and convert it to turf. However, in its statement, Parks and Recreations said it was working with the Black Farmers Collective, the black community, and city officials to come up with a concept for a new commemorative garden in the park.
Cal Anderson Park is about a 2/3-mile circumference located in the Seattle autonomous zone the Capital Hill Organization Project. The park also features several pools, a fountain, a plaza, a playground, giant chess boards, and a lighted sports field.
Jonathan Jones-Thomas, the Washington State NAACP’s Environmental Climate Justice Chairman, said in a statement that he had seen violence, drug activity, and rats while visiting the garden.
King County NAACP President Darrel Powell said in a statement that because most blacks in Seattle are “unaware” of the garden’s existence, it failed to meaningfully represent the number of blacks whose lives were “extinguished by police violence.”
Powell said his organization stood with Seattle Mayor Bruce Harnell’s administration in creating a memorial that would truly represent “the Black Lives lost due to police violence.”
According to a recent report, the area of Seattle/King County, Washington has a homeless population of 14,149, the third-highest population of homeless in a single region.
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