Guerilla Gardening: Operation Slippery Slope Part Two

| 8/7/2009 10:25:53 AM

We push past sheets of rusting corrugated sheet metal and improperly stowed two-by-fours with rusted nails jutting out. Later I would learn that allegedly the very man who stowed this urban flotsam and jetsam also cut the hole in the fence to the highway. He would also one day attempt to destroy the idea I was about to conceive from this wondrous view of sparkling lights.

“Watch your step,” Kitty calls back to me. “It's a slippery slope up here.”  How true her words would prove to be.

I step out onto the steep 45-degree grade above the 670 highway in downtown Kansas City and am dumbstruck by the sheer beauty of our city.

“Pretty amazing, right?”  She smiles up from a makeshift bench made by resting a two-by-six on two cinderblocks. “Now wave to the Feds!”  She waves across the highway while sparking two cigarettes. Handing me one, she takes a long, deep drag and exhales. “See the F.B.I. building across the highway?”

I cast my eyes to the ominous white building across the highway. My mother told me that there were once houses there where families she knew lived. Developers and bureaucrats moved in and bulldozed the area in the name of progress and security. I then cast my eyes down in disdain, but suddenly I see a new hope under our feet. LAND!

How could I have missed it?  The vast expanse of land running parallel to the highway—in need of only terracing and cultivation!