Note: This is a copy of an August 20 letter sent to city officials.
Dear Mayor Beehan, Mr. Mark Watson, respected Council Members,
I’ve written to you several times in the past regarding the implementation of community gardens in, or rather starting in, the Highland View neighborhood, where I currently reside. Because of my desire to help eliminate hunger in my community, you appointed me to the Anderson County Community Action Commission, which I’ve accepted as a great honor.
My sole focus was on getting food, easy sustainable food, into this area so that families, despite their circumstances, could build something together which, in turn, would increase the sense of community and bonding that comes with dirt under the fingernails and a cold beer after for those old enough.
It is with regret that I inform you that the grant we’d hoped so fervently for from the Lowe’s Community program did not go through. We are, instead, sitting on an acre-and-a-half of land that could have been centrally located, cleared for the sole purpose of raised gardens being built and established, educating anyone that wanted to learn about gardening food, the installation of fruit trees to add better variety to the tables more commonly filled with processed foods, and the naive ideal of success.
I attended a vigil this evening with Mr. Mosby, Mr. Watson, and Ms. Garland as well as the chief of police. While there, two men spoke up overflowing with frustration that people were telling them (in the Scarboro neighborhood) what they needed instead of asking. Nobody was finding out what the communities needed. I’ve found this to be the like case in my neighborhood of Highland View.
We’re telling you what we’d like to see. We’re having to look outside our city to find these things. That shouldn’t be happening. We should be in this together.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Peace, justice, and light to you and yours.