Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sad news about the Edgewood garden

Approximately 40 volunteers gathered yesterday at our annual spring planting at the Edgewood Community Garden located on the grounds of DC Parks and Recreation, Edgewood Recreation Center. Upon finishing, we had cleaned the entire picnic area, planted, and covered our 10 raised garden beds. Pictures of the garden planting and clean up are included.

Around 3pm that day, college aged students external to the Edgewood community started to arrive at the picnic and garden area for the popularly advertised Dreams Never Die (DND) organization that was established by Howard University (HU) students (but in no way affiliated or supported by HU) "DRANKNIX II" party cause we down for whatever food, drinks and lio provided party. Approximately 500-700 people came to this party and trampled on our garden beds and left the premises trashed and damaged. Pictures of the party and the condition the site was left as of this morning are included in this email as well.

We are asking for your assistance to help restore the garden. Considering that the garden is free and open to the public, we rely on generous donation from private individuals to sustain our efforts. We had available and spent nearly $400 for this growing season. We want to restore the garden, but we do not have any more money to replace the flowers, seeds and seedlings we lost.

Please consider donating any amount (even $5 will go a long way!) you can today so we can begin planning for our restoration event. Your gift is tax-deductible and will be of great help in taking the next steps to restore and beautify the area again. You can donate to the garden by clicking on this link ( and then locate the "Donate Now" button (please ensure that you include in your donation comment section "Edgewood Community Garden"). You can also send a check, that is written out to the Friends of Edgewood Recreation Center, to:

Karin Bleeg
PO BOX 25172
Washington, DC 20027

Thank you for all of your supportive emails, phone calls, Facebook posts and positive energy you're sending our way now, but most of all for all you have given us since the beginning of this adventure.


  1. Why does this article try so hard to pin HU students? Why did the Edgewood Twitter representative make such a bad example of everything the word "community" even stands for?

    As a person who attended the party, but who also has a passion for planting and gardening and who would have been glad to help, even outside of the party issues as an opportunity to learn more, I have to say I was really disappointed in the way this situation was handled on social media by the people who "care" about this park and who are supposedly "adults", I can't say I feel inclined to give anything to this park or feel any sympathy for anyone who did work on this park, which is wrong, but when the general consensus of this group is that I am not a part of my community because of a party (which is wrong) then, I refuse to keep giving my good character to bad ones.

    I'm sure a lot of HU students would have found it fun to participate and connect with the community, even donate money, but the way the situation was handled (Immature hashtags and name calling started by the official Edgewood Park Twitter account) why would anyone care?

    No one knew that seeds were planted. You should not chastise, make angry remarks at anyone, and tell an institution of people that they are not part of your community for something that they do not know. IF you wanted a COMMUNITY, you would have taken the time and jumped at the chance to educate, instead of the chance to slander. That's what communities do: Help teach and grown. Adversaries and enemies SLANDER.

    The fact you you all as an organization are contacting the dean of students (when this was not even a HU function, nor was it only HU students) speak volumes to how much you don't want help from Howard students, and how much you don't care about OUR community; just YOUR community.

    I ride past this garden every day, and what care I had for it, I now have none because of the generally rude undertone that has made me feel disconnected from the neighborhood that will be mine before and after some seeds are planted in a garden.

  2. I completely agree with the person above. I'm glad to see that Edgewood Garden has cleaned up their act somewhat by their new "HowardIsCommunity" hashtag. At least they did something in an effort to reconcile all of the hatred towards Howard University.

    Extreme Exaggeration
    Saying things like the garden was "trashed", when I noticed that students cleaned up the garden and had everything in bags. Once those pictures went up, the new story became.... "oh, well the trash bags were not put in the proper place." Pick a stance... Either the garden was "TRASHED" or "Trash bags were not placed in the proper place"...However, you can't have your cake and eat it to. When I find significant lies like this, it makes me doubt that there was even 400.00 worth of garden damage.The extreme exaggeration regarding property damaged and a "trashed garden" was unwarranted and completely "over the top". The issue was not handled professionally.

    Spamming Howard University's twitter account was extremely inappropriate. Please stop tweeting negative things about Howard University!

    Edgewood Gardens needs to hire a person with more business savvy to run their social media pages/blogs/etc.

