WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The owner of a community garden in West Sacramento said he was hurt and disappointed when he discovered tire tracks and footprints from a sideshow destroyed crops in his field.
The sideshow happened around 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, near 5th and C Streets. According to West Sacramento Police Sgt. Stephen Iwanicki, about two dozen cars were involved. When officers responded to the area, all the cars, and the crowd that gathered to watch, dispersed.
It wasn’t until early Monday morning when Alfred Melbourne, the founder, owner, and operator of 3 Sisters Gardens, discovered the damage to his property.
“As I pulled up in the morning, the first thing I noticed was a bunch of footsteps in our new flower bed,” Melbourne said. “I was very disappointed. Myself and the youth that we have involved in our organization, we put a lot of work into the field.”
Melbourne estimated about 30 feet of cover crop was driven over and completely wiped out at some point during the sideshow. Thankfully, he said the damage has all been repaired, but how the cover crop recovers remains to be seen.
“It was more disheartening that somebody would actually drive through our field like that. A momentary excitement, a few minutes of fun, left us feeling disrespected in the end,” Melbourne said.
3 Sisters Gardens is a non-profit, Native-Indigenous led, organization that provides fresh food for local, food-insecure homes. The property that was damaged in the sideshow is in its first year of operation, but three other sites in the area have been operating for about three years.
“We put a lot of work into our field. We take a lot of pride in what we do. And the fact that we are growing food locally to support our food-insecure homes, it’s very likely that we provide vegetables to their households or to someone that they know. Show respect for other folks’ property,” Melbourne said.
No arrests were made, and no citations were handed out, Iwanicki said. Other than the damage to Melbourne’s garden, no collisions, injuries, or property damage was reported.