Community members are reaching out in droves after the Clairmont Community Garden was vandalized earlier this week.
Founder of the garden, Devin Bateman, says it is hard to find a silver lining when something like this happens. However, since posting about the vandalism on social media, he says he’s been inundated with support and donations from those in the hamlet and beyond.
“Because of this, people from the community are going down to the garden a little more often, the county is going to have a few more patrols out to keep an eye on the park and things like that,” he adds.
Bateman says it’s heartbreaking to see the hard work dug up and left on the ground to rot. He adds that he couldn’t believe somebody would dig up all of the vegetables that were nowhere near ready for harvest.
“To see how little it takes to destroy it, it’s like dominoes. It takes hours to set up and seconds to flatten, it hurts.”
Batemen says other damage includes flooded garden beds after water barrels were emptied out, completely saturating the dirt in the garden beds.
“It turned the box into a soupy muck…It was really bad because of the boxes that they soaked, I still have a lot of work to do to get the soil back to where it’s actually in a usable condition.”
This year, the food grown at the Clairmont Community Garden is being donated to the foodbank. Bateman believes destroying food used to feed the less fortunate is up on the list as one of the cruelest things he can think of.
“You need to understand the grand scale of what you are doing… you are literally taking food out of the mouths of the most vulnerable in our community.”
Bateman says he will be putting in trail cameras, video surveillance signs, and a list of rules to help protect the garden.
Currently, the garden has 19 raised garden beds, a pumpkin patch, a strawberry patch, and 10 blueberry bushes.