In our economic system, there’s no way to monetize something that provides green space, community interaction, increased food security, public health, and pro-environmental behaviors (to name just a few benefits). In our neoliberal reality, the only monetization a greenspace provides is to its surrounding neighborhood, in that it raises property values, which inevitably leads to the garden’s demise as developers salivate over the “unused land.”
washburn Neighborhood garden is a sanctuARY, but can mayo cLINIC be made to see its true value?
By Roxanne Aubrey
Having spent most of my adult life in Brooklyn, I never would have imagined myself in a garden plot in Wisconsin at 6 a.m. hunting cucumber beetles and squash bugs.
Every morning and every evening, I hunt down the little buggers which decimate my squash plants in the Washburn Neighborhood Garden and take some satisfaction in smushing them. Next to my plot is Jo Ann Neve’s plot. (Jo Ann’s squash plants are beautiful. I gaze at her lush garden in awe, and – I’ll admit it – envy). She, along with Randy and Rita Magno, helped start this garden on Division Street between 9th and 10th Street.
This land was previously owned by Franciscan Skemp Medical Center (since 2015, it has belonged to Mayo Clinic.). Back then, there…
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