Normal Heights residents mobilize to save community garden
Photo by Andrew Bowen
Residents of Normal Heights in San Diego are mobilizing Saturday morning to save their neighborhood’s only community garden after the owner decides to put the land up for sale.
The Vera House Community Garden is approximately 2,400 square feet on the corner of 34th Street and North Mountain View Drive. The property, which is zoned for a single family home, went on the market this week with an asking price of $ 399,000.
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“Build yourself a brand new home in one of the best and most peaceful neighborhoods in this highly desirable neighborhood in the heart of San Diego,” the listing reads. “You will love the friendly neighbors and how easy this place is to walk.”
One of these friendly neighbors is Danielle Nuzzo Meyers, who rents one of the 12 plots in the garden. She said the garden has served the community for 29 years and is more than just a piece of land for growing vegetables.
“We always bring schools and try to educate children about the importance of gardening and being outdoors,” said Nuzzo Meyers. “And it’s just a really nice gathering place for the whole community.”
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The owner, speaking through his listing agent, declined to comment for this story.
Nuzzo Meyers said she recognizes San Diego has a housing shortage, but argued the property has greater value as a community gathering place than as a single-family home. She hopes the seller will consider selling or renting the property to the gardeners themselves – or to the city of San Diego for the park designation.
“I think we’re ready to launch a fundraising effort if needed,” said Nuzzo Meyers. “We will do everything to save the garden, because we are not ready to give it up.”
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