Crime fighting garden

The Gardopia Garden has reduced crime in the area by over 50%, according to Trinity University.

A "budding" East Side community is taking on crime, one plant at a time. Through a grant from SAHA-a directive from the department justice, the Gardopia gardens set their roots down.

Stephen Lucke-a double chemistry-bio chemistry major from UIW is in charge here. "We believed that if we put a bright spot a garden, something that's engaging people with healthy activities and healthy behaviors that we might be able to assist SAHA in their crime prevention,” he says.

So far, so good. According to Trinity University, crime in a four-block radius in 2015, when the garden was in its infancy, has dropped over 50% compared to 2012.

""This area used to be a haven for homeless people, drugs and prostitution. That's all gone now, they have new fulltime residents, these 5 chickens and 3 turkeys."

To go along with the birds, there's a stage, a greenhouse, and 15 fertile raised beds for fruits and veggies. There's also room for growth as Lucke has some lofty goals, like this one: "An outdoor kitchen and juice bar,” he says pointing to where it would go.

Ultimately-it's a social center on the east side that promotes peace through wellness.

"We really want to be able to spread this seed throughout the rest of N. New Braunfels and the East Side."

Lucke knows it's not the solution, but it provides some ingredients needed for change.

Click here for their website.

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