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Dade City community garden damaged, plants stolen just before festival

Butterfly Garden
Posted at 9:56 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 23:14:39-04

DADE CITY, Fla. — The Dade City Garden Club says someone did a bit more than "stop and smell the roses" at their community garden.

“I was speechless," said Garden Club Co-President Diane Scott, "There were actually five of our eight gardens that were vandalized."

Sometime within the last week, Scott says someone came and took plants. And lots of them.

"Mostly it is plants taken, stolen, or left to die because 'Oh I found a better one over here. I don't want this one,'" she said

In all, Scott estimates that the damage done to the plants is close to a thousand dollars.

But that's not all that was done.

"The rocks are literally scattered and thrown. You can literally see actually just threw them around. Now that's a rock garden, someone's going to have to work to get that back together," said Scott.

Someone also toppled a rock formation and moved a massive iron gate.

“I'm astonished anyone can move that gate. It doesn't move. It's heavy," said Scott.

Right now the club members' guess on who did it is as good as anyone's guess.

“it’s just pure meanness, pure meanness, there's no reason we're a totally volunteer organization and we're here for the use of the city," said Garden Club Co-President Mona Goossens.

But they do have a hunch about why it was done.

“I'm just wondering if someone didn't make their own personal home garden look really nice with our 'free' plants," said Scott.

If you want to help, Scott and Goossens say there are two ways you can do that. You can either donate to the club to help replace the plants that were damaged or taken, or you can come out to their Monarch Butterfly Festival on October 23rd.

Scott also tells ABC Action News that the club has also filed a report with the Dade City Police Department.