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Growing Effort To Save Philadelphia Community Garden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A community garden in Southwest Philadelphia is up for sheriff’s sale.

The effort to save it is getting stronger and the conflict between developers and neighborhood gardeners continues to grow.

The St. Bernard Community Garden near 49th and Springfield is a green oasis and food for 50 families on its quiet block.

“You can start to see some spinach and greens coming up,” Brandon Webber tells KYW Newsradio.

He plants in the six-year-old garden, which sits on two lots on St. Bernard Street. One of the lots was saved from sheriff’s sale in 2012, and now second lot is up for sale on May 26th.

“We’re looking to find ways to keep this garden a garden and not have developers buy it and put up a house,” says Webber.

Brandon Weber doing some gardening. (CreditL Cherri Gregg)

Brandon Weber inside the garden. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Councilwoman Janie Blackwell office is hoping to delay the sale, while looking for a permanent solution.

“More and more spaces are becoming at risk,” says Amy Laura Cahn, who runs the Garden Justice Initiative.

She says the problem is community gardeners don’t own the land, so their rights are insecure:

“We think the land bank can be the tool that can assist.”

That could take months.

For now, St. Bernard is hoping city council saves the day.

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