Activists allegedly plant ‘jug handle garden’ on New Jersey highway to oppose development project

Recently four Ocean Township police officers arrested Karlo Edmonds for trespassing on the jug handle at Route 35 and Deal Road. The reason Edmonds gave for allegedly trespassing on the jug handle -- he was allegedly tending to his garden.

News 12 Staff

Sep 23, 2020, 1:19 AM

Updated 1,388 days ago

Share:

One of the many quirks of life in New Jersey is turning right to go left via the New Jersey jug handle.
Recently four Ocean Township police officers arrested Karlo Edmonds for trespassing on the jug handle at Route 35 and Deal Road. The reason Edmonds gave for allegedly trespassing on the jug handle -- he was allegedly tending to his garden.
Edmonds and others allegedly planted fig trees and basil at the intersection. It is considered trespassing because the state Department of Transportation had recently put up signs specifically, it seems, to keep the gardeners off the jug handle.
Days later, DOT workers plowed the garden under, putting an end to what may have been the first jug handle garden in New Jersey.
The garden was started by supporters of a campaign called Save 32 Acres. It was formed to oppose a plan approved by the town last year to turn the area – one of the last wooded stretches of Route 35 in Monmouth County – into 70 townhomes, a Marriot hotel, a Wawa, Chick-fil-A and other retail spaces.
“The amount of community that we built upon this garden was gigantic and really spurred the movement of Save 32 Acres where a lot of people in their cars would say, ‘We love what you're doing, thank you,’” says Lana Leonard, an opponent of the development project.
Ocean Township Councilman David Fisher said the crackdown was “flat out about safety. Nobody should be in the intersection doing anything.”
Fisher said that besides the danger of being struck by a vehicle, the gardeners did not have permission got dig in an area that could have underground wires or pipelines.
The activists say that the garden dispute only underscores their larger point – if the area is too dangerous and congested for a few people to tend to a garden, isn’t it too congested for all of the development?
A spokesman for the DOT said that garden was planted on state land without permission, and that officials tried to get the activists to remove the plants but received no response.
The development plan for that intersection remains the subject of a court battle between the developer and opponents.


More from News 12
1:52
Stop & Shop to close 10 ‘underperforming’ locations across New Jersey

Stop & Shop to close 10 ‘underperforming’ locations across New Jersey

2:05
STORM WATCH: Chance of stormy weather tonight into Saturday for parts of NJ

STORM WATCH: Chance of stormy weather tonight into Saturday for parts of NJ

1:16
Prosecutor: Bergen County pastor charged with 21 counts of sexual offenses against teen

Prosecutor: Bergen County pastor charged with 21 counts of sexual offenses against teen

1:52
AT&T security breach hits nearly all cellular customers and landline accounts

AT&T security breach hits nearly all cellular customers and landline accounts

3:06
Jury ends first day of deliberations in Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial without a verdict

Jury ends first day of deliberations in Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial without a verdict

0:47
Point Pleasant Beach officials at odds with company over 5G cell towers

Point Pleasant Beach officials at odds with company over 5G cell towers

1:41
Heavy rain causes flooding in parts of southern New Jersey

Heavy rain causes flooding in parts of southern New Jersey

2:21
Ruptured pipe causes raw sewage to pour into Red Bank storm drains

Ruptured pipe causes raw sewage to pour into Red Bank storm drains

1:59
Coach USA cutting 20 NJ Transit bus routes in North Jersey

Coach USA cutting 20 NJ Transit bus routes in North Jersey

0:32
East Brunswick teen accused of plotting to destroy energy facilities to advance white supremacist views

East Brunswick teen accused of plotting to destroy energy facilities to advance white supremacist views

0:13
Sailor saved from capsized sailboat in Barnegat Bay

Sailor saved from capsized sailboat in Barnegat Bay

0:40
United Airlines flight from Miami to Newark diverted after passenger fights with flight attendant

United Airlines flight from Miami to Newark diverted after passenger fights with flight attendant

0:54
Fairfield police release new surveillance photos of missing 16-year-old

Fairfield police release new surveillance photos of missing 16-year-old

1:58
PSE&G: Roads reopen in Union City following emergency repairs on ruptured gas line

PSE&G: Roads reopen in Union City following emergency repairs on ruptured gas line

0:24
USDA: Health alert issued for ready-to-eat meat illegally imported from the Philippines

USDA: Health alert issued for ready-to-eat meat illegally imported from the Philippines

0:33
Caught on camera: Car burglar enters unlocked vehicles in Gloucester Township

Caught on camera: Car burglar enters unlocked vehicles in Gloucester Township

0:18
NJ Transit: North Jersey Coast Line rail service resumes; commuters frustrated over continued issues

NJ Transit: North Jersey Coast Line rail service resumes; commuters frustrated over continued issues

2:03
Paws & Pals: Moose now up for adoption with Brick City Rescue

Paws & Pals: Moose now up for adoption with Brick City Rescue

1:34
The Real Deal: How to beat inflation with a summer spending plan

The Real Deal: How to beat inflation with a summer spending plan

1:56
Police: 8-year-old fatally struck by car while riding bike in Morris County

Police: 8-year-old fatally struck by car while riding bike in Morris County