The site of what’s believed to be the nation’s only memorial garden honoring transgender individuals will soon belong to a local advocacy group.
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen could vote Friday to sell the land that holds the Transgender Memorial Garden to the Metro Trans Umbrella Group. A committee of the board approved the sale, for $1,250, last week.
MTUG first reached a deal to work on the city-owned wedge of land at 1469 S. Vandeventer Ave. in 2015. But there was always a risk that someone would buy the property in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood for other development.
“The more that we have reflected over the past few years, it has become our desire to have ownership of that property, because that gives us peace of mind that we will be able to utilize that space in the future as we’ve intended to,” said Elaine Brune, the chair of MTUG’s board.
Brune called the sale price of the land “very reasonable.”
“It was much unexpected from what we have thought,” they said. “This will definitely reach our board meeting to be approved, and we do have it in our budget to do that.”
MTUG had always imagined being able to purchase the garden, said John Bishop, who serves as its manager.
“It’s taken a little while longer than we thought, but I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how important that piece of property is,” he said. “It allows for quiet reflection on the community, and your own journey, and it has already made, after only four years, a measurable impact on some people’s lives.”
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