Bench Stolen from the Bruce Monroe Community Garden – Keep Your Eyes Peeled for the Unique Piece


“Dear PoPville,

I’m a member of the Bruce Monroe Community Garden, located between Sherman and Georgia and Irving and Columbia on the eastern side of Columbia Heights. We had a fantastic bench in the garden, built by a longtime neighborhood resident, that was truly representative of the community (blurb below). The bench was recently stolen and we’re hoping you can help us recover it. Any information or sightings can be sent to [email protected], and we’d just be happy to have it returned intact.

Blurb by the bench’s creator:
Just as the old Bruce School gave up its ghost to be reborn as this park, so too did it give of itself to provide this seat for your weary legs. Using floorboards removed from the original Bruce School gymnasium and a discarded rusty old park bench found in an alley near the school, this new bench was given new life (and a new paint job by neighborhood kids). So as we cultivate the rebirth of our community, we always remember where we came from.

11 Comment

  • Anonynon

    Iv been a gardener here for 3 seasons now…so depressing how much bad stuff happeneds to gardeners plots here. Makes your wonder. That being said we aren’t giving up!

  • Who steals a bench?

    • 3 middle school age people from that neighborhood.

      I know this for a fact as I stopped them from stealing that bench a few weeks ago, the FIRST time they attempted to steal it! A short girl, two boys – all likely in middle school. After I scared them off (with my very intimidating “How’s it going?” call) they ran…all the way to the nearby basketball court. On the other hand, the bench is too heavy for one person to move, so I almost, ALMOST commend their use of teamwork.

  • People suck!

  • People steal everything from this garden, it’s such a joke. I was there for one season and it was such a waste of time/energy/money. Seems like (from reading the listserv emails) that things are only getting worse. They really should get a fence like other gardens in the area, it’s basically a free for all right now.

    • Agreed – member for 4 years…finally gave it up just a month ago. Just get a fence already. It is a joke.

      • The garden plots are in limited supply. I attempted to attain a plot at a garden that actually has a fence – I was more than number 200 on the waitlist. As long as there are always more people than there are plots, garden members will get frustrated and leave…and there will be no fence. If this were in an area (suburbs?) with fewer people, then a loss of membership would be substantial and folks might decide to keep those members by erecting a fence…

    • I regularly walk my dog through the garden (not a gardener) and politely kicked out two old ladies with shopping bags from the garden last week. It helped that I spoke Spanish, but they knew that the corner plots were for the community. I feel for the gardeners who spend so much time and energy caring for their veggies only to have them snatched up. There should be a garden gate and a proper dog park at Bruce Monroe. I realize that gardens and dog parks aren’t money-makers for the city, but it does make for happy residents.

      • Thank you kindly! It really is appreciated. It’s frustrating to wait for the few tomatoes that are ripening to be ready to eat, only to have them disappear when one shows up. Many of us gardeners do ‘our part’ by helping with the ‘shared plots,’ but as the commenter writes, they know about those corner plots; they just don’t care! Again, muchas gracias!

  • Egad

    It’s such a lovely garden and the majority of gardeners just want a friendly place to grow their plants in peace. One big problem that this garden has is that Garden Committee will claim that it wants to hear the opinions and experiences of various members, but if someone dares to say that they are disappointed by the blatant theft and vandalism or that a fence would be helpful, a few very vocal members jump in and pull the “I’m offended,” and “how dare you alienate the community” card. I don’t think that any of these squeaky wheels have a really good grasp of the neighborhood or the people who live in it. A simple conversation can turn into something very ugly very fast. The constant focus on gentrification guilt and entitlement is exhausting and counterproductive. When a member reports that thieves were bold enough to steal right in front of them and the response is “you are entitled to nothing!” it doesn’t exactly bring people together.

    • Oh, wow. From my experience at a recent garden meeting, that was indeed exactly how it turned out! You’ve been to these meetings, I take it?

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