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Thieves and vandals strike a Council Bluffs community garden

Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 11:13:26-04

Other than the occasional train or plane, the Creek Top Community Garden in Council Bluffs is a pretty peaceful place.

When Keep Council Bluffs Beautiful started the garden in 2010 there were 32 plots for lease.  Overtime it has grown; today all 90 plots are full. 

“It's not just people from this neighborhood that are in this garden, people from across Council Bluffs use it,” said Kelsey Johnson.

Kelsey Johnson the Multimedia Coordinator for the Pottawattamie County Development Corporation says each 4' by 8' plot is leased for $25.  Renters plant what they please and take care of their own spot.

"I had a plot there since they opened," said Council Bluffs resident Lloyd Burke.

Lloyd Burke loved the convenience of a community garden across the street. That was until someone stole his tomatoes.

"Hell why should I do all the work? I plant it, water it, get it growing and before I can get to the fruit, someone else takes it," said Burke.

Frustrated, Burke chose not to rent a plot this year.

Johnson says overall they've had minor problems with garden theft, that was until this year.  She says not only are people picking what doesn't belong to them, they're digging up the plants.

"We want people to get their money's worth and get what they're paying for and they're not if people are stealing," said Johnson.

Johnson says they don't want someone to ruin what's been a great thing for the city, they're working quickly on ways to combat the problem.

"It's kind of trial and error, we are trying to see what is going to work and get these people out of the garden," said Johnson.