Members of the JP State Lab Community Garden came together to dedicate a Little Free Library to honor Detlev Koepke, a garden cofounder, who fought to keep the garden when it was threatened.
Led by Koepke, the garden was established in 1987 thanks to the community organizing of the Asticou Martinwood South Street Neighborhood Association (AMNSNA).
Today the community garden remains active, producing several tons of produce every year. There are more than 40 active gardeners comprised of neighborhood residents and state lab employees.
Koepke’s brother Jens played an audio clip of an interview with Detlev in his final weeks, said Chuck Collins to Jamaica Plain News. In the audio clip Detlev told the story of organizing a meeting with the state regarding the land that became the garden. At the time it was very possible the land was going to be paved over. Garden organizers have continued to fight with the state as recently as 2016 when the state shutoff water to the garden, according to the Boston Herald.
Many people from the neighborhood, or who knew Koepke for a long time came and brought books to donate to the Little Free Library.
"We had a terrific dedication with family, friends and neighbors. (State) Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz came with both of her children, (state) Representative Liz Malia talked about Detlev and his curiosity and spirit," said Chuck Collins to Jamaica Plain News. "City Councilor Matt O’Malley spoke about the importance of the garden and the community partnership with the state lab."