Man Plants ‘Guerrilla Garden’ On Public Property Without Permission, Gets Amazing Response

Man Plants ‘Guerrilla Garden’ On Public Property Without Permission, Gets Amazing Response –

 

A man decided to plant a garden on public city property just to “make it look nice” and how the city responded is simply wonderful.

Credit: Paul Miller

“A few years ago I started the ‘guerrilla garden’ in a small, bare triangular patch of soil near a downtown Santa Rosa parking lot after some bushes were removed.

My garden started off with a few cherry tomato plants and cosmos, and I’d lug water over in 5 gallon buckets from the neighboring building to water the plants.

It was a joy to see homeless people and other people going by and grabbing a handful of cherry tomatoes and popping them in their mouths!


Credit: Paul Miller

Last year, I decided to expand my ‘guerrilla garden’, and I installed garden art – including a bird bath and concrete spheres – along with the native plants I planted.

Not content with this small plot of land, I also began to expand the garden up the street, in the vacant planting strip between the parking lot and the sidewalk.

At about this time, I was contacted by someone from the City of Santa Rosa who asked me – point blank – what the heck I was doing.

Since I was doing this all on the sly and without any express permission from the City, I was a bit cowed trying to explain to him that I walk by this area several times a day on my way to and from work, and I just wanted to make it look nice so I started planting it with plants, using money only out of my own pocket and my own time.

Expecting to hear that I would have to remove the plants or would otherwise be in trouble, the supervisor instead said he loved the idea and he wanted to know how he could help.

I was amazed; so many times people look at government and bureaucracy as hindering people, rather than making things easier for people.

He asked how he could provide to help with the project.

I asked for additional soil for the planting strip, and he had it delivered the next day; I asked for mulch for my drought tolerant plants, and he had it on site and spread that week.

I said I could really use a water spigot so I don’t have to lug water over from my office, and he had a spigot installed, and also provided me with a 200 foot hose and hose reel so that I could easily water the plants.

It’s been the most incredible partnership I could ever ask for.

Fast forward to today: A woman was carrying a bunch of the sunflowers from the guerrilla garden, and I asked, out of curiosity, how she was going to use them.


Credit: Paul Miller

She said that she was going to bring them to The Living Room, a homeless shelter for women and children in Santa Rosa.

I broke down and cried tears of gratitude and joy.”

 

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