Now the members of the garden are asking the community to keep a watchful eye over their crops.
Incredibly, the police have told garden organizers that filing a police report is not necessary, according to Sharon Piper, the force of nature behind this idea.
“I spoke to a trooper at the barracks and while he was sympathetic he said that a police report is not necessary. He offered to add our concerns to the patrol file and have the guys keep a sharp eye out".
Gardeners mourned the intrusion of their sanctuary, and shared their memories on line. From Jane DeMaio:
I am saddened also. While I am a fairly new (10 yrs). seasonal ( 5 months a year) resident, I have grown to love Schroon Lake and the wonderful community here. The community garden is such a positive addition to this community. It is not just a garden. It is a symbol of warmth and community effort. My husband and I worked in May when there was a "clean-up". We were so impressed that Word of Life young people were giving of their time to help weed and move dirt.
I have watched folks who are new to SL or just passing through "ooh and aaah" as they walk by. Since my plot is in front, sometimes people ask me about the garden and what it is all about. I am always proud to tell them the effort of the town and community folks worked together to put it here. I tell them about the children's garden and that some of the produce goes to the food bank. People always walk away smiling. Someone even asked me if they could buy some vegetables! When I return to New Jersey I tell people about this garden. My hope is that we can find water and that there is no further vandalism.
Finding water right now is the tough part – The owner of Higher Grounds has declined to supply a source after the flood – and now gardeners have to hand carry water from a spigot at the Glens Falls National Bank.
“We are deeply saddened by what happened to the garden,” said bank President Georgia Burkhardt.
“We would love to be able to run a hose from the bank to the garden, but there are liability issues involved,” Georgette told Schroon Laker.
“Our water is there for the garden, but it has to be hand carried by bucket.”
Schroon Laker has learned that Town Supervisor Mike Marnell is trying to negotiate access from a homeowner who has a backyard facing the garden. Negotiations have hit a roadblock as the property is currently on the market.
Meanwhile, some of the gardeners are debating the installation of a security camera.
From Sharon Piper:
I have thought about putting a trail cam or some sort of remote camera on the site, but quite frankly, I don't like the feeling that brings to our garden. Even if we caught someone on film, I don't know that the police would consider it worthwhile to prosecute.
We hope the wishes of Nancy Harste come true:
I love this garden and the community spirit it represents! Luckily my little plot seems untouched. Hope we have seen the last of the vandals.
So, please keep an eye out as you pass through town. many folks will be mighty appreciative!