Heart of Lubbock community garden ‘weed wacked’ by vandalism, volunteers needed to replant & cleanup

Heart of Lubbock Community Garden

Community garden at 21st Street and Avenue X.

You can help cleanup and replant the Heart of Lubbock Community Garden at 21st Street and Avenue X after someone destroyed portions of the garden with what appeared to be a weed wacker.

“Bad news. … Whatever harvestable spring crops we had are now destroyed, and many of our summer crops will need to be regrown and planted late. We’re devastated,” a Facebook post said Saturday morning.

The garden provides free vegetables to anyone who needs them. This is not the first time they’ve had problems.

“We’re not asking for donations. We’re not asking for resources. We’re asking for people,” said Jonah Trevino, a Texas Tech Ph.D. student and garden manager.

“If we can get the community more involved again, I feel like things like this wouldn’t happen,” Trevino said. “I feel like the garden can become a more safe place.”

How to help
What: Cleanup and replant
Where: Heart of Lubbock Community Garden, 21st Street and Avenue X
When: Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m.
What to bring: Water, gloves and sunscreen
Link to More: Facebook page for the Community Garden

What about the storm?

In the social media post, folks took notice of the big storm that blew through Lubbock the night before.

“We had up to 90 mph wind gusts, potential hail, pouring rain and a massive storm last night. It harmed a lot of people’s gardens,” wrote Mallory C., just one example.

That’s not what happened, Trevino said.

Heart of Lubbock Community Garden
Community garden at 21st Street and Avenue X.

A Texas Tech student was out there Friday before the storm and reported back to Trevino some of the plants were damaged.

“Come Saturday, I go out there to the garden and I realize that everything is chopped down,” Trevino said.

The plant stems looked stringy, he said.

“And I realize it’s weed-wacker damage.”

There was no doubt in his mind. Other gardens in the area did not suffer the same damage, Trevino said.

The leaves were brown from the dead plants. That means it wasn’t from the night before. Also, the drip line was cut. Things were fine on Monday when Trevino was out there in person.

“This has to have happened sometime from Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday,” Trevino said.

“A lot of the plants that got torn up are big spring crops that are ready for harvest,” he said.

There had been trouble before

The garden used to have a little greenhouse to start seeds.

“Sadly, we had to dismantle that greenhouse due to the squatters,” Trevino said.

Someone ripped off the door to get in and was trying to live in the greenhouse.

“They got to the point where there was one guy who was trying to build a permanent settlement,” Trevino said. Much of the greenhouse was taken down a few months ago but part of the frame remained to be used, possibly, as a trellis.

But someone tried to turn that into a shelter.

“We were like, ‘Yeah, we can’t leave this frame up,” Trevino said.

The last few pieces of the greenhouse were taken down Friday.

“We did not file a police report,” Trevino said. “He didn’t do any structural damage besides the drip line. … There’s nothing else done to the structures. It was just the plants were all mowed down.”

LubbockLights.com checked with the Lubbock Police Department and found four calls to the garden in the last two years.

A police spokesman, Corporal Antonio Leal, said, “Three mention homeless subjects specifically. Two of which mentioned sleeping or camping on the property.”

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Author: James Clark- James Clark is the associate editor of Lubbock Lights. He worked in radio, television and digital media for a combined total of more than 30 years. He was Director of Digital News Content at KAMC, KLBK and EverythingLubbock.com for nearly 10 years.