But the garden's success came close to being its undoing. In 2003, a "For Sale" sign appeared on the garden gate. Terry Mushovic, executive director of the Neighborhood Gardens Association, a nonprofit land trust that works to preserve the city's gardens, says it's a pattern she has seen often. "The community would put a lot of effort into an empty lot, and the developers would respond and say, 'Wow, maybe we should think about building here,' " she says.
Garden members worked every angle they could think of, Tracy Levesque, who lives with her wife, Mia, and their daughter, Josephine, in a house that adjoins the garden, says: showing up at a neighborhood association meeting in "Save the Bodine Community Garden" T-shirts, meeting with developers and real estate agents, hiring a lawyer, and teaming up with the land trust. At last, they were able to enlist the help of a city councilman who used community development money to purchase the land and, in 2007, donate it to the trust. "It took four years," Levesque says. "It took a lot of work, but we did it. We saved the garden. Now it's saved forever. It's great."