The Neighborhood Gardens Association has agreed to collect donations for the Bodine Street Community Garden. Donations will be used to attempt to preserve the garden and will go towards legal expenses, settlement costs or other necessary costs for its potential acquisition. Learn how to make a tax-deductible donation.
We talked with Kathy Conway again. She has definitely removed herself from the deal and promised to call to have the sign removed ASAP. She would not comment as to whether Prudential would still be involved.
Dave Fitz from Councilman DiCicco’s office called. He expressed DiCicco’s support of saving the garden and told us he will help in any way he can including communicating with the owner.
We along with neighbors, Terry Mushovic from the Neighborhood Gardens Association and Dave Fitz from Councilman DiCicco’s office, met with Don Ventresca, developer and potential buyer of the property. We stated our intentions to pursue legal ownership of the land and stated some options for any buyer to consider (buy and donate; back out; or buy and deal with us). Don explained his intentions to develop, but he doesn’t want to make enemies. He said he will keep in touch and let us know of his decision.
The Queen Village Neighborhood Association (QVNA) has officially expressed their support of the garden. You can read their letter of support to Councilman DiCicco.
The Gardeners met and decided to file for adverse possession of the property. We hired real estate attorney Daniel Markind. He has prior experience with adverse possession. Adverse possession is acquisition of property as a result of long-term use or occupancy without challenge from anyone else who might have a right to it. To exercise adverse possession rights under Pennsylvania state law, one must be in control of property for at least 21 years. If we win adverse possession we will immediately donate the land to the Neighborhood Gardens Association Land Trust, making the garden protected green space.
The potential buyer is developer Don Ventresca. He wants to meet with us. Kathy Conway told us she has withdrawn from the deal, she doesn’t want to be involved.
Last night the “Save the Garden” group attended the Queen Village Neighbors Association meeting. We all wore our “Save the Bodine Street Garden” t-shirts to draw attention to our cause. City Councilman DiCicco was there talking about Tax Abatement. After the meeting we talked to him. He said he can’t make any promises, but he’ll see what he can do. We also talked to Kathy Conway (the Real Estate agent brokering the sale) and she seemed to be sympathetic to our cause. She also informed us that there is an agreement of sale on the property.
Along with the help of the Neighborhood Gardens Association, we have been in contact with Councilman DiCicco’s office, we will keep you posed on how that develops.
We painted a new “Save the Garden” sign and put it up on the fence facing 3rd Street. So far it has not been taken down. We want to send a message to potential buyers and the neighborhood that this green space isn’t going without a fight.
Last night we had a meeting with Mike Rosenberg from the Green Party of Philadelphia. He had several good suggestions of contacts and organization that may be able to help us. They said the Green Party would assist us in our effort. We also put up a big sign facing 3rd street that said “Help Protect This Urban Green Space www.savethegarden.com” It was promptly taken down by someone this morning.