Banner Stolen From Garden

The banner above the recently-opened Harvard Community Garden at 27 Holyoke Place was stolen Thursday night, according to a complaint filed with the Harvard University Police Department.

According to Garden Co-Manager Rebecca J. Cohen ’12, the banner—which was posted above the entrance to the garden—was a “professionally-produced, durable, four-season banner, meant to last into the foreseeable future” and therefore cost hundreds of dollars. Cohen said that the banner appeared to have been cut from the frame that supported it “and pulled off, deforming the frame in the process.”

The Harvard College Garden Project, the undergraduate arm of the Harvard Community Garden—which opened in April as a joint venture between the Office of Sustainability, the Food Literacy

Project, and other organizations—reported the theft to HUPD on Friday afternoon. HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano said he was unaware of the incident and declined to comment.

This is not the first time that the Harvard Community Garden has been the target of vandalism.

Two weekends ago, one or more vandals entered the garden and stomped around the garden beds. The only harm done by the intruders consisted of minor damage to some arugula seedlings, Cohen said.

The incident is currently being investigated as a theft of University property, and according to Cohen, time-lapse cameras that were installed to record plant growth prior to the incident may help the investigators catch the thieves. Garden administrators are currently reviewing this footage.

The banner was installed a few weeks ago and represented a significant portion of the Harvard Community Garden Project’s startup costs. Due to budget constraints, the Garden administrators will be unable to purchase another banner in the near future.

“It is sad that whoever stole the banner would show such callous disrespect—not only for University property, but also for the goals our project promotes,” Cohen said.

—Staff writer Derrick Asiedu can be reached at dasiedu@fas.harvard.edu.

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