Milwaukee neighborhood builds garden for peace

Posted at 10:43 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 23:55:53-04

MILWAUKEE-  Following a violent night in Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett says one neighborhood is being proactive trying to stop the violence.

"I think we have a lot of growing to do," said Andre Lee Ellis,  a community activist. 

For a community on Milwaukee's north side, growth stems from a garden.

"There was a murder right on the street here the first week I moved here, and this was all empty. I thought at that time something had to be happening.  And somehow from heaven gardening came to me," explained Ellis.

That was a time when neighbors were afraid to walk down the street.

"Oh it was terrible.  A lot of drugs, a lot of gang banging, a lot of speeding down this street, a lot of everything," explained Terry Jones, a neighbor.

With the help of his neighbors,  Ellis created a community garden.

"Our mission is to tell young black boys in the community, teach them how to grow their own good, keep the street clean and give them life skills that work for them," said Ellis.

Neighbors say the garden changed this neighborhood.

"It make everything better in the hood.  Somebody has something to do and there won't be no more violence and stuff like that you know," explained Roma Jackson, a neighbor.

While the garden is helping save lives in one neighborhood, Ellis says the city has a lot of growing left to do.

"We got some real serious mending to do based on what happened the other night.  The children should be off limits to any of that," Ellis added.

Learn more about the garden by clicking here.