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Marilyn Van Eaton weeds a large area of perennial plants that she tends in front of her Lawson Place residence.  (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Marilyn Van Eaton weeds the garden in front of her Lawson Place residence. The plot is slated for destruction on Oct. 1 by Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority, which owns and manages the public housing complex. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Villagers to protest garden removal

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After two months of attempted negotiation with Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority, the residents of Lawson Place are scheduled to lose their gardens on Monday, Oct. 1. To protest the removal of these gardens, a group of villagers is planning a rally and march on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Those interested in participating should meet at the John Bryan Community Center, and the assembled will march at 2 p.m., with protest signs, to Lawson Place. Once there, marchers will be able to tour the gardens and express support. Supplies for sign-making will be available at the Bryan Center before 2 p.m. for those interested.

Interested community members are also asked to write letters of support for the gardens to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and members of the Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority. Letters or emails may be directed to:

Shawn Sweet, director, Cleveland Hub
Renaissance Building
1350 Euclid, Suite 500, Cleveland, OH 44115-1815

Sandra Henriquez, US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
451 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington DC 20410

Nancy Hadley, president of GMHA Board
1530 Marsetta Dr., Beavercreek, 45432

Cecil Brown, vice chair of GMHA Board
2496 Commons Blvd, Beavercreek, 45431

Marsha Bayless, Mayor of Xenia
518 E. Church St., Xenia 45385

According to villager and Green Environmental Coalition president Vickie Hennessy: “The gardens in question have been cultivated by residents for many years and provide them with beauty, food, a therapeutic activity and pride in their homes.” For a full story on the removal of the gardens, read an article that appeared in the Yellow Springs News in June.

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