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Church-Wellesley resident speaks out after drug paraphernalia, feces found in garden

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Drug paraphernalia, feces found in Village garden
WATCH: Drug paraphernalia, feces found in Village garden – Jul 27, 2023

Frustration continues to mount in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood, where residents recently protested against vandalism and violence.

A longtime resident behind a community garden says he has found drug paraphernalia, garbage and feces among his flowers.

Luke Plourde came up with the idea for the garden, located at the corner of Church and Alexander streets, about four years ago. His intention was to create a memorial to the friends he lost to the AIDS epidemic.

“In essence, it’s a memorial garden, and I called it the garden of lost boys,” he told Global News.

Plourde, who has lived in the neighbourhood for the past 40 years, says he is paying entirely out of pocket to maintain the garden.

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The land itself is privately owned, so he had to get permission to use it.

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“More and more people were stopping every day and telling me that it was a joy to walk by it, and they would stop and they would take pictures and people would start to bring their children,” he said.

For some, it’s now a place of meditation. For Plourde, though, there’s been little peace as of late.

“I find a lot of used, dirty needles,” he explained. “I’m very afraid sometimes that I’m going to reach into a bush or a plant, and not see it and get pricked with it myself.”

However, he says it’s not only drug paraphernalia he’s found. Plourde says he has also come across garbage, dog feces, human feces, and even a deceased dog left behind in a box.

He recently posted on social media about his frustrations, adding that this may be the last year for his garden. Since then, he says the response he has received has been overwhelming, restoring his will to keep the garden blooming.

A statement from area Coun. Chris Moise reads, in part, “I urge the provincial and federal governments to implement bail reform measures, invest in quicker hearings and bail supervision, and
provide funding for supportive housing and mental health and addiction recovery services.”

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