B.C. landowner wants guerrilla garden charity kicked off Calgary lot
Donna Clarke and Mac Hughes, 10, are discouraged after their efforts to turn a vacant Calgary lot into a charity garden ended when the lot’s owner demanded they leave. Photograph by: Christina Ryan, Calgary Herald.
“I would have to claim victory in the fact that this issue has been brought to light and given attention”
By Jason Markusoff
May 23, 2012
CALGARY — For many reasons, Donna Clarke picked the wrong place for her bid to beautify and reclaim land with soil, tires and taters.
The vacant lot, next door to her own rental house in a southwest Calgary neighbourhood, is around the corner from the home of city councillor John Mar. He called in the authorities this week against what he mistakenly thought were Occupy Calgary squatters.
The fatal blow to the Potatoes for the People project came Tuesday, when the Vancouver-based owner told the city’s bylaw director he wanted the guerrilla garden off his company’s property immediately.
“It’s trespassing. We weren’t consulted and we weren’t asked,” said Randolph Pratt, director of the mortgage firm that took over a cluster of properties along 17th Avenue S.W. through foreclosure in 2009.
“It’s inappropriate use of our site.”