Tommy Joshua was working in the garden when a guy from his neighborhood rode by on a bike and gave him some bad news.

"Some dude, some like arbitrary man," Joshua said, "told me straight up, 'Yo dog, they got a plan to like, take this whole jawn over. You're doing all this in vain.'"

It was 2014, and over the last couple years, Joshua and his friends had turned some vacant land in Sharswood, one of the highest-crime, poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, into a community garden. The land was about as big as a few basketball courts, and the group called it the North Philly Peace Park...

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