Westbury Community Garden may be in jeopardy

September 6, 2012 4:09:55 PM PDT
Neighbors are fighting to save the Westbury Community Garden and keep it exactly where it is. The seven acre site in far southwest Houston now may be in jeopardy.

The undeveloped land has been owned by the Houston Housing Authority for three decades. It's been leased by the Westbury Civic Club for a community garden for only the past two years. The question is how much longer the garden will remain.

It's a garden fighting the elements beneath a hot Texas sun but it's thriving -- for now.

Gardener Dita Geary said, "It's pretty terrific to watch kids learning where their food actually comes from."

Last month, amid all the green, something unusual was spotted around the garden -- surveyors for the Houston Housing Authority were sizing up the land. The authority owns the land that is leased for the community garden for only $10 a year.

There is concern that all this might be developed or sold, even as the Westbury Community Garden was about to expand to the rest of the seven acre site.

"It's not going to happen now because we're not about to pour money into the place that might go for naught," Geary said.

There is a petition drive to save the garden, appealing to the Housing Authority to let it stay. Meanwhile, things keep growing and people keep working, looking ahead to the winter and perhaps even next spring.

"Seasons don't wait, so we're not going to wait," Geary said. "We're just going to keep planting."

The CEO of the Houston Housing Authority said that the land is being surveyed and it must also be appraised to determine if it should be sold or whether it should be developed for low income housing purposes.


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