Nonprofit fights for the survival of Brownsville garden
A local nonprofit is fighting for the survival of a Brownsville garden that feeds the community.
After being in negotiations for about two years, the Isabahlia Ladies Of Elegance Foundation is hoping the new developers across the street will pay up for blocking their sun. The nonprofit that runs the garden says that about two years ago the developers of the new housing facility across the street agreed to pay for the garden's electricity.
A study concluded that the new development on New Lots Avenue, Ebenezer Plaza, is going to have a significant impact on the Green Valley Garden that provides produce to many people in the Brownsville community.
ILOEF says that before the project was approved, the developers agreed to pay the cost of operating space heaters and grow lamps to maintain the garden because the building causes a shadow and blocks the sun. But they say now that the developers are going back on their word - saying they'll only pay for 15 years.
News 12 spoke with Brisa Builders CEO Ericka Keller, and she says that from the beginning they told the foundation they would pay $10,000 on a yearly basis for 15 years and that's all they can commit to because they will have to get a new investor or obtain new finance.
As for those running the garden, they say these are terms they would have never agreed to. Those who run the garden tell News 12 that in the morning hours these days about half of the garden is covered in shadows. They say they've already lost eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes and more. They're hoping to come to an agreement soon with the developers so that they don't lose anything else.