A plot of land given to Denver Urban Gardens for $1 to house a community garden will be sold to duplex developers for $1.2 million

Alan Olds is more accustomed to nurturing things than fighting them. As a former garden leader and member at El Oasis Community Garden for the last five years, he has helped dozens of Lower Highland residents find and cultivate plots at the roughly 22,000-square-foot green space at 1847 W. 35th Ave.

That changed when he got a surprise call from Violeta Garcia, then-executive director of Denver Urban Gardens, earlier this month.

“She informed us that most of the garden was being sold, and she expressed her regret that it was necessary,” said Olds, who resigned as a garden leader last week after meeting with Garcia in person. “She also had some explanation of DUG’s financial situation — and why the board of directors felt that selling it was essential for their survival.”

Many El Oasis gardeners were shocked by the announcement, which amounted to 30 days’ notice to vacate El Oasis in advance of a sale that won’t be finalized until December. Despite past financial challenges, the nonprofit had always been able — every other year — to pay down the line of credit it used to operate its gardens.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Jacob Peitzer sits on a swing under a large tree with his six month old son Theodore on his plot in the El Oasis Community Garden in Denver on Sept. 21, 2020.

But starting in 2018, weak fundraising totals, expiring national grants (including $100,000 for DUG’s Healthy Seedlings program) and an ever-expanding number of gardens rendered them unable to do that, said Ramonna Robinson, chairwoman of DUG’s board. Once the pandemic arrived, she said, they had no other choice but to raise cash through a property sale.

“Nobody wants to see even part of that garden go away,” she said of El Oasis. “But it became the best option for us.”

Out of the 180 gardens that DUG manages in the metro area — including 120 community gardens and 70 school gardens — only three are owned by the nonprofit, while the rest are owned by schools, churches, private groups and others. Two of them aren’t profitable: DUG’s Shoshone garden is too small to develop, while its Pecos garden is too complicated from a zoning standpoint, Robinson said. That left El Oasis, the sale of which would give DUG cash to pay down its $500,000-plus in debt, as well as provide reserves for an uncertain future.

The problem is that El Oasis, one of the biggest community gardens in Denver, hosts about 40 shared garden plots and has often acted as the flagship for a nonprofit that boasts 17,500 volunteer gardeners. The fact that DUG is under contract with developer Caliber Construction to sell two-thirds of El Oasis for $1.2 million is a desertion of the nonprofit’s mission to secure and support community green spaces, gardeners said.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Gardeners placed caution tape around the main pergola covered with grapevines on Sept. 21, 2020, at the center of the El

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House near graveyard in UK won’t sell, so town adds in bonus burial plot

Well, at least the neighbors will be quiet.

Realtors are reportedly struggling to sell a reasonably priced lodge in the United Kingdom due to its proximity to the local cemetery. So now, town officials have thrown in an added bonus for potential home buyers: a free grave.

The house is located next to the local cemetery and local officials are reportedly hoping to use the profits from the sale to fund repairs to the graveyard.

The house is located next to the local cemetery and local officials are reportedly hoping to use the profits from the sale to fund repairs to the graveyard.

The three-bedroom lodge is owned by the local council in the town of Malton, The Sun reports. The house is located next to the cemetery, and local officials are reportedly hoping to use the profits from the sale to fund repairs to the graveyard.

In order to sweeten the deal for the house, local officials have decided to throw in a free plot at the cemetery to go along with the house, the news outlet reported.


Malton Mayor Paul Emberley explained: “An opportunity arose earlier this year to sell the property when our tenant decided to move to another part of the town. Members subsequently made a decision to sell the asset as part of a wider investment program.”


Aside from the free grave, the property also boasts a courtyard and an enclosed garden. It’s located on a gated avenue, too.

Money from the sale will reportedly be used to pay for improvements to the graveyard’s two chapels, along with the restoration of the cemetery gates and the widening of the access roads.


While bonus gravesite are important, there are several other things potential home buyers should also consider. Family Handyman previously reported that prospective buyers often forget to consider storage, cell phone signal and noise into their buying decisions.

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2 alleged ISIS supporters accused of plot to attack White House, Trump Tower

Two men faces charges in connection with an alleged plot to bomb or shoot at high-profile sites in the U.S., including the White House and Trump Tower in New York City, a federal complaint shows.

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Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Texas, and Kristopher Sean Matthews, of South Carolina, face charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

An email and phone call to Molina’s attorney seeking comment did not receive an immediate response. Court records do not list an attorney for Matthews.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the federal court for the Western District of Texas, Molina and Matthews used an online chat group in 2019 to discuss attacking U.S. targets on behalf of ISIS. The pair also allegedly discussed traveling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group.

They were allegedly studying how to build car bombs, suicide belts and other explosives and discussed plans for attacks with others on an encrypted messaging application.

Matthews told Molina that they needed four recruits to carry out multisite attacks “that could be Netflix worthy,” the complaint said.

On Saturday, FBI agents arrested Matthews in Cleveland City, Tennessee, and Molina in Gonzales, Texas, a city about 75 miles east of San Antonio, according to special agent Michelle Lee. She declined to comment further on the case.

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How to elevate a small, urban plot for maximum impact

A colleague recently enlisted my advice about replanting the front and side yards of his Capitol Hill townhouse. Thankfully, there was little existing vegetation (or he had cleared it already) and it was spared the tired, overgrown fate of many small urban yards.

We are entering prime season for renovating landscapes, and his project got me thinking about what folks need to know about successful makeovers and why so many small gardens go wrong. Before speaking to the right way, let’s imagine the ravages of time on a city garden the size of my colleague’s. His corner lot features an entrance garden of about 20 by 20 feet, bisected by a brick path. The connected side yard is about six feet wide and 25 feet long.

This blank slate seemed primed for a wholesale replanting that would grow into a fresh, beautiful and deeply satisfying landscape. Such a garden would stand out too against all those urban lots whose plantings had grown to blur the original spatial relationships and design intent.

Typically, hedges planted when the “Jurassic Park” film franchise cranked up in 1993 have become themselves menacing dinosaurs. They were originally intended to define the property or to provide screening but are now too broad at the top and too thin at the bottom. Similarly, both deciduous and evergreen shrubs expand into paths and shade out other plants around and beneath them. Time flies, time fudges.

Large trees provide their own conundrum. You don’t want to take down a mature shade tree — and in some jurisdictions are constrained from doing so — but at the same time you shouldn’t live under a constant gloom of shade and tree litter. (The worst offender might be a Southern magnolia.) Often, you can remove the lowest limbs and thin out the canopy to reclaim space and light. This can go badly wrong in several ways, though, and is a job for a competent and qualified certified arborist.

All gardens sag with time, all gardens need constant tweaking and adjustment, but ones that are put together with careful consideration of plant choices will age slowly and even gloriously. After removing old vegetation from the site (and improving the soil) consider my general principles for planting in small gardens:

Don’t plant for instant effect. Perennials and grasses take two to three years to reach established size, ground covers can take as long or longer to fill in, and trees and shrubs should take at least five years to have any real presence. Anything rushed or planted too thickly will come back to bite you. Central to the last point is this: Don’t plant fast-growing trees and shrubs. A variety with an annual growth rate of more than 12 inches (high or wide) would raise a flag to me.

Reduce the number of prospective ornamental trees and shrubs, and regard each one you do plant as a piece of sculpture, to be positioned and spaced with utmost consideration.

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