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As time runs out for Haslett seniors' gardens, residents are uncertain about the future

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jun 14, 2024

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

"To me, it feels like the end," Robert Flanders said.

We told you recently about a battle over gardents at Grange Acres in Haslett where residents are hoping to keep their plants in place. I'm your Neighborhood Reporter Colin Jankowski with new information as the clock keeps ticking.

"This is nine years, eight years worth of things that I've put in," Sharon Pierce said.

Sharon Pierce's garden is still just as vibrant and full as it was before the news.

"It's my life," she said. "It's my life."

In March, First Housing Corporation told residents their gardens must be removed by May 31, citing issues with soil drainage and Housing and Urban Development concerns. Pierce was just one of the residents who applied for a two-week extension which expired Friday. And with it, the uncertainty for the future returned.

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"I don't know what I'm going to do afterwards," Pierce said. "I really can't think beyond this weekend. I don't see anything."

"What we consider part of our home is being taken away from us," Robert Flanders said.

Elsewhere in the community, Robert Flanders has begun removing his garden. He says it's about more than just flowers to the community.

"As I'm pulling out my grasses, it's pulling out roots in my heart," Flanders said.

Flanders says that throughout the process, residents at Grange Acres haven't been given opportunities to find a compromise.

"We were just looking for a conversation," he said. "We weren't even denied the conversation. We were ignored."

I asked Robert if he believes there's still room for discussion with First Housing over the gardens, and he says the holes will remain.

"I don't think there's healing from that," he said. "Are they going to come back? If they were to turn around and say 'we made a mistake,' or 'you can keep your grasses,' my grasses are gone. I've already made the plans.

We reached out to first housing for an interview, but they were not available Friday.

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