Started by Safi Mahaba and DeWayne Barton in 2003 as a peaceful response to the war in Iraq and the war on drugs in the States, Burton Street Community Peace Gardens is a labor of love in the heart of the Burton Street Community. From its humble beginnings as an overgrown lot filled with discarded 40-ounce bottles, the Gardens are home to vegetable and flower gardening sites, performative stage area, fire pit, cob pizza oven, greenhouse, and pavilion. Creating, maintaining, and connecting green spaces helps to absorb trauma in our community, and we welcome everyone to the Gardens.
Burton Street Community Peace Gardens is also an art-filled space with murals, sculptures, and installations, many of which are created with found trash in the neighborhood. Through art, we represent stories and educate visitors about poverty, racial inequity, police abuse of power, gentrification, health and education access, and African American resiliency as it exists within the Burton Street Community and beyond. A single action can make a positive difference in our community but through collective action we can transform the world.