This is a story about one group's effort to reclaim a vandalized space.
There are plenty of examples of ways in which gardening can bring communities together. As a garden designer, I have worked on many communal gardening schemes. The inspiring examples I have encountered give me hope for stronger, more resilient communities, while also confirming my belief that we can resolve many conflicts and avoid "othering" by growing and gardening together. Here is one real world example that shows how gardening can bring communities together.
In a rough inner-city area in the eastern U.S., a small brownfield site was a lawless jungle where vandals ruled. Broken glass, a rusted-out car, and mindless graffiti turned the space into a "no-go" zone for most of the area's inhabitants. Drug use was an issue, and teenaged arsonists had, on several occasions, set the area ablaze.
A small group of people living nearby decided that enough was enough. Seeking a resolution, they set up a small nonprofit to turn the area into a community space—a space of healing, hope, and growth, not destruction and despair.