KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An agreement has been reached that will allow a tilapia farm and community garden project in a poor Kansas City neighborhood to move forward.
Dre Taylor started the project about a year ago to provide food in the city’s food desert. Taylor wanted to use boys in a mentoring group he founded called Males to Men to help with the project.
The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2dohwyQ ) reports that Kansas City Keys president Harrel Johnson Jr. barred Taylor from the property when construction was nearly complete. The Kansas City Keys owns the project site.
Taylor said the plan would build neighborhood pride and become one of the most innovative community gardens in the country, until Johnson put new locks on the gate which barred Taylor from the site.
Kansas City Keys bought the land from Land Bank of Kansas City. When Land Bank’s executive director learned of the issue, he sent a letter to Kansas City Keys board members, reminding them that the land’s purchase was contingent on the project. After Land Bank threatened to take back the property, Taylor and Johnson agreed that Nile Valley Aquaponics will proceed as a project of the M2M (Males to Men) Community Foundation.
“I’m pleased that we have moved past our differences,” Johnson said in a joint statement with Taylor. “We have more in common than any issues that may have divided us.”
In the joint statement, Taylor said and the boys in M2M would “be forever grateful for the Keys’ vital role and generosity associated with this project.”
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com