Garden Station supporters keep fighting City Hall

About 24 people spoke at Wednesday’s commission meeting to call on the city to let Garden Station stay put. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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About 24 people spoke at Wednesday’s commission meeting to call on the city to let Garden Station stay put. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dozens of protesters filed into City Hall on Wednesday carrying signs and chanting “save Garden Station,” which is a community garden and art park located at Fourth Street and Wayne Avenue near the Oregon Historic District.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Group opposes garden eviction

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

About two dozen people spoke during the public comment portion of the Dayton City Commission meeting to urge city leadership to halt plans to evict the park.

One speaker read a Henry David Thoreau poem. Another read part of the Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” and held up a sign saying “unless,” referring to a warning from the story about the bad things that can happen when people do not care.

The owners of some local businesses said it would be disappointing and unfortunate to lose such a unique and inspiring green space that took countless hours to construct.

Maggie Ottoson, who was on the committee that secured funding for the garden, told Dayton commissioners that there would be political consequences of ignoring the will of the people and evicting the park. Ottoson helped collect thousands of signatures from people who supported saving the park.

“When have you seen the community come together in opposition to the city’s actions at this level?” said Ottoson, who has voiced protest to the garden’s eviction at the last several commission meetings.

But the garden was a pilot program that was always meant to be temporary because the site was targeted for redevelopment, said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

The city has offered to help Garden Station find and move to a new home, but the group has not cooperated, officials said.

The property is across the road from 210 Wayne Avenue, which a Kentucky developer plans to turn into loft-style housing and restaurant space. The larger plan is a $30 million mixed-use development that will be called Oregon East and will be a lifestyle and entertainment district.

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