Garden at Elmwood and Forest in Buffalo, N.Y. dedicated

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Buffalo, New York — Yesterday, a recently-planted garden and "Welcome to the Elmwood Village" sign at the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York was dedicated to the community at 6 PM. The garden was planted by a group of local citizens known as the Elmwood Village Gatekeepers, who formed to maintain the green space on the corner which is unmaintained by Hans Mobius, the owner of the land and properties at 1109-1121 Elmwood.

"This is our neighborhood, and we don’t want to see it go down-hill. The lawns are part of the look of this corner that we love, and we can do something about," said Joe Runfola an area resident.

The Gatekeepers are hopeful that the "annuals and the perennials planted in the garden can be enjoyed by all for years to come," said owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris, Nancy Pollina.

Local artist Steven Myers and owner of Gateway Studios on Elmwood and Forest painted the new welcome sign.

"In the design, I wish to show the transition from green parks, to lively urban neighborhoods, to downtown, in the background. The four colors, red, white, yellow and black will also be incorporated in their pure form to represent the Native American medicine wheel, which teaches us that the four symbolic races are all part of the same human family," said Myers.

The newly formed group hopes to plant an elm tree at the proposed site in July.

So far, 2 of the 5 businesses on the proposed site have relocated or closed their doors. The group is hopeful that a lawsuit filed against the developer Savarino Construction Services Corporation and the City of Buffalo will stop the proposal from moving forward and hope that the garden can become a "community garden."

The preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for 9:30am today was initially postponed until July 20, 2006; however, attorney Arthur J. Giacalone, who is representing the petitioners of the lawsuit Nancy Pollina and Patricia Morris, Angeline Genovese and Evelyn Bencinich, owners of residences on Granger Place which abut the rear of the proposed site, Nina Freudenheim, a resident of nearby Penhurst Park, and Sandra Girage, the owner of a two-family residence on Forest Avenue less than a hundred feet from the proposed hotel's sole entrance and exit driveway, has said that the preliminary hearing has been postponed indefinitely and at the moment no new date has been set. According to Giacalone, Savarino Construstion has not yet presented their case and has not yet filed their papers.

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.