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Betty Lane and Ben Ledewitz look out over the African Healing Garden in Larimer. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Betty Lane and Ben Ledewitz look out over the African Healing Garden in Larimer. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

The arch to the African Healing Garden in Larimer is made out of old gas lines — steel pipes twisted into the shape of a flowering tree. It welcomes all who enter the plot of land owned by Betty Lane, the community’s 80-year-old matriarch. But on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5, 2017, as William Spencer was walking down Meadow Street, he saw several strangers standing on the sidewalk, noticed the arch and stopped. Who is putting in this garden, and what’s it for? asked Spencer, a pastor who lived in the area.

Ben Ledewitz, the garden’s manager, stepped forward. Ben, burly and bearded, his black hair pulled into a topknot, explained to Spencer that the garden was a product of many hands and that once it was done it would be open to all. Ben talked about how the space would link people who know about herbs with those who wanted to know. He pointed out the area that would serve as an outdoor classroom for kids, the “Leopard’s Lair.”

Spencer wasn’t convinced. How would a garden like this really help? He said that too often outside forces dropped projects into the neighborhood without knowing the people there.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT:

https://www.publicsource.org/power-from-the-ground-up-a-garden-in-larimer-shows-collaboration-across-fault-lines/

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