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Year Established: 2015
Local Leaders: South Austin Neighborhood Association (SANA)
Community Group: Neighborhood Gardens
NeighborSpace Partnership: 2017
The South Austin Neighborhood Association (SANA) has been organizing since 2015 to create a Veteran’s Peace Garden in the Austin community area. The garden’s mission is to be “A sanctuary of peace, beauty, and tranquility that that creates a sense of community with veterans and residents.” The planned garden will be an oasis of calm on busy Madison Ave. Also, with numerous businesses and restaurants, including the famous MacArthur’s breakfast place, on the block the gardeners envision it being used as a lunch picnic spot. It will include a central path, the flags of each military branch, ornamental plantings, shade trees and two gazebos for small gatherings and quiet contemplation.
The planned garden is on one double wide lot on Madison Ave., though the owner has agreed to sell the land. 29th Ward Alderman Chris Taliaferro has supported the garden plan with funding commitments for acquisition and construction. The proposed garden leaders bring with them decades of experience in the military, civil service, social services and community organizing. They include Terry Redmond, a SANA board member who is retired from the US Air Force. Mr. Redmond has forged connections to area veterans to maintain the site along with SANA members. Cassandra Norman has been a resident of Austin for 30 years. She is a retired police officer who is also active in local School Council as a Community Representative for Michelle Clark HS and a Board member for Sister House, a recovery home with the Archdiocese. Sharon Hartshorn, a retired government employee of 30 years, is a church member of Friendship Baptist Church in Austin.