    Please pick the most diplomatic person in your organization to run your social media or hire someone new. Additionally, please choose a person who can express him/herself without all the rudeness and racial overtones.(And just because your team is multicultural, doesn't mean that my comments don't hold any merit. Certain black and white people need diversity training and they need to understand how to communicate without coming off so despicable. I know plenty of people (Black, White, Asian, etc) who would have handled this situation much better). Get your tone together!!!! with all this "my neighborhood, and my garden" and all this "my community" etc.

    Please be professional and mature enough to handle situations accordingly. A million and one tweets is no way to run a nonprofit. It makes you look really bad. :(

  3. Look (both of you above), there is NO way anyone can defend the acts of these irresponsible persons who both organized and attended this unauthorized and illegal event. Perhaps the response from the community (tweets, blogs, etc.) are not the most thought through but again, there is NO way to excuse these actions.

    As a member of this community, I vow to report any suspicious behavior such as parties, large congregations, or just anything that does not look "right" for our community. I hope others will follow and do the same.

  4. Long as your reporting isn't pretext for some other motive or agenda, that's exactly what you should be doing. However the students had permits and the PD was informed of the event. Granted, there did seem to be a lot of alcohol at that event, so I'm not totally defending it.

    I am in "no way" defending anyones actions. My issue is with the "extreme exaggerations" and mission to tarnish Howard's reputation with the name calling. Don't lie and say an area was "trashed" when I clearly see pictures that show the people at the party have cleaned up and placed everything in trash bags.

    Lying to make a problem look much bigger than what it is damages Edgewood Gardnen's credibility and makes it look as if the "garden" complaints are pretext for something else.

    If Edgewood would have went about the complaints tactfully and TRUTHFULLY, I would've backed them 100%. Because they lied about the "trashed garden"... I definitely do not believe their claim about $400.00 in garden damage. I

    I'm glad the people at the event took pictures of the "clean up"... Had they not, the story of a "trashed garden" would have been believable. The exaggeration must stop. This could've been solved very amicably.

  5. No one is defending the party. But how can you expect people to know about seeds? Or that there even was a garden? If this were random people and not a party with the same results, what would any one have to say? NO CAN TELL THAT IT IS A GARDEN.

    Parties are NOT suspicious behavior. BBQs are NOT suspicious behavior. But we all know the pre-text/subtext for what is "suspicious" around these parts so that's why I feel NO remorse for this garden that's being used a metaphor for something else. I wonder how this gathering would have been perceived if the skin color of the attendees was different, the music was different, etc. Especially in a "liberal" city such as D.C.

    No one's trying to defend anyone's actions. There's no need to defend anything because PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW. To defend something, you have to have an INTENTIONAL reason. But if you expect anyone( big groups AND small groups, or even individuals) to be able to recognize that some seeds were planted in a dirt mound, you are WRONG! You might as well call the police on 90% of D.C. residents because I'm sure no one will be able to see seeds that are underground.

    Walking on grass is not even something that most people do, let alone something that people on Howard's campus do (you will RARELY see anyone walk on the grass on Howard's campus, unless for a ritual/event of some sort, which is funny because I have seen many-a transplants running on the grass of Howard's campus, disrespecting our vegetation with no care). Howard students have a great appreciation for vegetation and green efforts. Sorry, but the "garden" is not a clear indication that anything vegetation related is happening, especially since you all JUST planted seed.

    Any reasonable person should be able to see how a mistake was made here and learn to teach instead of being quick to argue, slander, and defend, when there is nothing to be defensive about. You can spend your time reporting people for not knowing about something that's not obviously known, that's fine.

    Do what you need to make you feel better. Get people arrested, ticketed, etc. Make it a private park and shun others who aren't on your checklist away. That will be great for the "community". Don't do anything that's actually productive for your effort. Express that anger instead! Don't make a beautiful sign/fence showing people where the garden, while also adding a nicer touch of art. Don't connect with your community. Don't post an information board about the garden, telling how long it's been around, why it matters, and who benefits from it. No. No one needs to know a garden exists until AFTER they destroy it and after being insulted and made a mockery of on Twitter. Don't be proactive, be reactive. Call the police and effectively alienate the park from the COMMUNITY out of fear of your super trooper, mall cop security tactics.

    I'm sure with your intellect level, the smartest thing you could muster up is dialing 3 numbers. Thanks for proving me and many other people right.

    1. They were seedlings, not seeds thrown in the ground and mounded over, and they are in raised is that not a garden? Do we need a giant neon sign saying "Garden Here?" Walkways and benches are usually not elevated 3 feet off the ground, filled with dirt and planted with seedlings. Respecting other peoples work and efforts is a part of forming a community.