Garden Vandalism

Four years ago the small track of land used for the garden was flat and bare. Thanks to hours of work, caretakers say they created the garden to fix up the Shiloh Community. However, they say someone's trying to tear it down.

Established originally by the youth ministry at nearby Shiloh Baptist Church, caretakers say it's become a community project with many non-members donating time, money and plants.

Shortly after being established they say the vandalism started.

"Beginning with someone running over shrubbery and someone knocking the sign down," says Dorothy Shadwick, who is one of the caretakers.

"They use to go up and down the hill with those big four-wheel drive trucks to destroy the grass," says Nathan Shadwick, who is also a caretaker.

Ever since, they say the vandalism has continued. In fact, for about the past month a new sign has been in the garden, but it wasn't the first one there. Previously, the Shadwicks say the vandals doused the original wooden sign and unsuccessfully tried to burn it. They say they ultimately stole the sign and the American flags on it.

Just recently they say the culprits doused the new sign with gasoline and tried to burn it and the shrubbery at the entrance. Because of this, much of the shrubbery spelling the word "Shiloh" at the front of the garden has been charred.

The penalty for vandalism can be up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. Although no one has been caught so far, the Shadwicks say they are confident that someone will.

"You can get by but you can't get away and somebody bigger than us is watching them," says Nathan. "It makes you feel discouraged but it never makes you want to quit. It makes you want to go ahead and improve. Oh, we're going to keep on. We're not going to stop!"

"Yes we will! We will keep it going," says Dorothy.


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