Webster Groves community garden may be pulled

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. - A 40 year-old community garden in Webster Groves may be torn out because it's illegal.

The garden along Glen Road is growing corn, tomatoes and peppers among other things. The problem is it was planted just feet away from a Union Pacific Railroad line.

Gardeners say on June 30 a Union Pacific officer went door to door through their neighborhood telling people the garden is planted on railroad property, the gardeners have been trespassing and the garden needed to be removed within a week.

On Friday the garden was still there. Community gardener Betsy Alexander is hoping it stays that way.

"The garden started when someone was looking for a spot that gets sun all day long," said Alexander. "Then it just sort of expanded from there. It's something I like to do as a hobby and the garden yields so much produce we all share with each other."

Alexander and her neighbors say nobody has ever complained about the garden in the past. Now they're wondering why the railroad suddenly has a problem with their plants.

"It's all about safety," said Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis. "We're really stepping up safety and security around the rail lines and this is part of it."

Davis also said Union Pacific's real estate department is taking a close look to determine whether the garden is actually on the railroad's property.

A decision on the garden's fate is expected by sometime next week.


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