BLM Garden in Seattle Closes Due to Rampant Drug Use, Vandalism

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BLM Garden in Seattle Closes Due to Rampant Drug Use, Vandalism

A Black Lives Matter (BLM) garden in Cal Anderson Park, Seattle, has been closed by members of Seattle, Washington’s Parks and Recreation Department due to homelessness, drug use, and vandalism.

In a statement, city officials said the temporary garden was being removed because of public health and safety concerns.

The efforts included removing tent encampments near the garden, which city officials said was to ensure the public spaces remained clean.

In 2023, the City’s Unified Care Team cleaned up encampments at Cal Anderson Park 76 times, the city said.

Fox News reported that city officials also said the temporary garden has created unsafe conditions for people who enjoy the park.

Incidents include vandalism in the park’s public bathrooms, drug use, unauthorized camping, and an increasing rodent population.

According to The Seattle Times, the parks planned to act in October but faced pushback from the Black Star Farmers, who stewarded the garden.

There was also a group that petitioned over 5,000 signatures from people against the park’s removal, citing that the garden honors Black and Indigenous people killed by police.

The New York Post reported:

Seattle Parks said it has conducted community engagement with park visitors, neighbors, and adjacent businesses near the garden since 2020 and received “significant” feedback showing a desire to relocate the garden elsewhere in the park.

The department also said it has communicated with community activists since 2020, offering alternative locations for the garden.

However, none of the sites were acceptable to the garden organizers.

The city “remains committed to an ongoing dialogue to produce an alternative garden site.”

The city “remains committed to an ongoing dialogue to produce an alternative garden site.”

“Cal Anderson Park is the living room of Capitol Hill and a focal point of our city,” Hollingsworth said.

“It’s important that we prioritize sanitary conditions within shared public spaces so that our neighborhoods can continue to flourish.”

“To make a garden without reaching out to the families and even letting them know about it tells me that this is not about our loved ones but about folks hijacking the movement and trying to make a name for themselves off of our pain and that is simply not okay,” Johnson said in a statement provided on the city’s website.

President of the Seattle, King County NAACP, Darrell Powell, said the garden was supposed to be a memorial to the Black lives lost to police violence but said it has turned into anything but that.

“The Black community is unaware of the existence of the garden, and the garden does not represent any meaningful sense, the vast number of Black lives extinguished by police violence,” Powell said.

“The Seattle-King County NAACP stands with Mayor Bruce Harrell and his administration in establishing a true representation memorializing the Black Lives lost due to police violence.”

READ: DC Spends $270,000 of Taxpayers’ Money on BLM Paint Job as Violent Crime Skyrockets

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