Community turns out in support of controversial garden

Community turns out in support of controversial garden

ISHPEMING — It was a full house at the Ishpeming Senior Center Wednesday night for the City Council Meeting.

Many turned out for the Meeting, knowing that Dan Perkins would make a statement about the garden he planted on city property. The property had been vacant for some time when Perkins planted the garden.

“We’re encroaching on a city park. Of course, the city park is completely abandoned and it’s un-maintained, so we felt it was a good use for the land, but we’re in violation of property rights held by the city and it’s a city park. So, city council is just doing their job, they’re just trying to keep things in order here. We’re trying to convince the city council to work with us and let the unused land be used in this manner,” said Perkins.

“I think I understand his point of view and I would hope that he would understand that the city does own this land and the city council has the ultimate decision-making authority regarding uses of public land. No matter how worthy a cause might be, we should follow procedure and have permission to use other people’s land,” said City Manager Mark Slown, “I’m always hopeful that something can be worked out, but I need to see some willingness to compromise.”

Perkins had a lot of support at the meeting. Ten individuals from the community also took advantage of public comment to speak in his support:

“By far the nicest spot on that drive is the Perkins’ Gardens.”

“Take your time to do something of value to our city.”

“The produce grown is donated to families.”

“A lot of kids aren’t getting the nutrients they need.”

“People that work in gardens have a lower BMI.”

“I was talking about feeding the 5000, and I think that garden could do that.”

“Community gardens are a huge way to encourage placemaking.”

“When I met with these people and I saw their project, I knew there was real hope here.”

“Find a way to present this man with Citizen of the Year.”

Perkins also wanted to clarify that the Partridge Creek Farm, which he helped found, was not involved in this incident.