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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Community Garden vandalized over weekend, more than $7000 of damages

Selena Quintanilla

A broken plant pot at the UA Community Garden on Highland Avenue and Mabel Street. The garden was vandalized between Friday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 12.

Sometime between Friday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 12, the UA Community Garden was vandalized.

Jackie Mendelson, UA Community Garden manager and plant sciences senior, said there was more than $7,000 worth of damage.

The garden, located at 1400 E Mabel St., was fine when Mendelson left it Friday evening, but a mess when she returned Sunday afternoon.

RELATED: The UA Community Garden talks self-love in latest installment of stories in the garden

“They destroyed everything breakable in the garden,” Mendelson said. “The lamps were kicked off and shattered, they kicked a birdhouse against the tree and broke it, ripped up an agave plant and broke some chairs and a table that’s been here forever.”

Additionally, the UA Community Garden’s solar pump was destroyed, the solar panel punctured, their irrigation control box ripped off the wall and all the irrigation tubes pulled out of the ground. Holes were also punched into the wall of their shed, and strings of lights used to decorate the ramada were pulled down. 

“I’m really sad about it,” Mendelson said. “We can’t even water our crops now.”

Cole Pihl, co-director of Students for Sustainability and a environmental science senior, called the damage extensive, and said it would be difficult to find the people responsible.

“It was very disheartening to hear that our community garden had been vandalized over the weekend,” Pihl said. “So many of us on campus and around the community use it. A police report has been filed, but it’s hard to say who would have done such a thing.”

Pihl said a donation page has been set up to help fund the garden repairs.

RELATED: UA Community Garden offers opportunities for students to grow

Pihl said for the funds to go to the UA Community Garden, it’s important to write that the donation is for the “UA Community Garden repair fund” in the comment section. Otherwise, it will just be a general donation to the school.

Earlier in the week, a GoFundMe page was set up that received over $1,700 in two days. 

That page, which Mendelsen and the UA Community Garden community set up immediately after discovering the vandalism, has since been shut down in favor of the official UA donation page. 

“We’re lucky to have such a supportive community,” Mendelsen said. 

The UA Community Garden was started in 2012, and has roughly 100 plots available for rent by community members. It is entirely student-run, and hosts events as well.

Mendelsen said she was pleased that the scheduled Stories in the Garden event could still occur that Sunday evening, despite the destruction of the garden space. 

“All the beautiful people here make the space beautiful no matter what horrible things happened,” Mendelsen said.

Follow Marissa Heffernan on Twitter.

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