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City of Noblesville responds to complaints it destroyed community garden

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The city of Noblesville is responding to neighbors who accused them of destroying a community garden located on city property.

Chad Knecht, the city’s public safety director, said in a statement Thursday that the street department received a complaint about the “nuisance property,” which includes six parcels of land on Pleasant Street and one parcel at Walnut and Third Streets.

When crews went to inspect it, they found the parcels to be “overgrown” and showing “no signs of upkeep, maintenance, or current gardening activity,” according to Knecht.

(Photo Provided/City of Noblesville)

“There were no visible signs…of flowered plant growth or a pollinator garden…nor was there any known or authorized gardening being done in the past year.”

Knecht says the city agreed in 2016 to allow a group called Live This Way the use six parcels on Pleasant Street and one parcel on Walnut and Third Streets as a community garden. The agreement ended last April and city records show Live This Way was dissolved in September, according to Knecht.

The city inspected the property and work crews went to the parcels for maintenance on May 5 and 6, Knecht said.

Workers used a mini excavator to flatten dirt and a compost pile and removed items including an abandoned beehive, a rain barrel, tomato cages, landscaping tarps, a garden hose, concrete benches, and wooden benches made of wood that was rotting, according to Knecht.

“Crews prepared the area to meet the standards of any city-owned property. This particular site is important to keep safe because it is adjacent to Southside Park and in close proximity to the Riverwalk Trail,” Knecht said. “The work done by crews was purely to make the area safe, level for mowing, and free of other hazards.”

Knecht says the city is in discussions with leaders of a new urban gardening organization with the goal of recreating the community gardens.

(Photo Provided/City of Noblesville)