UPDATE: Thanks to our alert readers for pointing out this Change.org petition you can sign.
Meet Denise Morrison, a Tulsa gardener who carefully read the city code and followed it, planting nothing in her front yard that exceeded 12 inches in height unless it was edible. She grew an assortment of medicinal herbs, food crops, edible flowers, etc.
And when the police showed up, she explained that to them. Nicely.
And when the whole thing finally went to court, the charges of illegal gardening were dismissed.
But not before city workers cut down and destroyed all her plants. Seriously.
I know we’ve got some readers in Tulsa. Anybody have a more updated report? Are there any efforts underway to help her replace some of the plants she’s lost?
I can’t tell for sure who her city council representative is, but a close watching of the video reveals a fragment of a street address, and using the Tulsa City Council’s district finder tool, I believe she lives in District 1. Click here if you’d like to email her City Council member and let him know what you think about city employees destroying a resident’s front yard garden in violation of their own codes. And if you’d like to contact the mayor, here’s a way to do that.
Can this possibly be Tulsa’s biggest law enforcement priority? Or even its biggest code enforcement priority?
Is it even remotely possible that Tulsa should be encouraging and rewarding people who grow food in their front yards, not punishing them? According to the news report, Denise has high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, is recently unemployed, and has no heath insurance. Could anything (short of a job and health insurance) be BETTER for a woman in her situation than planting a garden that puts a little fresh, healthy food on her table?