A fight for Lansing’s Sunken Gardens


“Our story that appeared on the air and online originally referred to the Lansing’s Board of Water and Light’s proposed project as a ‘power plant’ – when the BWL actually wants to build a substation. The mistake has been corrected below. We apologize for the error.”

Despite the snowfall, one group in Lansing was committed to standing with land they say is historic and used to belong to them, The Sunken Gardens.

Judy Scott Teegarden shares her memories of playing on the Sunken Gardens as a little girl.

“And I was not supposed to go behind the wall” Judy Scott Teegarden said ending with a laugh and smile.

According to Scott Teegarden, the garden was built in the 1930’s by her grandfather Richard Scott.

Lansing’s Sunken Garden sits on the corner of South Washington Avenue and Malcolm-X Street, a location Lansing’s Board of Water and Light is looking to purchase, with the intent to put up a new power plant substation.

According to Judy, Mrs. Scott, her grandmother, gave the land to the City of Lansing with the hope it be a part of memories in the community.

“If people are going to donate land and see this happening, this is history for Lansing, I feel that they should preserve this and not be putting a power-plant here.” Judy Scott Teegarden said.

Mayor Virg Bernero addressed his support of BWL’s build, during his state of the city address last month.

“This substation is vital to decommissioning the coal fired Eckert power-plant. It must be built and the selected site, at the entrance to REO town is the optimal site, it is the place.” Bernero said during his address.

But preservationist Dale Schrader disagrees.

“We have to protect these things from happening now so that in the future our grandchildren can actually enjoy history rather than, see 40 foot industrial walls for a substation. It’s just the wrong location, there has to be other options” Schrader said.

According to spokesperson Amy Adamy, BWL has been looking for a site for about a year. Adamy states there are currently two options, one is to replace and rebuild at the current the Eckert Power Station, which is located in a flood plain or to build at the garden.

“You know it’s been decided that the Scott Center house is the most cost effective and best place to place it” BWL’s Adamy said.

But the Scott family said, history, and memories cannot be bought, and the demolition of this land means a removal of more greenspace.

The family told 6 News, they would be ok with a restaurant being built on site.

The Lansing Park District will have an important vote involving this project in the upcoming weeks.

We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

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