BPOD to Post Office: Be a Part of Your Community – Supply Water for the Garden of Common Good!

Call the local Postmaster at 510-XXX-XXXX and simply request, or leave a message:

“Please turn on the water for the community garden
at the downtown Berkeley Post Office!”

On January 10th, members of Berkeley Post Office Defenders, First They Came for the Homeless, Save the Berkeley Post Office, Occupy the Farm and a good number of community members came together to create a community garden, dubbed the Garden of Common Good. It’s there for all to see on a small plot of land on Milvia St. right up against the downtown Berkeley Post Office.

Tended carefully, the crops sprouted and flourished. People walk by and smile as they see the green where once was rubbish. At first it was supplied with water from an outside spigot attached to the Post Office wall, using a hose and attachment supplied by the community. Then, at the beginning of March, without warning or explanation, the powers that be at the Post Office turned the water supply off.

Despite numerous attempts to contact the Berkeley Postmaster, both by phone and by certified mail, the Postmaster has refused to even discuss the matter. Even a personal appeal to the facilities manager at the Allston Way Post Office has been for naught. Citing an increased water bill, the manager refused to even discuss the issue. Our calculations show that the amount of water we would use would cost about a dollar or two a week, and while we acknowledge the California drought we have no intention of letting the garden die! We have been hauling water in from elsewhere, thereby expending fossil fuel to haul H2O that is otherwise a few feet and one shutoff valve away.

The Post Office should be proud of the community garden, just as the community is proud of its Post Office. The USPS should welcome the prospect of working with the community instead of against it – as they often have perceived to have been doing these last years as the fight to sell the building has continued. Instead, local Post Office management seems to have no thought for the greater good, and no wish to even discuss reasonable accommodations that would work for everyone.

So we are left with creating a sufficient disturbance so that they will listen. We are asking everyone in the community to call the local Postmaster at 510-XXX-XXXX and simply request, or leave a message

“Please turn on the water for the community garden at the
downtown Berkeley Post Office!”

If you can’t get through (which may be because others are calling in for the same reason – a good thing!) try again in an hour. The plants will thank you!

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