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Powelton Residents Save Community Garden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Powelton residents are celebrating this week after scores rallied to successfully save their community garden.

This isn't the first time their neighborhood treasure was at risk.

"We like to garden, so we did it," said John Lindsay.

He founded the Wiota Street Garden at Wiota and Powelton in the 1980s and, over the years, Lindsay and his neighbors have fought off developers.

John Lindsay Wiota Garden
Wiota Street Garden founder John Lindsay (credit: Cherri Gregg)

"We had that rally last summer, hundreds and hundreds of signature," he said.

This week, another win, as scores convinced the Redevelopment Board to unanimously save their 11,000 square foot lot from being sold to a developer, despite council support.

"It was a wonderful moment, I was actually at the public hearing," said Kaitlin Pomerantz, who adds that neighborhood passion is what saved Wiota.

Attorney Amy Laura Cahn, who works on a garden justice initiative, says the city is home to hundreds of urban gardens, and many are being eyed by developers.

"If a decision has to be made between a brick-and-mortar development and a garden, most often the brick-and-mortar development has won out," she said.

Lindsay says' he won't give the city a choice.

"We'll make it look so good, they won't want to possibly get rid of it," he said.

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