Garden Saved at Tense Sheriff’s Sale

A small miracle occurred this morning 38th and Market. At the last minute, the City swooped in and outbid developers to save one of the Saint Bernard Community Garden properties, 1010 S Saint Bernard Street!

Sheriff’s Sale: It was a very tense auction. Members of the garden attended the 10 am sheriff’s sale, handing out flyers attempting to persuade bidders to leave the garden property for the City. Though the Garden was assured by our Councilwoman’s office that the City would bid on the property, the City representatives at the auction seemed unaware of that promise.

The bidding started at $1,000 and reached $51,000 – more than the Garden was prepared to bid. The City was not bidding and we were shouting complaints. At $51,000 the auctioneer suddenly put the bidding on hold. They went on to other properties. The City representatives appeared to be whispering and checking their phones. Ten minutes later the auctioneer announced that 1010 Saint Bernard bidding would resume. The City immediately bid $71,500. There was a moment of silence and the auctioneer closed the sale in the City’s favor.

We won!

Next Steps: With 1010 Saint Bernard now officially in City hands, gardeners will work with the City to ensure that the property remains a garden. Our goal is to see it eventually transferred to a land trust and remain a community green space and asset for decades to come.

The campaign, however, does not end there. The adjacent garden plot, 1008 S Saint Bernard, owned by a private firm, will have to be secured by the Garden. It will likely go up for sale next year. Fundraising will continue and all funds raised to date will go towards the campaign to preserve the entire garden.

Thank you: Special thanks to Councilwoman Blackwell and staff, Sandy Hayes, Christopher Riddick and Paulette Adams, for their support. We’d also like to thank Cedar Park Neighbors, Dock Street, Jeff Carpineta, Cecily Anderson, Amy Laura Cahn and all the friends and neighbors that supported our campaign and attended last week’s fundraiser. Finally, without the hard work of Hamidah, Melissa, Tonya, Seth, Sue, Phil, Marlene, Trevor, Jeff, Laura, Leah and other gardeners, we wouldn’t have had the win we did today.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

-Friends of the Saint Bernard Community Garden

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One thought on “Garden Saved at Tense Sheriff’s Sale

  1. Pingback: Update: Saint Bernard Garden Saved By the City | NakedPhilly

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