Westside community garden deters crime

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - It really doesn't look like much from the corner of 20th and West Pennway. But take a closer look and you notice a once vacant lot is now a thriving community garden, or more accurately a neighborhood farm.

It's also Little Paloma Amador's secret source of Easter eggs.

Although no eggs were in the hen house on Monday, Paloma's family is just one of the 20 or so Westside area residents that are turning four by eight foot plots of land into food producing gardens.

The gardens are also growing a sense of community according to Marcella Morales-Gaoma.

"We have a little area where people would just come and relax for the evening, may be we'll have an ice cream social or somebody might bring a grill and we might have a picnic," said Morales-Gaoma.

Besides providing food, the little stretch of land is also helping keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.

"It's been a crime prevention tool, we work with the police officers so children come down and they look in and ask questions, so our neighbors are talking to each other now more too," said Ezekiel Amador.

In addition to his gardening, Amador is the resident bee keeper too.

He said so far no one seems concerned about getting stung, but he does have one minor problem, and that is "all of the gardeners want first dibs on the honey."

With only one hive they might have better luck in the hen house looking for Paloma's Easter eggs.

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